Instead of trusting your ear, watch the meters on the Audio Mixer.
Keep your narration peaking at zero and tune your other audio to about -12.
One little tip when you are making your test DVD's is to use DVD RW's, so you don't make "coasters." One pack of five will last for years, as you can reuse these. Now, I use RW media only for testing purposes and deliver on either T-Y or Verbatim media. You can also Burn to a folder on your hard drive, and play this back in a software DVD player, before you commit to a disc.
As an additional test, use Volume Keyframing to lower your "soundtrack" Audio, instead of the Audio Mixer. Leave Audio Mixer Volumes constant in this test.
I use the Audio Mixer in Premiere Pro for most of my Audio work, so I am not sure of the particular ins-and-outs of the one in PE.
I also edit only with good headphones, and do just as Steve G. suggests. First, I listen carefully, then run it all back through the system, with eyes focused on the meters, as a check.
In about 200 Projects, I have never encountered a difference between what I am hearing/seeing in Preview, and a burned DVD. Adobe products have always given me a Burn, that matches my Project's.
My guess is that the Narration Track has been accidently attenuated at some point in your workflow.
Bill and Steve,
Thanks so much for the reply. In regard to your suggestions, though, I do have the narration level at 0 and the soundtrack running about -12 or so. I did use the mixer on the soundtrack, but no levels adjustment was done to the narration track. On playback the levels indicators are showing what I would expect them to show.
My microphone is adequate, and checks out fine in multiple programs, including elements. I listened to the project playback on both headphones and the desktop speakers with no difference noticed in either mode. The audio sounds great, except on the burned discs.
I am running 64 bit Vista----and I know technically premiere isn't supported. But everything else I have been able to work through except for this.
Any other thoughts?
It could be that there is a problem with that particular track.
Do you get the same results if you drag the narration clip to another audio track?
I didn't think about trying that, but I will give it a go after I figure out how to do it. Thanks.
I started to mess around with dragging the the narration to another track, but it started to change the timing on the titles. Since I have two more discs to do of the 3 disc set, I started on disc 2 with just the video, titles, and narration----but no soundtrack.
Once again, the levels looked good, etc., but when I burned to a disc the volume was way, way low.
The difficulty is if I can't tell what is happening with the volumes in the project because it plays normally through both the headphones and desktop speakers. There is no way to reference it before burning if it sounds right and the levels look good, etc. It isn't just a matter of turning the volumes up or down while playing through the computer, because the soundtrack and music on the menu page play at normal levels, and the narration seems in line with those volumes (other than slight adjustments down on the soundtrack in the first disc) during preview.
I will call tech support in the morning when they open up and see if they can help. But that can be frustrating because it always seems to come down to "do you have updated drivers"....etc etc. and I have been down that path before.
I'm not sure how moving just the Narration to another Track would be messing up the timing of the Titles, as you are keeping the same Audio source material, in the same timing, just moving it up/down a Track. Is your Narration one long Clip, or multiple, shorter ones?
One workaround that you could try would be to take your Narration Clip(s) into Audacity (or similar Audio editing program) and give it a +3db boost (might have to experiment with this a bit), and then Save_As [Filename]_boost.WAV. Replace your original Narration Track material with this/these, and test.
One question: you've Burned to a physical DVD, where you encounter this one Track's volume being down. Does the same exact thing happen, if you "Burn to a Folder" and play that through a sofware player, like CyberLink Power DVD?
Another question: what is the runtime of your Project, and what settings are you using, when you Burn to DVD? Are you choosing PCM/WAV, or AC3 (Dolby Digital) for the Audio setting on your DVD? Though I find it odd that the Narration Track should get singled out, the total bit-rate for the Transcode IS the combo of Video and Audio. I'm just wondering if you are near the max bit-rate, and PE is somehow getting to the Transcode of this one Track late in the game, and having to drop its level down to fit it into the combined bit-rate. I cannot imagine that happening, but am at a loss to explain what you are encountering and just clutching at straws here.
Last question: could it be possible that you have somehow added Keyframes to the Narration Track? Do not remember what the View setting needs to be in PE to see Track Keyframing, but it might be worth a look. Still, if it sounds right when you Preview, it *should* translate fine to the final output - a big puzzle.
Anyway, good luck, as Monday is here for most of the world,
I just had another thought, Rick.
Have a good, close look at your audio clip from your narration. It's very possible that it was recorded as either left track or right track only rather than stereo. You might not notice this when you play it on your computer -- but on your DVD this track would sound much weaker.
To remedy this, go to Edit/Effects and select Audio Effects and try the Fill Left or Fill Right effect. This will copy your one channel audio across both channels, and it should sound immediately richer.
Thanks once again, Steve and Bill, for taking the time to revivew this issue. I got on with tech support this morning and they were kind of stumped on this one. They had me start a new project and drag in some of the video and chop it down to about a minute. Then I moved some of the soundtrack music in and chopped that down to match. Then I did a little narration and burned a disc successfully. So it looks like the capability is there at least.
Then he had me export the audio file from the problem project to an MPEG file. Then I cleared both the audio tracks (soundtrack and narration)leaving only the video and titles and menu----and saved it as a new project. He then had me drag that MPEG audio track onto audio one, and bailed out while I burned to disc. Same result.
Last night I pretty much did the same test by starting the second disc, adding titles, then doing narration only. Same result. The way I started the second disc though was to clear the audio and video off my first project, keeping only the home menu page because it had custom stuff on it, then saving as disc 2. Is it possible that the menu is the problem somehow? That was the only thing common with the first project. Or maybe the save as dragged in the error that is embedded somewhere I would not be able to notice. I tried to figure out how to delete the menu completly and try a disc burn to see if that was it, but couldn't even work that out-----I finally had to go to work.
To answer some of the questions: I looked carefully at the narration track, and it shows activity both above and below the mid-line. The track properties show stereo also. I think that if it was only on a left or right channel it would be noticible in the headset----but in any event the short test project seemed to work with the setup used in my problem projects. In regard to keyframes, the only keyframes are in the soundtrack----the narration track is virgin. I would try the fill right or left, but under the circumstances I am not sure which one to select.
As far as the burn disc settins for audio, I only see 4 presets availiable, and NTSC_dolbydvd is selected.
I would love to post a screen shot showing the audio track levels, etc. but I guess that is not possible in this forum.
I will try burning to a folder and playing on a third party player after I post this update. I'm starting to think that I need to start all over, the thought of which makes me crazy after all the hours I have put into this so far.
Any more feedback of course very welcome.
I just finished burning to a folder and playing on CyberLink Power DVD and had the same low narration result.
Just one more question, Rick.
When you added the narration, did you add it in Premiere Elements?
I need to confirm this because, if you created a slideshow in Photoshop Elements and added your narration there and imported your slideshow into Premiere Elements, things are going to behave a little differently.
Hi Steve. The narration was added in PE. I posted the screen shot to a photo sharing gallery of mine. You can see the expanded tracks and mixer levels.
As a test (don't think we've done this one yet), go to Timeline>Add Tracks, and type in a "0" (zero) for Video Track, but leave the "1" (one) for Audio Tracks, and allow the default, "Below last Track."
Drag your Narration to this new Audio Track, preview the new arrangement for Volume levels and burn a test DVD RW. To see if things change. This will eliminate any Track Keyframes, that might be affecting the Narration Track, though those *should be* audible when you Preview.
I cannot imagine how a Menu might mess things up with just the Narration Track. Only limitation that I know of with the SonicAuthorcore (the DVD authoring engine in Adobe products), is that if a Menu has Audio, the type must match that of any Button Transitions with Audio. Since PE doesn't allow Button Transitions (to my knowledge), that should NOT come into play.
I looked around for "Render & Replace," a function in Premiere Pro, that will allow one to output just a single Track to WAV Audio, to be edited in an Audio Editor. I was going to have you do that, and then to examine the resulting Audio file in Audacity. Maybe Steve, or others, can tell me if Render & Replace exists (and I just could not find it), or not. I do not know of another way to Export just one Audio Track from PE to get an Audio file to look at.
Also, like Steve, I am curious how you did the Narration, i.e. in which program and how you got it into PE.
Not sure where you guys live----but you sure are up early if you are near the US Pacific time zone!
I'm in Wisconsin and Hunt is in Arizona -- but we do get up early so we can hit the Adobe and http://muvipix.com/phpBB3/ boards before going to work!
Otherwise, I'm stumped, Rick. Your screen cap seems to show everything as it should be.
Other than making sure you have the latest RealTek drivers (from the RealTek site) I'm not sure what else to recommend.
Bill and Steve,
I finally just re-did the whole project. I have finished disc 2----1 left to go. So far so good. Whatever bug was in there that defined identification is not appearing in the new work.
Thanks again for the input and the time you took to respond.
Glad you're finding success, Rick!
Good luck with your last disc Rick,
If you ever do get it nailed down, please post to this thread, as it will possibly help someone else in time. Also, I would be very curious, as to what the cause is for this problem. Right now, it's like reading one of the middle books in the "Sherlock Holmes" series, and having the last four pages missing. You know that Holmes survives, because there are more books in the series, but you don't know what Holmes did to survive...
Thanks for your patience and playing "20 Questions," with us.
I had the same problem with a project I just finished.
I didn't use the "Add Narration" feature, but rather I just recorded the narration audio straight from my DV camera as a video/audio clip -- then deleted the video. I dragged the audio portion onto the Narration track, and finished up the project.
When I exported to a DVD folder and played with CyberLink (and VLC), the narration audio was very quiet, but the soundtrack was normal volume. Definitely different than it sounded played from within PE.
I just took my narration audio and moved it to the empty "Audio 1" track. After doing this and re-burning, it sounds perfect.
I had not created a DVD menu, or done anything fancy at all. Just 3 minutes of video, some text overlays, soundtrack, and narration.
I can't imagine why this would be desirable behavior, so it must be a bug, right?
Eric, it seems that if Adobe was going to handle the volume for you, that they would make the narration track the loudest.
I agree with you, as that would be the most obvious setup. Since there have been several threads similar to this one, I wonder if the coders just got it backwards?
I find it odd that the combined Audio would sound good in PE, but not once burned. I can see how one could accidently grab and move the Audio Volume band (I know I've done that in PrPro), but then the levels are off in preview, and do not change with the Burn.
Odd behavior indeed.
I have just read the whole thread as I have the same prob.
Sound is perfect on project but too low when i burn. It is passable when I turn volume up really high on TV so hopefully it will be OK.
I did have a few "debug event" and "error encountered" messages pop up in the last stages so something must have gone wrong, but I am just over it!!
I did notice that the indicator lights did not match the slider level? Oh well.
After burning also, only 2/3 of the disc is used to burn a 50 minute project. Should it not be burnt to fit disc, but it was 16x? I am about to try slower burn.
Sorry should have started my own thread!
I'd definitely recommend starting your own thread with this topic, mejan.