I’m working on my first video program consisting of a dozen or so sections for which I’m using Audacity as my audio editor. Results produced different sound files with different loudnesses and show my workflow to be flawed or incomplete. Would anyone be so kind to critique?
My Recent Audio Workflow:
Import original audio files into video editor from field recorder for rough edit.
Export clipped and trimmed audio file from video editor in .wav format.
Import .wav file into a distinct Audacity project file for improvement.
Correct mistakes. (low frequency breath noise, delete: catch breaths, lip smacks, ums and ahs, stutters, etc…)
Further EQ for enhanced tonal quality
Compress ( Used the default compressor. Set threshold at -6Db from loudest peaks and 3:1 ratio, Compress based on Peaks. Used default for other settings. Noice Floor: -40Db, Attack time: .1 sec, Decay Time: 1.0 sec)
Normalize: to -1.0Db
Export .wav file to video editor
Rinse and repeat for next section
Some .wav masters seem louder than others whereas they must seem consistent to the viewer.
Questions for you:
So, where did I go wrong?
What should I have done differently?
What should I do now to recover?
My thoughts about where I went wrong:
For the threshold recommendation, I believe, that I followed something I read in the manual or on this forum. Problem, may have been that it was not taking the existence of multiple files into account. Consequently, I worked with each file independently and applied a different threshold to each. I thought normalizing to the same Db would have taken care of this but, upon further research, I see that loudness is different from volume and a bit subjective and ambiguous.
Looking back, I think, perhaps, that the main place where I went wrong was by treating each section independently as a unique project. Would it not have been more appropriate to import all .wav files output by the video editor into Audacity onto separate tracks in a single project? That way, I could have done all my corrections track by track but applied the Compression and Normalization settings across all tracks at once.
Would you agree?
My thoughts about recovery:
Pull each of the master .wav files back onto different tracks in a new Audacity project.
Adjust volume track by track using my ear and the “Amplification” effect? or
Should I compress again? (I’ve just discovered and installed Ladspa SC4 and Chris’s Compressor both of which seem to have an experienced fan base. (Is one to be preferred?) or
Try the “Replay Gain” effect?
When happy, export each track separately again as .wav files for import back into their respective video projects.
What do you think? Can you share any advice?
thanks in advance,