4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 29, 2013 12:57 PM by snowman999
snowman999 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

What I'm working on is a demo movie to give to some of the actors. They've all worked with me before and know that nothing about this is going to be perfect.


I've edited an hour worth of the movie, adjusted the dialogue so it's all level. I've added music underneath, and adjusted all the levels. It sounds good. Nothing peaks, you can hear all the dialogue fine. You don't cringe (at least I don't) from what I'm hearing. I know there are some scenes that could benefit from ADR, but that's impossible.


There are scenes that were shot in a NYC apartment, and the way the dialogue is cut, sometimes the cars and noise fluctuate from cut to cut. So, I added street noise underneath and the fluctuation is not as noticiable as there's a constant stream of street noise.


Here's my problem. I've watched this on 4 different TVs. One old fashioned 27", a flat screen with built in speakers, my computer with professional recording studio speakers, and a projector/Sony blu-ray 5.1 surround sound system.


It sounds very good on all these systems. I'm not blasting it. The only place I put it extremely loud is when I'm actually editing. At a very high level, the fluctuations and such are a little more noticeable. Some scenes also have room tone which fluctuate from cut to cut. I've used Soundtrack to eleminate the noise, and it works fine. But, with every scene there's always a word or two where you get that Darth Vadar voice. This also at a normal level is unnoticeable.


Listening is great and I think the best way to know what sounds good. But, what can I look at at the levels to see which version would be better? With the fixed sound it sounds fine, without sounds fine. Is there a way I can tell visually which is better.


All in all for a demo it's **** good. But, I have that stupid perfection bug with whatever I do. Which I know is impossible. But, I get something in my mind and I have to keep going.

Final Cut Pro 6, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • 1. Re: Getting The Sound Close
    darbypsnm Level 3 Level 3 (720 points)

    The meters and the waveforms are the only way I know how to visually see how something sounds.
    I lean on the meters more than my ears. The meters will tell me when something is above -6 while it may not seem as obvious to the ear played back at a loud volume.


    Will the end user ever have a reason to turn it above a normal level?
    What is the final deliverable? web? phone? DVD?

    Are you using any limiters or compression to prevent hot spots from going over said level?


    Since the sound is only distorting at loud playback levels you could also control this by using rubber bands around the specific word or section.

  • 2. Re: Getting The Sound Close
    snowman999 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It never peaks, or distorts. It's the underlying street noise or slight hum that's noticeable at high volume.  When I was playing it on all my TVs you can't hear it. The only time it's noticeable is when I crank it up while I'm working on it.


    So, I guess I'm almost there. I just want to be sure.I'd hate to give someone a copy and it can be clearly heard on their TV.


    I'm making them DVDs.



  • 3. Re: Getting The Sound Close
    darbypsnm Level 3 Level 3 (720 points)

    The street noise is pretty much cooked in because of how it was recorded with the audio. STP can improve it a great deal but it will never be perfect.
    Unless you know of ways you can improve how your audio is recorded I would say you have done the best that you can with the tools you have.


    Some things can't be completely fixed in post.

    Some can but it usually requires more money.

  • 4. Re: Getting The Sound Close
    snowman999 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks. That's what I figured. With limited funds, you can only go so far. I think I've peaked.