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Windows 7 loudness equalization

May 1, 2013 4:23 AM

Windows 7 loudness equalization makes audio louder or softer than it really is.


This can cause problems in Premiere when you want to know how loud or soft the audio really is.


Is there a way to turn off Windows 7 loudness equalization just in Premiere? I dont want to turn if off for everything. Just Premiere.

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    May 1, 2013 4:31 AM   in reply to ironmanjakarta1


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    May 1, 2013 6:28 AM   in reply to ironmanjakarta1

    All I can tell you is that you should be editing with your eyes and not your ears when it comes to volume. It is extreme;ly difficult for me to adjust my speakers the same exact way every time. However, it is extremely easy to watch the audio mixer to ensure that my volume seldom exceeds -6dB.


    Now, that said, once I verify the peaks do not hit the red and generally hover around -6dB, I sit and listen with my eyes closed, setting the speakers to be low, but comfortable. If I have trouble hearing something, I go back in and visually check the levels. If something sounds too loud, once again, I visually check the levels in the mixer.


    That way, I can listen on speakers, on headphones, on my television, you name it.


    In fact, the way I decided on -6dB is that I compared volume on my television between the intro to my favorite show at the time and my recording of the same song off of iTunes placed into a video for comparison purposes only. It took a few tries but I got it the way I want it and I have been using -6dB since I started using Premiere in 2001.


    I found out years later that different cable companies have different volume settings but it hasn't seemed to make a difference. Nowadays, I suppose I would just do the same thing with a professionally produced sound track from Sony Pictures or some other studio available on their web site or YouTube.

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    May 1, 2013 6:45 AM   in reply to Steven L. Gotz

    OK, rather than edit, I chose to reply so that it would be a separate email to the OP.


    I just used "YouTube Downloader HD" to download a movie trailer for what looks to be a very cool movie. I dropped it on a timeline and verified that yes, minus -6dB is still valid. I played it in the timeline watching that the loudest parts never exceeded -6dB by any significant amout. Towards the end of the clip it gets a little louder and that is the best place to watch the meters.


    I played a little of it on YouTube and then a little in Premiere Pro CS6. As far as I can tell, they are identical.


    There are official looking web sites that tell you to use -6dB but this method lets you prove it to yourself.


    My point? Trust your meters not your ears when it comes to the peaks and everage volume.


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    May 1, 2013 6:47 AM   in reply to Steven L. Gotz

    I must disagree with Steven here, a calibrated speaker setup is a must if the film is not going to sound post. I mix by what I hear and just occasional glance at the meters but the electrical level and speaker loudness must be consistent. In answering the original question why would you want any sort of automatic level control on your pro editing computer.

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    May 1, 2013 6:59 AM   in reply to Richard M Knight

    Richard, the fact that you are obviously correct is not generally relevant to the overwhelming majority of Premiere Pro users.


    We don't send our videos to post. We send them to the mother and father of the bride and groom. We send them to the corporate boardroom and training facilities. We send them to YouTube and Vimeo and post them on our web sites.


    I am not making television commercials, shows or feature films. Most of us aren't. We may very well wish we were....


    For anyone who is using Premiere Pro to make theatrical releases or television shows, I have to assume that calibrated audio, and monitors and probably the best computers available are what they use. And those people? Those people generally don't ask questions about how to turn off a feature in Windows 7.


    I could be wrong, but I am generally pretty good at understanding what the real question is, and why it is being asked. What they really want to know, or need to know. A lot of people have trouble understanding what they should ask.


    Perhaps the OP will return and tell us if I hit the nail on the head, or not..


    Edit: Ah, I see the OP returned. My recommendation is to leave the loudness turned off and play your music through a software audio equalizer that is part of many players.

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    May 1, 2013 7:05 AM   in reply to ironmanjakarta1

    I like loudness equalization when listening to music


    You can often do that in the player itself, rather than in the OS.  Here's what I consider the best music player out there, which can do this.


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    May 1, 2013 7:43 AM   in reply to ironmanjakarta1

    Please try playing the same audio through a recent version of Adobe Audition and see if it has the same issue.  When using the newer Windows API's the application (i.e. Audition) can tell Windows to not do any additional processing on the audio coming from that application.  Premiere is using older APIs and so it would be a nice request for Premiere to modernize its audio backend on Windows.


    More preferebly, if you're on Windows, try using a device that supports ASIO drivers (usually prosumer or professional audio hardware) as that doesn't go through the Windows' sound stack.

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