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TOPIC: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting

Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197105

  • Ambientologist
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I can see there are a few threads on audio distortion at the moment, but I didn't want to hijack them with my particular questions.

A .wav exported from Ableton Live, then converted to .mp3, seems to be boosted by about 6dB when importing it into Lightworks. Is that common? I've never touched the audio section before, but I'm wondering what the LR channel is representing. Is it the output, while A1 and A2 are the input?

A1 and A2 never exceed 0 (because why would they?), yet the LR channel seems to want to blow them through the roof! Is there a reason for this?


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Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197106

  • hugly
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Hello,


Yes, the level meters and sliders on LR represents the output, on A1,A2,.. the input. The numbered scale represents gain applied by the sliders, it does not represent sound level, as soon as the sliders are away from zero.

Just to understand the nature of your problem, please try: In Log or Edit mode, select from 'Filters.Clips' one or more of the critical clips, right-click and from 'Bin Commands' select 'Make.Sequence from selection'. Double-click on the newly created sequence to open in the timeline. Switch to Audio mode. Make sure that all sliders are set to zero, a click on each track of the mixer away from the slider will do that. Start playback and tell if that sounds as expected.

Edit: I added some text in italics which I deleted accidentally prior to posting.
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Last Edit: 4 months, 2 weeks ago by hugly.

Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197107

  • donkpow
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I wouldn't convert the wav file to mp3 before import to Lightworks. I expect you will transcode or convert the audio to one more format before presentation.

You could look at the mixer panel and see controls available.
www.lwks.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=8&id=20460&Itemid=81
You have track buses (A1, A2, A3, ...), mix buses (MIX1, MIX2, MIX3), and final (LR). Each controls levels at that stage with final metering represented in LR. Track bus controls are necessarily mono.

You shouldn't be seeing an increase in levels from your source within Lightworks without changing level controls. If you feel levels are too hot, pull the slider controls down. If distortion remains, I would check your source from Ableton. Creating or recording your source should only hit 0 db or 'unity' during your peaks, if at all.
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Last Edit: 4 months, 2 weeks ago by donkpow.

Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197109

  • RWAV
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Probably too basic - but this is enough to produce the approximate level difference you're describing.

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Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197110

  • donkpow
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RWAV wrote:
Probably too basic - but this is enough to produce the approximate level difference you're describing.

Yes, I should have mentioned pan controls in my comments.
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Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197111

  • RWAV
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Donkpow - very good to see your learned self back at the podium.
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Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197113

  • jwrl
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+1!

Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197128

  • donkpow
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Thanks. I found myself a participant in the Divine Comedy and have only recently constructed a rickety ladder.
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Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197141

  • hugly
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Just to add a straight forward answer to your initial question:

Ambientologist wrote:
A .wav exported from Ableton Live, then converted to .mp3, seems to be boosted by about 6dB when importing it into Lightworks. Is that common?

No.
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Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197174

  • RWAV
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Multiple threads and controlled testing have shown that LW imports and plays .wav files at exactly their correct levels - what Ableton Live does to them in conversion to .mp3 is unknown here. However quoting from the top Google search on the topic
The encoding (and decoding) process can create peaks that are higher in level than the original file. it's to be expected.

As donkpow observes
I wouldn't convert the wav file to mp3 before import to Lightworks
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Last Edit: 4 months, 2 weeks ago by RWAV.

Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197177

  • RWAV
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Just to clarify - in the attached 1kHz tone files (.wav and .mp3) are playing in a multicam bin. A Fader panel is open and as each file is selected the panel displays the selected file's levels.

As one can plainly see LW does not discriminate between .wav and .mp3.

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(Sorry to interpose a seemingly irrelevant conversation into your topic, but you see, at it's best the LW forums are a collegiate space and when a member has been absent for a while they might be welcomed back with collegiate exuberance. And how could one not do so to a member who references the classics and particularly now that Dante's poetry is invoked.

donkpow - an especially warm welcome back)
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Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197179

  • geomcd1949
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+1 on the donkpow!
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Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197189

  • donkpow
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Yes, Dante is part of my preferred pity ploy. As a bit player in the production, one is not assigned a Beatrice-like character to provide companionship.
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Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197190

  • donkpow
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My DAW, Reaper, uses an ASIO driver for playback. While the facts are always in dispute, I find playback to be crisp and clear. This could explain the perceived difference in this case, especially with the muddied waters of mp3.

I have an inexpensive consumer grade card and Lightworks connects via the default driver.

I should say, I permit the ASIO4all driver to remain for creative reasons.
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Re: Audio Distortion/Level Boosting 4 months, 2 weeks ago #197193

  • Ambientologist
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Thanks hugly, this worked. Does this shed light onto the problem that you can see?

Allow me to point out that the .mp3, converted in iTunes and played in iTunes, has no discernible distortion! It seems that only when imported into Lightworks does it want to boost the levels.

I've been using converted .mp3s for the sake of disk space, but perhaps I'll straight up use the .wavs from now on...
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