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Sound Levels. What is best?

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Devon Powell
Sound Levels. What is best?
on Apr 20, 2011 at 4:46:30 am

I have a project that I am about to output (as soon as I have a clear answer to this question). I want to down mix all of the dialogue, ambience and sound effects into one track because for the most part I used production sound and didn't add many sound effects (except where absolutely nessecary.) I plan on my music being on a seperate track.

Before I do this I have a question.

What is a good level for the average dialouge level and what is good for an average ambience level.

I do not trust my own ears really. They are not trained. Also, what is the best way to downmix these. Simple instructions would be great and I would be grateful!

Also, as a side question, if I were wanting to make a dvd using standard definition footage that would be letterboxed on standard television sets and fill the entire screen on widescreen sets, what would I need to do. I know only that the video needs to be cropped to the proper aspect ratio. I do not know what other settings are needed and where. Thanks so much!

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Chris Tompkins
Re: Sound Levels. What is best?
on Apr 20, 2011 at 2:12:18 pm

Aim for around -12 on your audio levels in FCP.

When you have everything mixed in relation to each other and you are happy, export a 48k, 16bit, .AIF file. from you time line. Make sure the music (you wanted it separate) is not in there.

Re-import your aif file and drop it in the sequence. You can still adjust volume of the new mixed down track in relation to your music.

When edit is done:

Export "current Settings"

Take that into compressor.
Choose a DVD preset.
Turn on frame controls.
Set to best.
Adjust data rate to match vid length.
When done, import your vid and aud files into DVDSP.
Select widescreen for the display mode.

3X4 TV's will display letterboxed and widescreen sets will fill screen.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC

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