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#1 Albert Goehler

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 02:31 AM

Hi, i've completed my short film.It is non-dialogue film.Only music and ambient sound.I have a problem about audio level.I am using Adobe Premiere CS 5.5.Since i have no dialogue what

 

decibel should i use for my ambient sound and music? i hope i've explained my problem correctly


Edited by Albert Goehler, 22 August 2014 - 02:32 AM.

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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:09 AM

Sound mixers on films use their ears. You should ensure that your monitoring volume levels and the speakers are correct and are at a comfortable level for you, so that you can appreciate the overall balance. You can use the audio meters to unsure that the levels aren't too high or too low, but once the basic range has been set, the mixers don't get locked into the relative dbs on each track, but just listen as they adjust to produce the balance they want, while keeping an eye on the final mix levels..


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#3 Albert Goehler

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:19 AM

I am just considering for the film festivals and i am worried about it is too low...I know that it isn't too high when i see the bar.

 

I dont know its right or wrong but i am keeping the two of them between -30 and -18...


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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:45 AM

What type of meter are you using - a VU or peak?


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#5 Albert Goehler

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:55 AM

When i open adobe premiere its on the right bottom...I dont know which one but i can show you what i look at...

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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 07:31 AM

I've never used that meter, but the current standard on a loudness meter is that the overall average level of a production is -23db, which allows the transients etc to go up to -10db.


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#7 Albert Goehler

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:04 AM

so what dou you think i should do? i found something is it okay if i do that?

 

ambient sound -12 db to -18 db

 

music : -18 db

 

I want background music,not like music videos or something like that.So what do you say?


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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:32 AM

You listen. if it sounds right it probably is. You have to use your ears for the correct balance, dubbing mixers warn against becoming a slave to the meter, the audience isn't watching meter they're listening to the overall effect. You have to hear that final sound in your head and adjust the different track levels so they match the sound that you've got in your mind.  Prescribed numbers are meaningless because there are so many variables, it's like asking how loud should a piece of music be, it really depends on the piece of music. Some pieces of music sound really loud, even though they have same levels as another pieces that sound quieter.

 

It's worthing listen to some film sound tracks without the pictures to see how they're constructed and how the effects are balanced out by the mixer. There are a few books out there which might help you get into the sound track zone and how you build them up..


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#9 John E Clark

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:39 PM

I believe -18 and -20 dBFS are the 'standard levels'. However, one has to consider the actual 'mixing' room that one is attempting to mix in, and set the audio system with that 'room' in mind.

 

For example, one reads for a 'real™' mixing stage, 85 dB-C SPL is the reading one should have at the 'listening' point, for a 1K Hz tone @ -20 dBFS... but if one has a small room, such as a 10x10 'office', one should have the audio system adjusted to have a 79 dB-C SPL.

 

For ordinary mortals the Radio Shack SPL meter is sufficient, it's about $50.

 

Since my goal is for 'fest/Internet', I only think in terms of 'traditional' stereo or mono, dialog centered, sound mixing (mono... if Woody Allen can still put out everything he makes in mono, why can't I... and of course Saint Kubrick also went with mono for many of his films...). In order to get 'dolby' or other big league audio formats, the equipment, mix room certifications, etc. is far and away 'overkill' and expensive.

 

On units... there are a number of dBxxx units. So I'm using dB Full Scale, which is more typical in digital NLE's, and what I use since I don't have external audio meters in the various other units of sound measurement, other than the Radio Shack SPL meter.


Edited by jeclark2006, 22 August 2014 - 01:42 PM.

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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 01:17 AM

-18 and -20 dBFS are reference tone levels, where the actual audio levels are may vary, although it's a good ball park area to be as a an average except for transients. When mixing you need a good acoustic environment good speakers, plus some poor speakers to check on how well the audio comes though for a lot of users at home.

 

BTW I should remind you that this is a real name forum 


Edited by Brian Drysdale, 23 August 2014 - 01:19 AM.

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#11 Sam Javor

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:02 AM

Keep -12db to -24db in the back of your mind but I would suggest listening to movies on your mixing system and then sort of mentally calibrate  what a pleasing audio level is.... and then review it on other systems... like your friend and parents TVs. 

Having just finished being a juror for  the student section of a local film festival I can attest that we have the ability to change the volume when we review them. :) 

... and unless it's wayyy off and geting into compression related noise it probably wont take much of a hit.  as long as dialog isn't coved by music... and otherwise understandable. (aka subtitles are readable - big problem) .. and sound effects are in sync and sound appropriate. We're going to be focusing on story telling and cohesion of the entire piece.... and length (for public screening)   for example we had one submitted  by a prestigious film school that looked and sounded amazing and is (I think)  the only honorable mention not being screened because it's 30 minutes long.


Edited by Sam Javor, 28 August 2014 - 09:02 AM.

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