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  #1  
Old 11-30-2022, 01:27 PM
spustatu spustatu is offline
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Default Inserts and Audiosuite Gain Analyzing

Hello everyone,

I am very much a beginner, I'm afraid. I have a feeling that my question should make immediate sense, but I am lacking in important information about how Pro Tools works, so I have to ask you much smarter people. I am trying to master recording my wife makes in Pro Tools for Audible's ACX program. I've found the Audiosuite Gain analyzer useful for identifying the various levels I need to hit, but as far as I can tell, the analyzer doesn't take into account any compression I've added, let alone other plugins, when making its analysis. I'm sure there's a better way to do this, but I will end up commiting my inserts, then analyzing and if I need to make changes, I'll undo the commit, make changes, re-commit, and re-analyze. Why is this necessary and is there a better workflow?

I appreciate your help. I'm taking a lot of flack for being so slow to figure all of this out because I'm supposed to be "the techy one". I also worked in broadcasting for 7 years, but never did any post work. I was mostly a camera/graphics op, but I did enjoy the opportunities I had to mix audio. So of course I should know exactly how to do all of this! If only it worked that way...

Thanks
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Old 11-30-2022, 02:01 PM
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Ben Jenssen Ben Jenssen is offline
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Default Re: Inserts and Audiosuite Gain Analyzing

The quick and easy answer, I think is; google "free metering plugins" find one that's AAX and does what you need, and put it on your master output fader.
Of course, it will be realtime, and not analyse your whole file, but put a limiter before it, and you'll be getting somewhere, I think.
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2022, 04:31 PM
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Bob L Bob L is offline
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Default Re: Inserts and Audiosuite Gain Analyzing

Quote:
Originally Posted by spustatu View Post
Hello everyone,

I am very much a beginner, I'm afraid. I have a feeling that my question should make immediate sense, but I am lacking in important information about how Pro Tools works, so I have to ask you much smarter people. I am trying to master recording my wife makes in Pro Tools for Audible's ACX program. I've found the Audiosuite Gain analyzer useful for identifying the various levels I need to hit, but as far as I can tell, the analyzer doesn't take into account any compression I've added, let alone other plugins, when making its analysis. I'm sure there's a better way to do this, but I will end up commiting my inserts, then analyzing and if I need to make changes, I'll undo the commit, make changes, re-commit, and re-analyze. Why is this necessary and is there a better workflow?

I appreciate your help. I'm taking a lot of flack for being so slow to figure all of this out because I'm supposed to be "the techy one". I also worked in broadcasting for 7 years, but never did any post work. I was mostly a camera/graphics op, but I did enjoy the opportunities I had to mix audio. So of course I should know exactly how to do all of this! If only it worked that way...

Thanks
The reason for the commit / uncommit is that the analyzer is analyzing the fie, not the signal path. There are other plugins to analyze your levels, but not free ones. Pro Limiter is one, and you may have that if you're subscribing or on the Update and Support Plan and current.

Ben's suggestion isn't wrong, but requires the file to be played in real time. I'm assuming that you want to stick with offline analysis.
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Old 12-01-2022, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Inserts and Audiosuite Gain Analyzing

Another option that may work for you: commit or bounce the file and import to Audacity(free) which has an ACX analyzer built in. You could quickly adjust the level in Audacity and export at the desired level.
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Old 12-01-2022, 09:44 AM
spustatu spustatu is offline
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Default Re: Inserts and Audiosuite Gain Analyzing

Thanks very much, everyone. I think I will try looking for a good metering plug-in, but it seems like what I've got going right now is maybe not as stupid as I thought. I think I even understand why commits are necessary. I appreciate your assistance very much.
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Old 12-01-2022, 02:00 PM
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nednednerb nednednerb is offline
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Default Re: Inserts and Audiosuite Gain Analyzing

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Originally Posted by spustatu View Post
Thanks very much, everyone. I think I will try looking for a good metering plug-in, but it seems like what I've got going right now is maybe not as stupid as I thought. I think I even understand why commits are necessary. I appreciate your assistance very much.
If you are finding that analyzed levels, and "rendered" or "committed" levels might have to be changed many times, and there IS processing like EQ, reverb, or anything, what Bob L said about "signal path" is super relevant. Changing the gain of a file on the track (that file is called a "clip" in PT terminology, goes for MIDI clips too), happens BEFORE the audio signal gets to the EQ or Reverb plug-in. So the level can be different after final export.

Another thing that might be relevant is "loudness" is related as well as distinct from "RMS" or "peak" metering. Any standard 16 bit 48 kHz wave file for example, has a maximum level of 0.0 dBFS (decibel Full Scale). Imagine every sine wave at "max" amplitude, instead of sound that makes sense, your speakers would be damaged, and the digital file would look like a square wave reaching the very top and bottom of "Full Scale".

Obviously, this kind of volume level is what we hear when our equipment is "angry" for whatever reason, half disconnected cables and so on, but this 0.0 dBFS also gives an insight into the different Gain Analyzer readings.

RMS and Peak are two kinds of analysis. Loudness is more like RMS but a bit different. One important consideration, the peak is momentary or very short term and the RMS is over a longer time period. Loudness is supposed to be more like "how loud it sounds to your ears" which is perhaps a helpful real time metering solution like Ben Jenssen describes.

In a basic sense, perceived loudness is a consequence of varying signal peaks and continuous signals over time. That is, a momentary peak might or might not seem "much louder" when in fact it is much more powerful but just for a moment. In other contexts, a continuous sine wave sustained will be much more present to perception than those momentary peaks were.

Altogether these things lead to "listener fatigue" or "interesting dynamics" and so on. "Being loud enough" is something that might be a standardized level, but the platforms for streaming vary on the numbers. I go with Audio Engineering Society loudness spec guidelines.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2022, 01:27 PM
originalscottyg originalscottyg is offline
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Default Re: Inserts and Audiosuite Gain Analyzing

I'm not very familiar with ACX specs, but YouLean is a great meter plugin with a free version that's worth checking out to see if it does what you need.

https://youlean.co

EDIT: Youlean does not have ACX analysis and targets built-in. But it still may be a good free plugin to get to get used to using metering while you mix and process. I would suggest following others' advice and trying the free Audacity program and use their built-in ACX analyzer. Once you get a file that meets ACX in Audacity, you can load analyze that file with Youlean and get a feel fro what reading on that meter are closest to ACX. Then when you are producing and mixing in Pro Tools you can keep an eye on Youlean to get yourself as close as possible to ACX before outputting to Audacity for final leveling. If you can get really close to ACX spec by looking at Youlean in Pro Tools, it will cut down on the number of round-trips you need to make between Pro Tools and Audacity.

Or you could just do everything in Audacity, if that program works for you.
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