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Old 08-25-2017, 04:22 PM   #1
Krios
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Question How to figure out audio levels?

Is there a way to figure out correct audio levels for voice over tracks?
Is there a certain dB range?

Software like Adobe SoundBooth has a bar to indicate levels. Does that need to be mostly in the green?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:37 PM   #2
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I always keep my audio levels within the green. I also test it by talking louder ensuring that it stays in the green, or depending on the loudness it partially goes into the red, without too much distortion.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:48 PM   #3
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What's your distribution target: broadcast, theatrical release, or Internet?

The colors are not your first go-to indicator. Your ears are, but after that you should look at the dB scale. Your VO track should be recorded to average between -18dB and -12dB. You might experience the occasional peak above -12/-10 if it's a line with lots of energy and enthusiasm, but VO usually has less dynamic range than on-cam dialog.

And recording into the red "without too much distortion" is bad practice. There shouldn't be any distortion. If you get even a little distortion, you're doin' it wrong.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quality View Post
I always keep my audio levels within the green. I also test it by talking louder ensuring that it stays in the green, or depending on the loudness it partially goes into the red, without too much distortion.
Quality - you keep offering advice on topics about which you know very little.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:33 PM   #5
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That's just how I record my audio. Thanks for the correction by the way. I don't do it on a professional level.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Alcove Audio View Post
Quality - you keep offering advice on topics about which you know very little.
"How long to sing this song?"

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Old 08-25-2017, 07:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quality View Post
I always keep my audio levels within the green. I also test it by talking louder ensuring that it stays in the green, or depending on the loudness it partially goes into the red, without too much distortion.
Thanks for summing it up Elrod, I owe you one. :]
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticAl View Post
What's your distribution target: broadcast, theatrical release, or Internet?

The colors are not your first go-to indicator. Your ears are, but after that you should look at the dB scale. Your VO track should be recorded to average between -18dB and -12dB.
The final animation will be mostly for the Internet, but who knows, it might turn out to be good enough for the indie circuit.

Thing is that I am not doing the recording, most of it is from fiverr&fees.com, so they are all at different levels.
So if I adjust the tracks, they should all average between -18dB and -12dB when played back in After Effects?

Thanks for taking the time Acoustic!
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:36 PM   #9
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Thing is that I am not doing the recording, most of it is from fiverr&fees.com, so they are all at different levels.
So if I adjust the tracks, they should all average between -18dB and -12dB when played back in After Effects?
Essentially. I was looking at the dB markings on the SoundBooth meter. Basically, -10dB is your target peak, but some NLEs mark -12dB instead. For Internet distribution, the difference isn't important. Dialog in general will run somewhere in the neighborhood of -22 and -10, but sudden peaks like shouts and yelps can hit as high as -6dB.

VO, like I said, doesn't typically have that much dynamic range, so set it to peak mostly at the -12/-10 mark, and if there's something loud and brief that momentarily hits a little higher, don't sweat it.

But you say it's animation. So, these are character dialog instead of VO? Those may have a little more dynamic range (the distance from the lowest level to the highest), but the target peak is the same.

Side note: fiverr is ruining the business, and I'm not surprised your levels are all over the map.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticAl View Post
VO, like I said, doesn't typically have that much dynamic range, so set it to peak mostly at the -12/-10 mark, and if there's something loud and brief that momentarily hits a little higher, don't sweat it.
Thank you for the wisdom Acoustic... I owe you one!
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