5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 26, 2014 4:51 AM by rhythmo

    Does PE 13 add some sort of audio compressor/limiter to narration files?

    rhythmo

      Hi,

       

      I've been using PE13 in my home studio on my Mac and it's been working great.

       

      I recently recommended at my day job that they buy PE13, which they did on the Windows platform.

       

      Today (using it for the first time) I attempted to record some narration, using a Shure SM-58 mic with a Shure XLR-USB converter going into the USB port on the laptop.

       

      Each bit of narration seemed to have a compressor/limiter on it, i.e., the beginning of the raw narration track would be very loud with distorted room noise, which would drop out when the voice came in (though the voice is unusable because there is a slight overlap between the room noise and voice), as if the mic input was automatically pushed way up when there is only room tone and quickly dropped way down when a voice near the mic started speaking.

       

      I looked all through PE13 but couldn't find such a setting. I never had this kind of issue using PE13 on my mac.

      Any thoughts? I really hope there is some kind of compressor/limiter turned on that I can simply shut off (though for the life of me I can't figure out where in the program that lives).

       

      Thanks,

       

      Erik

        • 1. Re: Does PE 13 add some sort of audio compressor/limiter to narration files?
          A.T. Romano Level 7

          Erik

           

          I am not sure if I have targeted your question on this one, but please look into the Narration Tool dialog's setting for "Mic Sensitivity".

          "Mic Sensitivity" is seen at the default level in the following Premiere Elements 13 Narration Tool dialog. Please move the "Mic Sensitivity" slider all the way to the left. Determine if that makes a difference in the outcome for the narration clip produced.

           

          Narration13.JPG

           

          ATR

          • 2. Re: Does PE 13 add some sort of audio compressor/limiter to narration files?
            rhythmo Level 1

            Hi ATR,

             

            Thanks for your input. I am not at work again till January 7th so can't try this till then, but I will. I will play with it here to see if I can recreate the problem on my mac, though I didn't have the problem when I did my last project here.

             

            I did play with Mic Sensitivity when I was recording the narration at work, but I don't think I tried pulling it all the way down. I will say that if this is the solution, this feature has been very poorly named by Adobe. "Track Sensitivity" or "Input Sensitivity" would make much more sense, because an adjustment like this is not affecting the mic itself, it is affecting the input level on the track on which the audio signal that comes out of the mic is recorded.

             

            Just to be clear that you know what I meant when I referenced a compressor/limiter (sorry if this is obvious or redundant), this is something that adjusts an input level based on the amount of signal it gets. So when an audio compressor is used on a specific track, it tells the input level to fluctuate based on the amount of signal coming in. It "opens" when there is not much signal (resulting in a lot of room tone if in my case) and closes (lowers) quite a bit when the signal is stronger. While this was disastrous on my narration track (assuming it was indeed my problem), it has other uses - for instance radio stations compress the music they play so that all the songs come out at the same level (killing dynamics, of course).

             

            Thanks again and please let me know if you have any other thoughts on all this with my more detailed explanation.

             

            Happy holidays!

             

            best,

             

            Erik

            • 3. Re: Does PE 13 add some sort of audio compressor/limiter to narration files?
              rhythmo Level 1

              Hi Again,

               

              I was looking through the manual and found this:

               

              "Adjust the input level of clips

               

              If the original volume of the clip is too high or low, change the input level, or gain, before adjusting to the output levels. However, if the level of source audio was set too low when it was recorded, increasing the gain amplifies noise. For best results, record audio at a high volume level that is not so high as to cause distortion. Without adjustment, well-recorded audio peaks between 0 dB and -6 dB in the Audio Meters panel. Recording audio above 0-dB results in clipping.

               

              • In the Expert view timeline, select the clip. To work with multiple clips, do one of the following:
                • To select non-consecutive clips, Ctrl-click/Cmd-click each clip.
                • To select consecutive clips, click in the Project Assets panel and drag a marquee around the selected clips.
                • To select all the clips, press Ctrl-A/Cmd-A.
              • Select Clip > Audio Options > Audio Gain.
              • Do one of the following:
                • Click the zero value and type gain value (0 dB equals the clip’s original gain).
                • Click Normalize to automatically boost gain where it’s too quiet or reduce gain where it’s too loud. Premiere Elements displays the amount required to reach maximum gain without clipping."

                 

              Could that last line (which I bolded for emphasis) be the problem? I don't want PE 13 to do anything automatically to my audio. I don't remember clicking "normalize", but perhaps it was somehow inadvertently turned on? If so, will deselecting this fix the problem for the narration I already recorded or is it too late (i.e. was it recorded that way)?


              Thanks and best,


              Erik

              • 4. Re: Does PE 13 add some sort of audio compressor/limiter to narration files?
                A.T. Romano Level 7

                Erik

                 

                Thanks for the additional information.

                 

                I would go after the Mic Sensitivity slider setting in the Narration Tool dialog...moving it all the way to the left in setting up the Narration Tool dialog for use.

                It is my understanding that "Mic Sensitivity" is a gain adjust.

                 

                You should also explore as you suggested...

                • Click Normalize to automatically boost gain where it’s too quiet or reduce gain where it’s too loud. Premiere Elements displays the amount required to reach maximum gain without clipping."

                in order to rule it in or out. As you can tell, right now I am favoring the Mic Sensitivity setting in the Narration Tool dialog.

                 

                In my Premiere Elements 13 on Windows 8.1 64 bit (comes with a microphone built into the monitor), I cannot use the default of the Mic Sensitivity of the Narration Tool dialog - the clipping and noises are unbelievable. The solution that I found was to take the Mic Sensitivity all the way down by moving its slider all the way to the left. In Premiere Elements 13 Windows 7 64 bit (desktop microphone that plugs into a computer jack), lesser problem in this regard but still a problem unless I move the Mic Sensitivity to the left away from its default setting.

                 

                Looking forward to your results.

                 

                Best wishes

                 

                ATR

                • 5. Re: Does PE 13 add some sort of audio compressor/limiter to narration files?
                  rhythmo Level 1

                  Thanks, Atr. I will let you know as soon as I am back at work (Jan 7th). Hopefully one of the two solutions will fix the problem. I hope that it's possible to use the narration I already recorded, but if not, doing it again is not such a big deal.

                   

                  best,

                   

                  Erik