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Normalizing an entire film's soundtrack

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Zack Hosseini
Normalizing an entire film's soundtrack
on Aug 15, 2015 at 4:42:44 pm

Just finished a feature film and my sound guy mixed it for the purpose of playing it in the theater at the premiere. So when you listen to it on a computer, the loud scenes are much louder than the quiet scenes, which is, you know, fine in the theater, but not so much for when we post it online.

It's a stereo track and I just want to make the loud things a bit quieter and the quiet things a bit louder so it doesn't jump around as drastically. What could I do?

---------------
Zack Hosseini
http://www.ZackHosseiniFilms.com
Zack@ZackHosseiniFilms.com

"Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out." - Martin Scorsese


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Chris Wright
Re: Normalizing an entire film's soundtrack
on Aug 15, 2015 at 5:03:40 pm

try multiband compression for small differences of loud and soft and then follow with rms normalizer for overall volume.


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Simon Billington
Re: Normalizing an entire film's soundtrack
on Sep 24, 2015 at 1:47:16 pm

Yeah don't concern yourself with peak levels SSL long as you to go past 0dbFS.

If you target your overall loudness around -18dbfs that's a good place to start. Note that loudness is not the same as your peaks, it's actually very similar to RMS, just more precise.

You can key frame your audio level to keep it around -18, or you can use the RMS Normaliser, I think it should do a similar thing.

You could also use a limiter and take just a few dB off the peaks in the audio.

If you were in the market for plugins you can try Vocal Rider or eMO D5 from Waves. Vocal rider will ride the volume levels, in a similar way to key framing, but it can be a lot more quick and responsive, also faster to use.

The D5 has 5 different types of dynamic controls in the one plugin so comes in useful quite a lot at shaping the audio. Among those is a Limiter and a Leveller which can be used to do a similar job as a RMS Normaliser.

Hopefully there are enough options above to help you find your most ideal solution.


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