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Re: Preventing Thunder Distortion

Subject: Re: Preventing Thunder Distortion
From: "Bruce Wilson" bruceumba
Date: Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:31 am (PDT)

Regarding your observation of the meter levels: Most audio recording is
meant to have an average level at -20 dBFS, which is the end of the green
leds in the meter bars. We can then boost the levels (after compression, if
needed) for consumption later. If sounds are lighting any but the first red
led, you are distorting, because the second led is where the limiters kick
in. And when they kick in, your levels go non-linear and you will hear
distortion. That sort of distortion isn't too noticable for a sharp peak
(gunshot) but it is very noticable for any prolonged sound.

If you like "running in the red" you should set your meters to correspond to
less-than-full-scale. I don't know the menu number here at work, but there
is one to set the level the highest red led represents. I have mine set to
-6 dBFS, so I can run just a bit into the red without worrying about
distortion. But I'm trying to unlearn the instinct to run full-scale on the
meter, instead record with the average (the VU part of the reading) all in
green then boost it in post. And I've found that for most recordings not
made at full gain, I end up compressing a bit to make the loud and soft
sounds match my memory of them.

Bruce Wilson
-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Bruce Wilson
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2006 11:02 AM
Subject: RE: [Nature Recordists] Preventing Thunder Distortion

Also, on a slightly different slant on sound levels,  I find that in general
recording on any of my mics if I don't keep the volume near the top end of
the level meter LEDs on the 722  (near the 0 dBFS mark), I get a far more
anemic final level (as seen in a ProTools wave form) than I was accustomed
to getting on my old Sony DAT recorder at what appeared to be more moderate
levels.  Any suggestion?


"Microphones are not ears,
Loudspeakers are not birds,
A listening room is not nature."
Klas Strandberg

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