5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 13, 2012 8:55 AM by AtonMusic

    good levels for spoken word?

    media kat Level 1

      Is there a general guideline for where levels should be for spoken word?

        • 1. Re: good levels for spoken word?
          shooternz Level 6

          Yep

           

          Shouting is loud, whispering is quiet and normal speaking is in between.

           

          The levels are set ( correctly hopefully) in the audio recording device and the levels are mixed and balanced  ( correctly hopefully) in the audio suite.

           

          Its not a "magic bullet" number and it has a lot to do with avoiding distortion at theh igh end or audio "noise" issues at the low end.

           

          "It's complicated ...is audio!"

          • 2. Re: good levels for spoken word?
            Stephen_Spider Level 3

            I've found that targeting -12dB to -10dB in recording gives plenty of headroom during aquisition and plenty of level for editing.

             

            Your final levels depend on distribution targets, and broadcaster standards, which all vary.

            • 3. Re: good levels for spoken word?
              Jon-M-Spear Level 4

              ...Peaking at -6dB.

              • 4. Re: good levels for spoken word?
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                The short answer is no, there is no one "general" guideline on this one.

                • 5. Re: good levels for spoken word?
                  AtonMusic Level 2

                  Jim Simon wrote:

                   

                  The short answer is no, there is no one "general" guideline on this one.

                  Good answer...

                   

                  To shooternz.... You can make a whisper as loud as a scream LEVEL WISE.... So they might both PEAK at -3db but the scream will still sound (RMS) MUCH louder than the whisper.

                   

                  To OP... The most importing thing is to get the relationships between the audio events to blend in with each other. What I mean by that is, if you have a car dialog and are working with Foley talent

                  you might want to make sure that the spoken word mixes (blends) in with the environment they are supposed to be in... CLose your eyes and listen to background noise of the engine and the tooting car horns outside,

                  then up the gain on the spoken words until you find that they blend in nicely witht the whole atmosphere. After you have blended the various levels of one scene you can create a nested clips and make sure that is normalized.

                  Basically what that means is that you find the loudest passage of the clip and up the gain until that part hits the roof (I set mine to negative 0.5 dB) you can do -3db too, to be real safe.