It's never cut and dry.
Some clips are quiet, some are loud. A quiet shot shouldn't have a level of -12dB .That makes normalizing less useful if you have a variety of shots with different optimum levels. If you look at the levels of a professional film you will see a wide stratification of levels. A lot of audible things will be going on under the -30dB level. Then you have higher bit depth formats.....
What is your program? Do your clips need sweetening or extensive work?
You can do most volume work in Premiere. The Dynamics Audio Effect tool is much better than normalizing. It has a Limiter, a Compresser, and a volume booster (labeled "Make Up"). Just never use the Gate or Expander tools in the dynamics effect tab, as the sound awful. Other than that, the Dynamics Audio Effect works wonders on audio.
The program is a comedy film, Well also i need to put OTHER people's finished works onto the DVD as well (I wont have access to their raw data) so it will just be about making sure none of those are too loud/soft and are somewhat on par with the volume with the film in question.
As for the comedy film in question, one thing I'm wondering is at what level should my system audio volume level be set to when determining volume for the tracks? I dont want to be listening here on my system and it sounds too soft when in reality i just had my volume set too low to begin with (though I realize I should be determining this from a numerical Db standpoint and not gauging off the cuff, just wanted to cover that base though).
Also, am I going to have to selecet each individual audio clip to work with seperately or can i do something where I can select a group to normalize across like I was attempting with doing in Audition (that didnt seem to work)?
Listen with decent speakers or headset with volume set to about medium\ mid way up. Always gage volume with a graphic meter.
Your are still asking about group normalizing clips...... I'd refer you back to my first response. If you want to proceed in that direction, there are a couple of ways to do it. Simplest copy and paste attributes from one clip to a group of others. Also, you can add any auidio FXs to individual audio tracks or an entire sequence in the audio mixer tab.
In the FXs panel, right click on selected FXs to adjust the settings.
Hope this helps. I know its helped me a lot since someone showed to me.
thanks again man, will be starting audio work tonight.
Your average peaks should be in the range of -9 to -12. That's where most pros put the sweet spot, and that's what a lot of broadcasters require. That gives you a little headroom for occasional loud sounds without clipping.
No clipping, ever, period.
If everybodys follows the same rules, then there's a chance your different programs on your DVD will match, more or less, in peak volume.
But, something that can effect the perception of loudness between and among different mixes is the use of compression. Slamming compression will make an entire mix sound louder than a mix with high dynamic range set to the same average peak.
The only thing I used to use Pr for, prior to 5.5 was assembling disparate clips for demo reels, and DVD assemblies. You can lay out all your clips in a single Timeline, and set your audio levels to be consistent. Then, I'd send to Encore.
The only time I find normalizing useful is to match the peaks on a bunch of mixed tracks, such as when compiling an audio CD or demo reel, as described above, but only as a starting point. I'd rather use my ears to set final levels.
Jim when you say put them all in one timeline, can you embellish a bit? For example my film has multiple audio tracks often with trakcs overlapping out of necessity to blend sounds and such so i can't make one track out of the 26 minutes worth of audio i have.
I mean when I'm putting a bunch of spots together, for example, for a spot demo reel, it can be helpful to put all the spots, each with a mixed stereo audio track, onto one timeline in Pr. Then, later when I make my Play All button in Encore, I will know that the audio levels are consistent when all the spots are played in a sequence back to back.
You can add DVD Chapter Markers in a Pr timeline also. So, you can use those to FF and RW between spots in the Play All, or you can use them from which to jump to a particular spot, if you've created a menu that lists all the spots with a menu link.
So, you would have to mix your film audio to a stereo mix before you bring the master into Encore. This tip was in response to your "i need to put OTHER people's finished works onto the DVD" statement.