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  #1  
Old 11-02-2017, 04:09 PM
jgiannis jgiannis is offline
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Default Compression Tip: General Leveling vs Raising Very Quiet Parts

I have wide-ranging dynamics, and I am trying to decide if I need to learn to work my compressors better, or if I need to first utilize Clip Gain before compression (but that's tedious, so I hope that I don't need that).

Here's my setup:

I have a single audio track. On it, I have several different people reading a script, one line after the other. For example,

Line 1 - Actor A
Line 2 - Actor B
Line 3 - Actor C
Line 4 - Actor A
Line 5 - Actor B
etc

The actors were all recorded at different times, places, etc. They're tonal quality sounds fine. But their input levels vary.

Actor A is generally at a "good" level.
Actor B is generally at a quiet level.
Actor C has a lot of range, basically gets loud like Actor A, and quiet like Actor B.

I am applying compression to the single audio track. But, since the dynamics are so different between the 3 actors, I'm not getting the results I want.

I want all the levels to feel like they match one another. It's fine if there are quieter parts (e.g., when they whisper), but I want their general speech to be at the same general level.

Is this a job for compression, or do situations like this first require Clip Gain adjustments, then followed by compression?
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Compression Tip: General Leveling vs Raising Very Quiet Parts

Sounds to me like you're trying to smash three birds with one stone or whatever it's called…
Compressor to level everything will prove difficult.

My first instinct would be to cut up the audio (if it's one clip) maybe by using "Strip silence", then duplicate the track so you have three identical, then mute or delete clips so you have one track for each actor.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Compression Tip: General Leveling vs Raising Very Quiet Parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgiannis View Post
or do situations like this first require Clip Gain adjustments, then followed by compression?
yes. It's called work for a reason.

or you could try this.

https://www.waves.com/plugins/vocal-...th-vocal-rider
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Compression Tip: General Leveling vs Raising Very Quiet Parts

Would Audiosuite Normalize work? Maybe Audiosuite Gain individual clips first then consolidate and normalize. Just a thought.
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:49 PM
jgiannis jgiannis is offline
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Default Re: Compression Tip: General Leveling vs Raising Very Quiet Parts

These are all good suggestions. I ended up using Vocal Rider. I don't have the best settings for it (the fader was moving even in places that I didn't want it to), but even so it helped a lot.

That was followed by a compressor, then limiter.

Normalizing each individual clip would also be a good idea (I think), except that I don't want to do a destructive edit. Of course I could make an alternate playlist of just the normalized clips, but it starts getting sloppy, and I prefer to keep it simple and neat. Also, normalizing on Actor C (wide dynamics) wouldn't be as beneficial as on Actor's A and B (both with steady dynamics). But I might still give this a try next time.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Compression Tip: General Leveling vs Raising Very Quiet Parts

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Originally Posted by jgiannis View Post
Vocal Rider followed by a compressor, then limiter
Are you sure you need a compressor there? VR is kind of compressor in itself, the track might sound more natural with only VR+limiter. Just a suggestion...
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:21 PM
jgiannis jgiannis is offline
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Default Re: Compression Tip: General Leveling vs Raising Very Quiet Parts

I am trying to set VR in such a way that it performs automatic Clip Gain control. In other words, if all of the actors performed and recorded at the same level, then I would omit VR from the chain. But since that's not the case, VR (or similar) is needed. Ideally, those actors which already had good levels wouldn't be affected by VR. I could avoid all of this automation and do it the manual (and "correct") way, but that requires more time and effort. The point of all of this is to see if tech can save me time and effort.

I could alternatively use Clip Gain, clip-by-clip, to try to adjust all actors to the same level, but again, this requires more time than I can spare.

Once all actors are at the same level, then I can proceed with my usual compression settings.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Compression Tip: General Leveling vs Raising Very Quiet Parts

If you started by separating the three actors to be on separate tracks when you started this thread, I think you'd be done by now, and you'd have much more flexibility in processing them individually. I think you're approaching this the wrong way. At least for quality. Smashing birds with one stone...
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Old 11-04-2017, 07:55 AM
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Default Re: Compression Tip: General Leveling vs Raising Very Quiet Parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
If you started by separating the three actors to be on separate tracks when you started this thread, I think you'd be done by now ...
Yes !!!
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