mastering levels for video

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Chappy, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Chappy

    Chappy Guest

    I'm curious to know what level most people master videos at? When mastering (which I don't claim to be very good at) I never know what meters to choose. I have the Waves Platinum bundle and I'm always wondering what I should be looking at. RMS, Peak, Fast, Slow, Moderate, A, B, C -weighted? I know everyone says "just use your ears" but I'd love to know what everyone else does. Thanks!
  2. chriscavell

    chriscavell Guest

    For video, it depends on the station that will be airing it. Each station has their own preference regarding peak level and occasionally rms level too.

    For film, it depends on the primary market, european or american for me.
  3. Chappy

    Chappy Guest

    It's not for any station or television. it's final destination will be on a stereo DVD. That's why i need it to be consitant with other DVD's. A good example would be a television seiries DVD like Sienfield or Friends. i don't think that on the DVD's those shows are compressed for television. But I could be totally wrong.
  4. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    This might be a good starting point.
  5. huub

    huub Guest

    for tv, in the u.s., nominal zero is -20dbfs..
    but peaks are allowed, there's like a 12 db headroom..
    I wonder though, are commercials super ultramaximized to -20dbfs, or do they use the extra headroom?
    When i was working for nbc at the olympics, I had an rms limiter set to
    -20dbfs (+4dbu), as it was rms, there were peaks anyway..sounded terrible though, but that's the way they always work at nbc sports apparently..
    Now dvd's are different though..I guess you could just use the whole headroom up to 0dbfs..
    most dvd's from tv productions i come across, put the t.v. level straight to dvd. (u.s. like i said before, europe -18dbfs nominal, -9 dbfs
  6. Chappy

    Chappy Guest

    After reading all of that Dolby stuff (thanks o2x), I ended up experimenting with some TV show on DVD. I imported a few into Pro Tools and used the Bomb Factory Loudness meter. I found that they would peak loud dialogue at around -20RMS and music was just mixed around that. So that's where I've been mixing at and so far so good.
  7. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    In general for film kind of stuff. You want the dialog riding about -12db average. You've got a lot of headroom on DVD to allow for explosions and what not.
  8. Chappy

    Chappy Guest

    I'm curious about the meters that you use? (Fossenkemper) Do you watch your peak meter and try to average it out on your own? Or do you use some sort of RMS meter? If so what do you set your response?

    I hate to sound so ignorant about all of this stuff, but what better place to sound ignorant than here. Thanks for all the input!
  9. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I use spectrafoo for metering. it depends on what the content is and what program i'm using. If it's spoken word stuff, I just use the meters in that program and average it out. If it's more complex, I'll use spectrafoo which has every meter you can think of. Your best bet would be to take a DVD and either play it or rip the audio and see where it sits in your system. the dialog, because it's not very transient, should average out around -12db with peak meters.

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