Lower Volume of Entire Timeline in FCE?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by swwack91, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. swwack91 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    So i'm nearing finishing a new short film and i'm at the point where i'm going to start adjusting all the audio levels. most of my sound effects are already at the right mix volume, but the raw footage's volume is too high.

    long story short, is there a way to lower the audio levels of the entire timeline to a certain dB?

    i don't want to just copy & paste levels attributes cuz i don't want everything at the same level... i just want everything lowered by the same value.

    THANKS!
     
  2. -DH macrumors 65816

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    #2
    This works in FCP so it should be applicable to FCE as well. You should have two options; both accessible from Modify->Levels.

    The first option is "relative," meaning that the gain will be lowered by whatever value you enter relative to what the current level is. To apply this to all clips on the Timeline, make sure that all are selected.

    The other option is "Absolute," meaning that the gain will be exactly whatever value you enter.

    As an example, is your current gain setting is 6db and you enter a RELATIVE value of -4db, the new gain level will be 2db. But if you enter the same -4db as an ABSOLUTE value, the new gain setting will be -4db.

    Alternatively, you can use a Compressor/Limiter filter or the Dynamic Processor filter to keep the audio's dynamic range within the limits you specify.

    -DH
     
  3. swwack91 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  4. huntercr macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Don't forget you can also adjust directly on the timeline by clicking the "clip overlays button" on the timeline ( the one that looks like 2 mountaind ) and then dragging the little pink line down or up.
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #5
    AFAIK that only works one clip at a time. Using the Modify Levels command you can select as many clips as you want and change all their levels at the same time.


    Lethal
     
  6. bloodycape macrumors 65816

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    California
    #6
    I tired this and it looks like it works. But am I suppose to render audio after this is applied or is there something wrong?
     
  7. huntercr macrumors 65816

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    Jun 6, 2006
    #7
    No, it will take effect immediately. if you enable the clip overlays like I said, even if you do the "Modify->Levels" recommendation that LeathalWolfe and DH suggested, you will see the audio levels drop in the timeline immediately after you run the command.

    Are you just being too conservative in your reduction? try to drop down -12db (relative) at least.

    Ah, but you may be running into FCE protecting your ears a bit...

    Watch the levels in the audio meter on the right when you're playing without the audio adjusted... if even after you adjust, you're still hitting alot of orange/red ( -6db to 0 ) for more than just an instant, you're not going to hear any difference. That's Final cut protecting your ears. :)
    Dial the levels down until your "normal talking" audio in your piece is -12db or lower. ( The Final Cut "reference" audio level is indeed -12db, but supposedly professional audio levels are -20 )

    Since you have FCE, you don't have the peak audio detection tool that FCP has, so you'll have to do some guesswork, but you do have the little "peaks" horizontal line on the audio meter you can use. If you have some loud segments that get clipped off ( remember this is digital, you're not going to get distortion when you go over the limit, you're going to get cut outs and very bad things )

    Hope this helps
     
  8. jettoblack macrumors member

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    Nov 1, 2006
    #8
    I don't know if this works in FCE, but in FCP you can also make a new sequence, and then drag your project sequence into this new sequence's timeline. Now your whole project will appear to be a single clip. You can apply video & audio effects and level changes to the whole project at once. By the way, its no problem if you edit the original sequence either... any changes will instantly propagate over. You can even turn just a few selected clips into a sequence, or drag a sequence into a sequence into a sequence almost forever. This is called nested sequencing and its very powerful...
     
  9. bloodycape macrumors 65816

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    #9
    See the issue I am having is once the sound was lowered or higher the audio will not play in FCE until I render the audio. Same thing happens if I move it back to "0". Is this normal or did I do something wrong?
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #10
    It sounds like your audio isn't the proper format (16bit, 48k WAV or AIFF). Are you using MP3 audio by chance?


    Lethal
     
  11. bloodycape macrumors 65816

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    #11
    acc and mp3. So what are my options other than waiting the few minutes for it to render?
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #12
    Export the individual audio tracks as AIFF or WAV and re-cut them into the project.

    Or (and this might not work in FCE)

    1. Export the audio files as AIFF or WAVs and save them someplace other than where the original audio files are (make sure you keep the file names exactly the same).
    2. Select the original audio files in the browser, right click and make them "off line"
    3. Once the files in the browser are off line (they'll have a red line thru them) select them all again, right click, select "reconnect" and reconnect to the AIFF/WAV versions of the files not the AAC/MP3 versions.


    Lethal
     
  13. huntercr macrumors 65816

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    Jun 6, 2006
    #13
    Just to add to this... converting to AIFF:

    you can convert your protected AAC ( and MP3 ) files in an easy foolproof way via iMovie. (This is for iMovie HD, but I am told the same thing will work for iMovie 08.)

    Just load up iMovie and lay down a random piece of video. Delete any audio tracks present. Then go over to the "media" section and select your songs, and add them to the timeline. Then export the video with "expert settings". Then when the quicktime options dialog box comes up, set your export type to be 'Sound to AIFF' and in the options section set the rate to Linear PCM, 48.00 KHz, 16bit sample size or higher ( you can actually do 32 bit with FCE 3.5 and higher just fine )

    There you go!
     

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