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Audio levels in DVD Architect

Discussions on third party software for the final creation of DVD including Nero, Roxio, DVD Architect, Magix, Ulead, etc...

Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby chavakano » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:53 pm

Is there a way to level the volume of the audio tracks in the different components of a menu? For example between Intro Media audio, Menu background music and the actual video

Thanks

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Re: Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby Chuck Engels » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:18 pm

My experience with DVD authoring programs, which doesn't include DVD Architect, is that you have to adjust the audio in another program. You can do this in Premiere Elements or a program like Audacity (which is free).
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Re: Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby Steve Grisetti » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:18 pm

You are correct, Chuck. You can not control audio levels in DVD Architect. The program assumes that the video and audio you're importing into a project is finished, except for authoring to DVD.
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Re: Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby John 'twosheds' McDonald » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:51 am

Steve Grisetti wrote:... The program assumes that the video and audio you're importing into a project is finished......


Which is, after all, a reasonable assumption for a programmer of authoring software to make. :-D
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Re: Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby Bill Hunt » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:59 am

FWIW, all of my authoring programs are the same too - no editing, Audio, or Video, at all - just authoring of finished Assets.

As a 'rule of thumb," if I'm working with my normal -6 dB levels for my Videos, I'll usually edit my Menu Audio to ~ -12dB, as I want them to be truly background, and some users put the disk in and then walk away while it loads. The last thing that I want is a high volume piece playing, when the DVD loads up.

I have played many, both commercial and authored/burned by others, where the Menu Audio was +10 dB and nearly blew my ears, and system. Some people feel that the Menu music should be like a major SFX bit, that, or they just don't care. I hate loud Menu music. :no: :no:

Just some thoughts,

Hunt

PS - though I gave that "rule of thumb" level guide above, only critical listening will direct me on the exact levels.
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Re: Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby Bobby » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:18 am

I tend to have the menu background audio at the same level as the main video. What I have noticed is that (especially if the menu is cool and they want to look at it for a while) they adjust their audio gain to the menu background, and then get blasted if the main video is louder. So I make 'em the same.
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Re: Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby Peru » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:44 pm

Bill Hunt wrote:FWIW, all of my authoring programs are the same too - no editing, Audio, or Video, at all - just authoring of finished Assets.

As a 'rule of thumb," if I'm working with my normal -6 dB levels for my Videos, I'll usually edit my Menu Audio to ~ -12dB, as I want them to be truly background, and some users put the disk in and then walk away while it loads.

Hunt

PS - though I gave that "rule of thumb" level guide above, only critical listening will direct me on the exact levels.


Hunt-

How do you measure the audio levels? Are you using the audio meters in Premiere Elements (if so, which version?)? Is it the peak level or the average level?

I'm trying to make sure that when somebody puts in a dvd to play, the audio will play at about the same level as if they put in a commercial dvd.

Bobby-

I use the same levels for menus and the movies as you have mentioned. What I am trying to do, as in my questions above, is to not have the menu blast or be too low compared to how the volume was set on their previosly inserted dvd.

[I hope I haven't hijacked this thread. Should I be posting this in a new thread? :-s ]
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Re: Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby Bobby » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:09 pm

I use the audio meters in PRE. Generally I create a menu background video in PRE, both visual and sound, and adjust it there. Then I pull in the video and audio portions into the menu in DVDSA. So in this case, I can use the PRE meters with no problem.

If you audio comes from somewhere else (.mp3 file, etc.) then you will have to manually play with the settings (like in Audacity) until you get what you want.
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Re: Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby chavakano » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:39 pm

Thanks to all for your help

Happy Holiday

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Re: Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby Bill Hunt » Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:19 pm

How do you measure the audio levels? Are you using the audio meters in Premiere Elements (if so, which version?)? Is it the peak level or the average level?

I'm trying to make sure that when somebody puts in a dvd to play, the audio will play at about the same level as if they put in a commercial dvd.


I use two methods: careful listening on my headphones, and then the Level Meters in PrPro's Audio Mixer, where most of my final production is done. To me, the meters are a bit less useful, but will get me into the ballpark. From there, it is by listening.

For Bob's comment on the Menu Audio, in my case I am just doing background Audio, and nothing that one would likely want to crank up the volume on. I use the SmartSound pieces quite a lot, and have a few dozen compositions that have natural fade-ins and fade-outs, plus repetition in the construction of the music. This allows me to "seem" to span from Menu to Menu. Of course there is really no spanning, as each has its own Audio file, but the audible illusion is created by using the same types of music for many Projects.

Since I author in Encore, where there is not really a limitation on the Duration of my Menu Audio, I normally go with ~ 40 sec. to 1 min. for each Audio file, and set these to Loop Forever, in case one gets a telephone call, or knock at the door, while the player is on a Menu.

Now, if I was doing Menu Audio that was meant to be really listened to, I would agree 100% with you. I hate turning up the volume to be able to hear dialog, and then get belted with some over-the-top SFX! That really gets me going, but Hollywood loves to do that. Even in the theaters, I feel that the mixes are not done with the audience in mind - they just want to show off how deep and loud an SFX can be reproduced.

I find that some of the AV work at Disney's Epcot Center adhere to this way of thinking.

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Re: Audio levels in DVD Architect

Postby cbrillow » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:46 pm

I realize that this is a somewhat stale thread, but I'd like to mention some Sony-specific situations that can contribute to differing audio levels among the various components of a DVD burned with DVD Architect.

A frequent comment on the Sony DVD-A forum concerns the 'weak' audio that's often noted on DVD-A authored discs. This has been attributed to the default AC-3 parameter for dialog normalization when rendering audio from Sony Vegas. To overcome this, it's been suggested to render AC-3 with this parameter set to -31db, as well as tweaking a couple of other params that I don't recall offhand.

Now if one is consistent and creates all the audio used in a DVD project in the same way, one might expect that there'd be little variance in the apparent audio levels between the intro media, menu background audio and the actual program material. That may be true for somebody who truly knows what he's doing, but I'm basically a hack.

In other words, it's not inconceivable that audio used in one of my projects could be a mix of correctly-prepared AC-3, and generic wav or mp3 files thrown into the project without careful consideration. It's not hard to see how this could result in noticeable differences in audio level from component-to-component.

I'm sure most of you ladies & gentlemen are attentive to detail than I am, but this may be a consideration for one or two of you somewhere along the way.
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