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Interesting audio mixing/render anomaly

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Ty Ford
Interesting audio mixing/render anomaly
on Nov 3, 2010 at 4:00:00 am

I was exporting clips via Quicktime conversion. The audio was simple dual mono. One person speaking> boom mic> 442 Sound Devices mixer two track mono out>camera. Everything sounds fine in FCP, Both tracks panned hard right and left, full stereo, but when I played back the rendered clips in QT, they were louder and clipped a bit.

I brought one of the clips up in STPro and although the tracks were not close to peaking in STP, they were clipped. Lots of time and experiments later, I found pulling the two mixer faders for the two tracks in FCP back to -3dB (half power point) and centering the pans gave me what I wanted. STPro showed no clipping; peaks at about -3 dB, which is what I wanted and I heard no clipping.

I'll know it from now on, but in the analog or digital audio studio world, that sort of clipping doesn't happen unless you mono the sources and you're really close to 0dB. With pro audio gear, panning two identical tracks results in a 3dB rise that can clip, but not necessarily in the mix buss. Somewhere there's a narrow spot in the FCP audio mix buss before the master fader. Maybe there should be an "Audio In FCP" forum.

Or not.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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