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How to make audio default level, then make all clips same top, and then increase volume?

Community Beginner ,
Oct 20, 2022 Oct 20, 2022

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Hi there! I have a rather finicky problem. I've recorded something in several stages, and the audio levels are different per clip group. I adjusted the levels as I went simply by dragging the audio gain band on the timeline for each clip group, but now, I still hear that the levels are quite different from one another. 

 

Is there a relativelyy simple way to make every audio clip just revert to normal (is this is even needed), then make the various clips have basically the same volume level, and then increase the volume to a high level, all without clipping (going above 0db)? I have an issue sometime where I try to normalize to, say, -3db, but my audio still goes above -3, and I don't know why. 

 

Thank you so much in advance! 

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Audio , Editing , How to

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Oct 21, 2022 Oct 21, 2022

Audio is sadly all too often treated as an afterthought these days, so it is really good to see someone who wants things to be better - so here we go with some options for you..

I'd begin by forgetting that such an abomination as 'Normalize' is even an option, as it is unlikely to do what you think it does whilst at the same time being very likely to seriously screw up your audio. This is because it usually works to peak levels, and because this takes account of transients (these are momentary p

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Community Expert ,
Oct 21, 2022 Oct 21, 2022

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Audio is sadly all too often treated as an afterthought these days, so it is really good to see someone who wants things to be better - so here we go with some options for you..

I'd begin by forgetting that such an abomination as 'Normalize' is even an option, as it is unlikely to do what you think it does whilst at the same time being very likely to seriously screw up your audio. This is because it usually works to peak levels, and because this takes account of transients (these are momentary peaks, often caused by something percussive in music or a sudden sharp sound in a film/TV episode) as the reference point the most common result is a feeling along the lines of 'Did that actually do anything?' - what it did was looked at the highest peak level, and raised everything from that point (including the noise floor) and creating a layer of DSP with all the usual quantization distortion and all for not very much audible level increase. Conversely, if you use RMS Normalization then the noise floor is also raised as the process is applied across the entire audio file's frequency response with little to no user control over what is happening.

No - please, I urge you, forget normalization. What you need to learn to love are compressors!

 

We will start with a youtube clip mainly because the OP is using Audition for the job

Dialogue Compression Tutorial 

You'll notice that I am assuming it is smoothing out dialogue that you need to do - but if we are actually talking about music soundtracks then you'll need a different approach, as what works well on dialogue is probably not going to be optimal for musical content, so I am going to stop right here for the moment, and wait for your response before getting down to the meat of the subject as I don't want to give you a whole bunch of information on dialogue optimization only to find out it's something entirely different in your clips.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 21, 2022 Oct 21, 2022

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Thank you so much, mate! Yes we are indeed talking about voice recording here, as in a podcast or video essay, not music 🙂 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Now how would one go about "normalizing" music? 🙂 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 27, 2022 Oct 27, 2022

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Personally, I wouldn't.

I think what you are looking for is a way to make a collection of tracks all sound as if tjhey are part of the same record or production, yes? If I am correct then you are looking for mastering here, not mass normalization. Honestly, please - for the sake of your music if nothing else - forget you ever heard of 'normalization' as it's a really bad solution. 

If you would let me have a little more detail, I will be happy to point you in the right direction to teach yourself how to do this.

 

In the meantime, a couple more things you can do for your podcast voice recordings too:

1 - put each separate voice on it's own audio track.

2 - Use a High Pass Filter on each track to reduce unwanted rumble & subsonics.

You'll find this in the EQ (if we are in Premiere Pro, and using the stock plugins you will find what you need on the screenshot below as a starting point - begin at 120Hz, possibly 160Hz, with a slope of 36dB/Octave and see how it sounds. Adjust until it no longer seems to be doing anything - that is your point.

HP Filter Start Point.JPG

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Mentor ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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lucky for you, i saw this thead. this free audition vst plugin is designed to compress music.

loudmax.blogspot dot com

I use it for dialogue too, but it was primarily created to limit music.

it can handle extremely large compression without sounding strange.

 

 

 

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