14 Replies Latest reply on Sep 3, 2013 8:42 AM by Jim_Simon

    Audio Output Level

    jabra27 Level 1

      Hi all.


      Running Production Premium CS6.


      Here's the issue. When I do a project (dance recital), the end product is extremely loud. I'll run you through the steps, bare with me.


      1. Edit project in Premier Pro, make no changes to the audio other than reduce the level when needed to stay out of the red (under 0dB).

      2. Export to Encore, build DVD with no changes to audio.

      3. Burn DVD


      Simple workflow, but here's where the problem is.


      1. Turn on T.V.  Volume is set to 30, which is normal for any station I watch.

      2. Turn on DVD player, change T.V. to DVD input, all settings are the same for both inputs.

      3. Insert any other DVD, (Lord of the Rings, Matrix, Superman, etc...) and play, the sound is equal to the sound while watching T.V.

      4. Insert my DVD and play. The volume is LOUD. I have to turn the T.V. down to 10-12 to match the sound of all the other DVD's or T.V.


      What am I doing wrong? Why are my DVD's so much louder than everything else?



        • 1. Re: Audio Output Level
          streamthis Level 1

          Don't know if this addresses your issue, but I generally run levels in PP that just touch the yellow, giving me plenty of headroom.  Anywhere near red is too close and risks distortion.

          • 2. Re: Audio Output Level
            jabra27 Level 1

            I haven't had any distortion issues. In audio recording, which is where I began my schooling, your goal is to be as close to the max without peaking.(going red) So I don't understand why my levels are so high compared to the mainstream items.


            Thanks for the info though.

            • 3. Re: Audio Output Level
              streamthis Level 1

              Audio in a tight dynamic range and levels consistently approaching 0db will sound louder than a movie.

              • 4. Re: Audio Output Level
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                Set your Master to -15 once you're done editing.  This will put the volume on par with other DVDs.

                • 5. Re: Audio Output Level
                  jabra27 Level 1

                  A simple fix/solution. Thank you Jim.

                  • 6. Re: Audio Output Level
                    Cavemandude Level 1

                    Actually, -12dB would be more accurate than -15dB. I have tested this thoroughly with DVD recorders using Firewire out from Premiere, DVD players with Encore authored DVD's and calibrated analog audio meters connected to the analog outputs of these recorders and players.

                    • 7. Re: Audio Output Level
                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                      My tests were a lot simpler.  I play several Hollywood disks, and see where the volume on my receiver ends up for comfortable listening.  Usually around -20.


                      To get the same relative volume from my own productions, assuming they peak at 0dB in the PP meters, I have to go to -15 on the Master.  -12 is still louder than my commercial disks when the receiver's volume is set to that -20 standard.

                      • 8. Re: Audio Output Level
                        Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I know the OP is on CS6 but the new Loudness radar in Premiere CC will help with matching loudness.

                        • 9. Re: Audio Output Level
                          Cavemandude Level 1

                          I don't do subjective testing by simply listening without measuring and I'm not sure how you can accurately measure DVD audio with audio receiver that has audio meters that can't be calibrated.


                          With my method, I can have constant measurement of audio levels from Premiere when editing and my DVD recorder since I'm using a Firewire connection from my PC and Premiere to the DVD recorder and the external audio meters are connected to the DVD recorder's audio outputs. Nothing complicated about this setup.


                          I went a step further in verifying my results by checking the levels of my audio meters with the Bars and Tone that you can generate in Premiere which produce an audio level of -12dB on the audio meters in Premiere. Playing that from Premiere out Firewire to my DVD recorder then to the audio meters shows the level at 0dB on those meters.


                          So why would Adobe make the reference tone level for the Bars and Tone that is generated in Premiere at -12dB instead of -15dB? Because -12db equates to 0dB in the analog world and -15dB is -3dB.


                          You do realize that some commercial DVD's like "Avatar" go way above 0dB (more like 9dB for peaks) for extended dynamic range don't you? Now the "Star Wars - The Phantom Menace" DVD uses a 0dB peak, also "Planet of the Apes" with Mark Wahlberg is at 0dB, of course these are both THX approved movies and Avatar isn't.

                          • 10. Re: Audio Output Level
                            Jim_Simon Level 8

                            I'm not sure how you can accurately measure DVD audio with audio receiver that has audio meters that can't be calibrated.


                            It wasn't really meant to be an 'accurate measure'.  I just wanted my DVDs to come out so I could set my receiver's volume at the same level I normally do for a commercial DVD.  That worked out to be -15 on the Master in PP.  -12 wasn't quite enough.


                            Of course, I now do use the Loudness Meter in CC for this.  Very nice new feature, using Loudness rather than signal peaks.

                            • 11. Re: Audio Output Level
                              Cavemandude Level 1

                              I'm glad you agree that what you are doing is not an accurate measure. Why use calibrated audio meters, waveforms and vectorscopes anyways, right? Just using a random commercial DVD to base all your levels from doesn't make much sense either.


                              Not all commercial DVD's have the same peak level so your comparison is based solely on the specific DVD you chose and not on any standard reference. If you had used the "Avatar" DVD for the compassion you would have been recommending -6dB instead of -15dB.

                              • 12. Re: Audio Output Level
                                Jim_Simon Level 8

                                It's based on an average for many DVDs and Blu-rays.  There is variation, of course, but -20 on the receiver is usually where I end up with most movies, so I wanted my levels to be comfortable at that receiver setting. -12 on the Master didn't get me there, -15 did, hence the earlier recommendation.


                                You also have to account for the limited dynamic range of my productions compared to that of a typical movie.  My 'dialog' levels will be hotter than what you'd see on a typical movie, much closer to the peak signal level, so to keep them in line with the volume of dialog on Hollywood disks, I needed to go lower in the Master.

                                • 13. Re: Audio Output Level
                                  Cavemandude Level 1

                                  I've never been talking about "perceived" loudness. Commercial movie DVD's have way too much dynamic range to do any kind of perceived loudness comparisons with Premiere produced DVD's with limited dynamic range. It can vary from DVD to DVD depending how dynamic filters are used in Premiere/Audition. This is why I use THX approved movies to do the "peak" comparison since those have a 0dB peak even with all that dynamic range. So your DVD's will peak at -3dB when using a -15dB peak in Premiere and mine will peak at 0dB when using -12dB. I simply prefer a 0dB peak and not a -3dB peak.

                                  • 14. Re: Audio Output Level
                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                    I've never been talking about "perceived" loudness.


                                    See, I have.  My clients don't much care about the technical details.  All they know is that my DVD comes out louder than their Hollywood DVDs.  They have to turn their TV volume down.  So, I compensated appropriately.  Now they can set roughly the same volume level for all their DVDs.


                                    Of course, the new Loudness Meter makes that even easier.