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From Video To Audio: Be Consistent In Digital Media Productions

September 12, 2013 Digital Media Production, IADT General 0 Comments

Be Consistent In Digital MediaYour content must be consistent.

This might seem like an obvious statement – or even something that doesn’t take a lot of skill. But, when you are transferring content from video to audio or from audio to video, it might be more difficult than you first assume.

There are many elements working together simultaneously in a digital media productions project. One of the most important elements to consider when transferring content is the volume. You need to make sure that the volume in your audio is consistent so that listeners can easily understand what is being communicated, what is important and what it all means.

Focus on Volume

Whether you are lifting audio from video or adding audio to video, you want to make sure the volume does not fluctuate. Audio tracks can be too soft or too loud, especially in comparison to commercially produced CDs or other people’s recordings. It might even be dissimilar to the work you’ve produced before. As you continue to work in Digital Media Productions and you start to build a portfolio, you want to make sure that your audio work is consistent.

Here are a few ways you can fix these problems with volume and increase your consistency:

  • Normalize
    Normalization is a feature included in digital audio software that analyses the volume of a file and increases the overall volume so that the loudest peak within the file is boosted to the maximum available, explains Steve Hull and Tim O’Riordan of Jisc Digital Media. This process can allow you to change the volume levels and save a new version of both your audio and your video, either independent of one another or as a single file. Note, however, that normalization is more effective with audio. If you are focused on video, Life Hacker reporter Adam Dachis advises you to “either normalize or compress the audio, and then export the altered file.” Because normalization can lead to sound quality loss, doing it this way can keep a higher quality and cause less damage.
  • Sound Level Compression
    When used correctly, sound level compression can improve the audio by making the dynamic changes in voice more distinct. If more than one person is speaking on your audio file, sound level compression can level out the audio so that it is easier to distinguish between multiple voices. Compression is a common tool used in radio broadcasting that allows presenters to be heard regardless of the volume at which they are speaking.
  • Edit
    Hull and O’Riordan note that it is essential in post-production to edit out unwanted content. When you are lifting audio from a video file, this is especially important. When a viewer watched a video, background noise can be glossed over and even ignored entirely (unless it is being emphasized). Viewers focus on the speakers in the film, following their mouths as they talk and taking in their gestures. When you isolate the audio, viewers lose context – they stop being viewers and start being listeners only. Background noise can be distracting and make it more difficult for listeners to keep track of the conversation. Words can be lost, making the entire speech or presentation incomprehensible. Listeners will tune out and the audio will be lost. Make sure you edit out any unwanted sound. Whether it’s background noise or a pause in speech or film, it is important for audio recordings to be fluid.

There are other elements of video and audio you can focus on to improve consistency. You can create a consistent, impactful portfolio that demonstrates a working knowledge of Digital Media Production. Learn more about these elements at IADT and start working towards your future today with the help of industry-experienced instructors and advisors.

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