Sound for Video Session: Loudness Normalize your Video Sound in Adobe Audition

How do you get loud audio for your video projects? What if the music is much louder than the dialogue or speaking parts? In this session, we cover the basics of mixing music and dialogue and show how to loudness normalize your video’s sound using Adobe Audition.

Please consider my sound for video classes available over at Learn Light and Sound.

Gear used to record this episode:

AKG C414 XLS large diaphragm condenser microphone - this is my new, main voice over microphone

dbx 286s Preamplifier and channel strip (Amazon) - new vocal processing channel strip. I’ve had a ton of requests for help setting this up so I had to add one to my collection so I can learn how to use it first.

Universal Audio Apollo x6 - Thunderbolt 3 audio interface used to take audio signal from the dbx286S channel strip, convert it to digital, and send to my computer for recording.

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Outro music from Artlist: Sunscape by Oliver Michael. You can receive a 2 week discount on a subscription to Artlist, a subscription service for stock music you can use with your videos. Check it out at Artlist.

Audio Loudness in Final Cut Pro X with Free Plugin from Youlean

For those who edit in Final Cut Pro X, ensuring that your audio was loud, but not too loud, and consistent from video to video has been a challenge. Of course you could buy expensive plugins to help with this and often what the pros do (it’s the cost of doing business and broadcasting your pieces on TV). But for those who are mainly publishing to the web and working on VLOGs or passion projects, the budget for expensive software or hardware loudness meters just wasn’t there.

Recently I found a free loudness plugin by Youlean which you can get over at Youlean. **NOTE** Several notified me that the Youlean site appears to display spam types of messages and opens new tabs. Close these windows and do NOT click on the links in them. I have notified the site owner and hopefully they can fix this soon.

And once you have that installed, you can get the right loudness consistently with the technique we show here.

For those not familiar with loudness normalization, here are a couple of other pieces where we go into some detail on how it works:

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record the VT500 lavalier review (which we use as a demo piece in this tutorial):

Voice Technologies VT500 Omni-directional Lavalier Microphone

Voice Technologies VT500 O Eco (same microphone without the waterproof case or extended accessories and lower price)

Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro - for talking head shots. quite a lot of moire with this particular shirt

RODELink Wireless Lavalier Filmmaker Kit

Sennheiser EW 112p G3 Wireless Lavalier Kit (516-558 MHz)

Panasonic GH5 Camera - for product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

How to Get Consistently Loud Sound with Loudness Normalization

In the last episode we covered how to set the input or gain level on your audio recorder when recording dual system sound (sound recorded by a separate, dedicated audio recorder). One of the things I suggested was that it is best to leave some headroom so that if the person speaking suddenly gets very loud, the sound will not distort and clip.

But the problem is that most of the sound isn’t loud enough. So how do you manage this? You loudness normalize the audio. This ensures that it is loud enough and that it is consistent from video to video.

Here are three ways to do that. The third way is to manually loudness normalize and is a longer, more involved process. You can see how to do that here:

Gear used or mentioned in this episode:


Tascam DR-60DmkII Audio Recorder (good option for a beginner who wants to record higher quality sound - shown in the clip to demonstrate leaving headroom)

Audio Technica AT4053b Hyper Cardioid Microphone (for the talking head clips)

Sound Devices 633 (Talking head portions recorded with this)

Aputure Light Storm COB120t LED Light (Key Light)

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box (for COB120t key light)

Celadon LED Pro Radiant 2XL Pro LED Light (background light)

Panasonic GH4 m4/3 Camera

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Sound for Video Session: Loudness Normalization in Izotope RX5

For this week's session, we'll demonstrate how to loudness normalize your sound with Izotope RX 5.

Making your dialogue sound loud and present is a bit of a mystery for many independent filmmakers. It is surprising how many of the channels with large audiences have poor quality audio which is either very quiet so that viewers have to crank up the volume, or where the filmmaker cranked up the amplitude or gain of the audio in post to the point where there is plenty of distortion and clipping.

In this episode, we'll show one way to make loud, present sound without clipping or distortion.

Links we discussed in this session:

Free Compression Plugin: MCompressor

iZotope’s special deals on RX through November 14th 2016.

Sound for Video Session: Loudness vs Peaks and Cameras vs Audio Gear

This week we discuss a question from Kevin (AKA The Basic Filmmaker) on why the peaks are always at different levels after you loudness normalize an audio clip. Then I rant for a while on why upgrading your camera every time a cool looking new camera may not be the best use of your budget.

Sound for Video Session: Aiming Mics, Loudness, and Batteries

In this week's sound for video session, we addressed several questions:

  • Should I aim my boom mic at the talent's mouth or at their chest?
  • What are the loudness wars and are they over?
  • Tell us about batteries: Sony NP-F/L Type and Anton Bauer
  • How come when I loudness normalize audio clips, sometimes their peaks hit -3dB and sometimes they hit -6dB? Is this right?

This was our first week trying this on YouTube since Google Hangouts on Air is going away. A few lessons learned. Talk with you again next week!

Make Your Sound Loud in Premiere Pro CC 2015.1

Need a quicker, more efficient way to make the sound for your video projects loud and consistent? Premiere Pro CC 2015.1 has a new audio loudness normalization feature which can make this quick and easy. In this episode we review why you should loudness normalize your audio for video projects and how to quickly do it when exporting your video from Premiere Pro CC.

Louder Dialogue Audio with Audacity

https://youtu.be/L1FLali0xLk We’ve done a lot of tutorials on processing audio and sound with Adobe Audition but many have asked how to do the same things in Audacity, which is, of course, free. The trick with Audacity is that it lacks certain features that can be critical for getting consistent results, namely, loudness processing and metering tools. But when you’re first starting, you may not yet have the budget for an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. So if I were in that situation, here is how I would use Audacity to sort of accomplish the same thing (though not as consistently). Make your dialogue audio louder (without being too loud).

You can download and use Audacity for free - no strings attached, its open-source.