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Audio Export levels low

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Brent Hurlock
Audio Export levels low
on Jul 10, 2011 at 1:06:28 am

I read a few posts about this which were 4+ years old, but nothing recent.
The issue I'm having is when I mix a show in Avid, and mix it to average -14db, when I get it to Sorenson to encode the levels are down well over 10db.
What gives? What can I do to fix this? What am I doing wrong?

Brent Hurlock


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Bouke Vahl
Re: Audio Export levels low
on Jul 11, 2011 at 8:30:13 am

How are you measuring your levels?
It's normal in a video world to have lot's of headroom.
(We use 9 dB over here for final delivery).

In your encoding package, you can always amplify or normalize, depending on your liking.

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Job ter Burg
Re: Audio Export levels low
on Jul 11, 2011 at 9:51:01 am

How and where are you measuring this? Different meters will show different results.


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Brent Hurlock
Re: Audio Export levels low
on Jul 11, 2011 at 1:27:24 pm

My Avid is calibrated so that 0db is -20vu. I zero out the Mackie board (a 1402) at 0vu. When I edit, I run levels to about -14db Avid / +4 to +7 Mackie VU meter. Not hitting "yellow" on the board meters. The exported file when I play it back out of the PC before even going to Squeeze is lower. I feed the PC audio back into the audio board as well and zero out that pot. By looking at the board meters, the audio is peaking at -7vu. That is a big drop.
Most deliverables for me are DVD's and WMV's. I notice the audio level change right away.
Is my workflow wrong? Have the "rules" changed that your now supposed to mix to 0db?

Brent

Brent Hurlock
President, EditVision


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Job ter Burg
Re: Audio Export levels low
on Jul 11, 2011 at 2:48:00 pm

Can you do a round-trip test with a ref tone?


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Gary Hazen
Re: Audio Export levels low
on Jul 11, 2011 at 3:49:26 pm

[Brent Hurlock] "Have the "rules" changed that your now supposed to mix to 0db?"

It depends on the destination. For compression purposes you should push the levels close to 0db. For laying off to tape you should stay at -14db or -20db depending on how your system has been calibrated.

I usually keep the average near -20db, but not exceeding -10db for masterting to tape. If I need to compress the file in Sorenson, I'll duplicate the sequence, mixdown the audio and push the levels up near 0db. Alternately you can add gain in Sorenson as mentioned in Boukes post.


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Job ter Burg
Re: Audio Export levels low
on Jul 11, 2011 at 7:32:32 pm

In Squeeze, you can use the normalize feature (under filters). It will search for the loudest peak, and raise the entire volume for the entire piece by such an amount that this loudest peak is at 0dB Full Scale Digital.


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Tim Taylor
Re: Audio Export levels low
on Nov 16, 2012 at 8:31:47 pm

Hello forum,

I'm experiencing the same problem, and I don't see an acceptable answer here. My exported QT audio levels are significantly lower (to my ear, as well as my board). I'm a freelancer, and don't have squeeze at this facility. I use QT 7 to make wmvs and compressor to make m4v's.
Surly it isn't acceptable that Avid pads the audio, and we just boost it in compression?!?

I'm sure there's a setting somewhere that I'm missing. I can boost the whole mix in the Audio Project settings, but that effects playback from the timeline, not just the export levels. I don't see any handles in the export settings.

For what it's worth, we're mostly using XDcamHD raw footage, and I export to ProRes.

Thanks for your help!

Tim Taylor, Producer/Editor
RESolution Media Services, LLC


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