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Setting audio specs for editing

Zvi
Zvi's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 03/18/2007 - 8:03am
Plus Member

Although I never had complaints by clients about audio, I always wondered about this...

Volume levels are to easy to determine, since you can see the peak levels. So it's easy to make sure that your whole DVD has a uniformed volume level so the client won't have to keep raising and lowering the audio volume during playback.

But what about all other aspects of audio like bass, treble, high pass, low pass... all these can deceive you if your computer levels are not set right. I have a 3 set speaker system so when not working with headsets, I can raise or lower the bass on the speakers. Now to me, it might sound like I need more bass in my audio and I'll add bass with an EQ, but in reality, it might have just been that my own speakers were set too low on bass and now the client will hear TOO much bass.

See what I'm getting at? Maybe one boosted the bass in the Windows audio settings and now he hears too much bass (even with headsets) and lowers it in his NLE but in reality he didn't have to do this and the client will get bass too low.

We have the same problem with color correction (client TV\Screen shows different colors) and that's why we use a third monitor display, so we can see the actual colors of a TV while editing. But how do we determine a base-line for audio specs? How can we know if we really have audio tweaking to do or our speakers\system is just not set right?




Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

Zvi,

Just like there are tools for calibrating broadcast monitors, there are tools for calibrating your audio system. Do I know what those are exactly? No. Sorry, I'm not an audio professional. You will likely find some good information through Google, though.

Also, it's important to know and understand how your end user will view (or listen) to the final product. For instance, when finishing for film output, colors monitor with a large projector. If they're only going to broadcast, a broadcast monitor will likely be enough.

So, in the case of audio mixing, you should have professional audio monitors so you can accurately address any blemishes. And you should also have a set of consumer level speakers so you can tweak according to the end user's likely listening environment.


The Tune Peddler's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 02/10/2012 - 8:22am

Like every one else has said getting some good monitors is a must. They don't have to be all thta expensive. I have a set of krk v4's. They're a simple and small option and they sound incredible.

For me though, the best solution to your problem is to listen to your audio on at least 3 different speakers. I know it might be a little bit of a pain but it will really help.

This way you can compare all 3 sources and compensate until it's fairly close to what you were wanting it to sound like on all of your listening devices.

Just to be clear, it doesn't have to be 3 sets of nice speakers. It could be you burn the audio to a disk and listen through your tv or surround system speakers. I'm a tv composer so even though I have some nice monitors I still occasionally check my mixs on some crappy sounding tv speakers because that's where it's going to end up.

I think the big thing to remember is what Rob said. Just remember how the end user will be listening to the sound.