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FCP 7 Why are my audio levels always so low?

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Greg Ball
FCP 7 Why are my audio levels always so low?
on Feb 25, 2016 at 5:23:46 pm

It seems like no matter what camera we use in the field, the audio looks good (level wise) on the camera and mixer, but when I bring the footage into FCP 7 the audio is always very low. Why is that?

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP 7 Why are my audio levels always so low?
on Feb 25, 2016 at 5:54:37 pm

Might be phasing. The audio is so in phase that the tracks are canceling each other out. Test this by muting one channel, then the other. Also, if you center pan them, it should clear this up.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Greg Ball
Re: FCP 7 Why are my audio levels always so low?
on Feb 25, 2016 at 6:38:36 pm

Thanks Shane. It doesn't matter. Even if I only record on one channel in camera, the audio level is sill low. Is there something in preferences or system set-up that may be causing this?

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP 7 Why are my audio levels always so low?
on Feb 25, 2016 at 6:59:02 pm

I don't think so. How low are the peak levels in FCP? And what are they in the camera?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Greg Ball
Re: FCP 7 Why are my audio levels always so low?
on Feb 25, 2016 at 7:27:14 pm

Peak levels in FCP are at -28db. In camera with a professional audio guy they are around -6 to -12db.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Greg Ball
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 26, 2016 at 3:54:24 pm

Does anybody else have a thought as to why my audio seems to always be low in FCP 7? Even though the recorded camera audio is at a good level?

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 26, 2016 at 4:41:09 pm

Describe in excruciating detail what the sound chain is: I mean, are you listening to the computer's sound card output thru headphones, thru speakers attached to a break-out box, what? List every box, plug, and cable used for getting the sound from the timeline to your ear.


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Greg Ball
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 26, 2016 at 4:48:23 pm

Mark it's quite easy. We shoot our video using either direct mic to camera input on our camera. That could be a C300 or an EX1.

Then I import that into my FCP system. It doesn't matter what camera or crew I use, it just always seems like I need to boost up the gain in FCP 7 as much as it will allow.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Shane Ross
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 26, 2016 at 4:48:35 pm

He visibly sees that the levels are lower.

So...open the MIXER. TOOLS>MIXER. ON the track level, do the levels look low, or do they look normal, but sound low? Look at the master fader on the far right....is it at Zero, or is it lower?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Greg Ball
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 26, 2016 at 5:36:39 pm

(ON the track level, do the levels look low, or do they look normal?) They look low and sound low

(Look at the master fader on the far right....is it at Zero, or is it lower?)

The master fader is at zero.

I know how to set audio levels, I'm just perplexed as to why I always need to boot my levels.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Shane Ross
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 26, 2016 at 5:38:12 pm

Is there any way you can post a small, 5-10 second sample I can download and look at? I'm perplexed by this.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Greg Ball
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 26, 2016 at 8:55:16 pm

No Really Shane. And it's not for one specific video file. I've had this happening for years with all of my files.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Shane Ross
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 28, 2016 at 1:22:15 am

Go to Final Cut Pro menu and select USER PREFERENCES. Click on the AUDIO OUTPUT TAB. Is it set to Stereo or 5.1?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Greg Ball
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 29, 2016 at 3:18:35 pm

Hi Shane,

It's set to Stereo.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 29, 2016 at 5:01:52 pm

Does the stereo seem louder if you pan it hard left or hard right?

These cameras shoot on cards, not tape, yes? Are you using Log and Transfer? If yes, are you recording AVCHD with the AC-3 audio as matrix stereo or regular stereo?


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Greg Ball
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 29, 2016 at 9:51:17 pm

Mark, yes the audio goes to a good level if I pan it left or right. So what should I do? I know I can always duplicate each track? But it seems like a waste of time How do I avoid this in the future?

I'm normally using log and transfer from a C300 or XDcam Transfer from an EX1

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 29, 2016 at 10:32:52 pm

If it gets to "proper" levels when you pan hard left or right, that's pretty much a textbook case of phase cancellation. One of the reasons I asked about your entire signal chain earlier was to be able to discount such things as the mics, their XLR cables, etc. being wired out of phase, or a mixer having a phase-invert button turned on.

If you turn the tracks into dual mono, what happens to the levels?

Where I suspect you might have a setting wrong on import is in the pref setting for matrix stereo. See the screen grab, try an import with alternate choices of this pref applied, see if it makes a difference.



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Mark Suszko
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 29, 2016 at 10:40:28 pm

Follow-up question: the EX-1 audio input settings: are you really keeping the channels discrete or are you "summing" ch. and and 2 into stereo?


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Shane Ross
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 29, 2016 at 10:43:06 pm

I said it might be phasing in my first post! I guess I gave the wrong advice in how to test out that theory...

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Mark Suszko
Re: No other advise?
on Feb 29, 2016 at 10:53:09 pm



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Greg Ball
Re: Thanks
on Mar 1, 2016 at 9:22:08 pm

Thanks Shane and Mark! I get it now.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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