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Audio level meter
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ozstar [Avatar]
Member Private Message Location: Sydney OZ Joined: Apr 21, 2012 20:13 Messages: 85 Offline
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Hi,

So far haven't seen an audio level meter anywhere so one can actually 'see' what the sound levels are.

Is there one in 12?

If not it's a good idea in a future patch for the timeline area to have one so that one can see the levels of clips across the timeline.

I work in audio most days and to me it is very helpful to 'see' levels in the workspace.

Thanks

x
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Hi ozstar,

Yup! I was looking for that one too when I migrated to PD12 from the other program from another company. The other program had a nice audio level meter on the timeline with tracks that has audio in it.

Hopefully our friends here will hear of our request and put out an update or patch for it.

For now I just have to listen to the audio levels and adjust accordingly. Win 8.1 64 Bit / ASUS Z87-PRO / Intel i7 4770K 3.5Ghz / 16 Gb DDR3 2400 / 500 Gb SSD + 3 Tb HDD / WH16NS40 BluRay Burner
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BarryTheCrab
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: USA Joined: Nov 06, 2008 22:18 Messages: 6067 Offline
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You are not the first to bring this up. It would be a good feature. PD has "normalize" which applies to a single timeline each time you use it, (not to ALL clips in EVERY timeline).
You can also lower/raise a timeline audio input in the mix room. HP Envy Phoenix/4thGen i7-4770(4@3.4GHz~turbo>3.9)/Nvidia GTX 960(4GB)/16GB DDR3/7,200rpm/w10x64---
Canon Vixia HV30/HF-M40/HF-M41/HF-G20/Olympus E-PL5. Tape capture using 4 VCR, TBC, Sony D8 camcorder.
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Hi Barry,

Yeah, the audio level meter does help a lot. I rely on it when I mix the main audio with the sound effects and background music on my former video editor. Haven't tried the Normalize feature yet. And yes, I use the mix room to make the adjustments.

Win 8.1 64 Bit / ASUS Z87-PRO / Intel i7 4770K 3.5Ghz / 16 Gb DDR3 2400 / 500 Gb SSD + 3 Tb HDD / WH16NS40 BluRay Burner
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Carl312
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Texas, USA Joined: Mar 16, 2010 20:11 Messages: 9086 Offline
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There is a free audio level meter. It shows the level of your Stereo Mix.

http://www.darkwooddesigns.co.uk/pc2/meters.html

I use the Digital Level Meter. (Scroll down some in the above web page.)

Works great on Windows 7 after activating Stereo Mix.
Carl312: Windows 10 64-bit 8 GB RAM,AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4 GHz,ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB,240GB SSD,two 1TB HDs.

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Thanks Carl. I'll check it out. : Win 8.1 64 Bit / ASUS Z87-PRO / Intel i7 4770K 3.5Ghz / 16 Gb DDR3 2400 / 500 Gb SSD + 3 Tb HDD / WH16NS40 BluRay Burner
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Eugen157
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Palm Springs area, So.CA Joined: Dec 10, 2012 13:57 Messages: 641 Offline
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Yes, I too have repeatedly asked for thet.

Will check it out Carl
Thanks

Eugene

PS Just having a ball with the Sony FDR-AX100!!! 73s, WA6JZN ex DL9GC
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If I can pop in here for a moment, may I ask what everyone is using for their Audio Output and Input?

I only ask this because, when I was using a secondary/dedicated device, there was no indication coming up on the Meter that is in the Capture section of PD12 (even when I changed to that external device in the Settings (button)), but when I switched to the onboard (motherboard) audio device, the meter lit up and showed me the level [it does not update very often, something in the realm of every 1-2 seconds (so not 'live/realtime')].

Although my mainboard audio adapter offers Dolby Digital 7.1 audio and filtering, I prefer to use a secondary device for recording with, as it offers THX-certified digital sound, which I find has slightly more 'punch' than the onboard adapter (the onboard would also utilize more CPU resources to process/output the audio). So, in my 'normal usage' of PD12, I won't be getting use of the level monitor, sadly.

Is this what everyone means - that we cannot just use any device connected to the system and get the Monitor running for it? Or are you all talking about some sort of frequency/graphic equalizer (whatever the proper term is, heh)?
Perhaps trying a different device with your systems may get the Audio Level Meter in PD12's Capture to 'kick in'?

You can choose which audio device Windows is using in the Control Panel > Sound interface. You can set a different a different default output and input ("playback" and "recording") there, as well as view the rudimentary level monitors that Windows has in that panel.
I don't normally use the onboard/built-in motherboard adapter, but if you don't mind/choose to use it, PowerDirector's Audio Level monitor should then work for you all...

At the least, hopefully this will help someone here

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Apr 20. 2014 19:24

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Carl312
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Texas, USA Joined: Mar 16, 2010 20:11 Messages: 9086 Offline
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Troy from The GTAM Blog,

The difficulty of getting an audio output to measure is why it is so hard to monitor the audio level on your computer.

It would be great if Powerdirector had a audio level meter built in. It does not.

Many Professional audio equipment has level meters built into the equipment.

Still you don't know the level you are recording into the digital file until you play it back or view the waveform in an audio editor such as Audacity, or Cyberlink's WaveEditor or AudioDirector.

The Meter I linked to is a very simple software meter, it monitors the Stereo Mix device in your computer. Windows 7 does not have the Stereo Mix activated by default, you must activate it. I do not know about Windows 8, The same activation may work on Windows 8 also.

Instructions for doing that are on the http://www.darkwooddesigns.co.uk/pc2/meters.html web site.

Instructions for enabling Stereo Mix are also found here:
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/39532/how-to-enable-stereo-mix-in-windows-7-to-record-audio/

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Apr 20. 2014 21:35

Carl312: Windows 10 64-bit 8 GB RAM,AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4 GHz,ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB,240GB SSD,two 1TB HDs.

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Quote: Troy from The GTAM Blog,

The difficulty of getting an audio output to measure is why it is so hard to monitor the audio level on your computer.

It would be great if Powerdirector had a audio level meter built in. It does not.

Many Professional audio equipment has level meters built into the equipment.

Still you don't know the level you are recording into the digital file until you play it back or view the waveform in an audio editor such as Audacity, or Cyberlink's WaveEditor or AudioDirector.

The Meter I linked to is a very simple software meter, it monitors the Stereo Mix device in your computer. Windows 7 does not have the Stereo Mix activated by default, you must activate it. I do not know about Windows 8, The same activation may work on Windows 8 also.

Instructions for doing that are on the http://www.darkwooddesigns.co.uk/pc2/meters.html web site.

Instructions for enabling Stereo Mix are also found here:
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/39532/how-to-enable-stereo-mix-in-windows-7-to-record-audio/



Perhaps I misunderstand, but PowerDirector 12 seems to have an input level monitor. I will attach an animated GIF of it working on my system:



Do you mean a graphic equalizer? I could not find much more than this rudimentary single line level meter, but it's there. It seems to be working, as the levels match the changes that are occurring in the Windows Sound Devices meters (on the side of each device that is being used).
If I am incorrect that this is not what you are all talking about, I apologize, please explain and I will try to assist (if I can)

Nice meters in your link!
[Thumb - pd12-levelmonitor.gif]
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pd12-levelmonitor.gif
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 Description
PowerDirector 12 - Recording Level Monitor in Capture section
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This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at Apr 20. 2014 22:01

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Troy,

I think that (though I could be wrong), what everyone is talking about is a (hopefully accurate) set of audio meters that appear somewhere on PD’s main interface. Which would give an indication of one’s volume levels. (e.g. Input, Output, and in both Clip and Movie mode).

Thus when doing our final tweaks before Producing a project (say for instance for an upload to one’s website or Youtube, or whatever), that one can at a glance have an idea of what one’s audio levels are, just in case we may need too boost some sections, so as to keep our audio levels consistent.

So, a general audio level meter on the main interface page, that is capable of showing both one’s Input and Output levels (in both Clip and Movie mode), would be helpful.
It seem that there is or could be room for a set of (again, hopefully accurate) audio meters on PD12’s main interface somewhere.

Perhaps something like this?



[Thumb - PD12UI005b.png]
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PD12UI005b.png
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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Apr 20. 2014 23:36

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Quote: Troy,

I think that (though I could be wrong), what everyone is talking about is a (hopefully accurate) set of audio meters that appear somewhere on PD’s main interface. Which would give an indication of one’s volume levels. (e.g. Input, Output, and in both Clip and Movie mode).

Thus when doing our final tweaks before Producing a project (say for instance for an upload to one’s website or Youtube, or whatever), that one can at a glance have an idea of what one’s audio levels are, just in case we may need too boost some sections, so as to keep our audio levels consistent.

So, a general audio level meter on the main interface page, that is capable of showing both one’s Input and Output levels (in both Clip and Movie mode), would be helpful.
It seem that there is or could be room for a set of (again, hopefully accurate) audio meters on PD12’s main interface somewhere.

Perhaps something like this?





Oh, I see now. I apologize to everyone...
I for some reason, was thinking people were referring to only an input meter, to be able to see how loud the volume was, to check for possible clipping and other problems. Thank you for explaining it with a screenshot, that I apparently needed.

I think I did not readily think of a meter in this manner because, coming from Vegas (sorry to mention a competitor), there was a volume level meter there for a long time. Some of the Freeware, simpler editors I use at times also have them. As well, the waveforms for the audio are there (eventually created and displayed), but I suppose that does not perform the exact functions that an audio level monitor would. Well, I hope that such a thing sees fruition someday, for everyone.

Cheers
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Carl312
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Texas, USA Joined: Mar 16, 2010 20:11 Messages: 9086 Offline
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I think I did not readily think of a meter in this manner because, coming from Vegas (sorry to mention a competitor), there was a volume level meter there for a long time. Some of the Freeware, simpler editors I use at times also have them. As well, the waveforms for the audio are there (eventually created and displayed), but I suppose that does not perform the exact functions that an audio level monitor would. Well, I hope that such a thing sees fruition someday, for everyone.

The waveform is totally inaccurate.

The waveform has a nasty habit of not being shown. That does not affect the actual audio.

How can one determine the actual level from a wave form. You cannot tell a 1 DB level change on a waveform. Yes, if the waveform fills up the space, it is too much level. Anything below the top of the space is in range, but how much.

Cranston, very good idea and location.
Carl312: Windows 10 64-bit 8 GB RAM,AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4 GHz,ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB,240GB SSD,two 1TB HDs.

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Brad53 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Nov 23, 2013 13:38 Messages: 9 Offline
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I've d/l'd a few of the audio level meters provided at the Darkwood Design site mentioned by Carl312
Again, here's the link to that site: http://darkwooddesigns.co.uk/pc2/meters.html

If you install one of the level meters (I recommend Peak Level Meter Version 1.82) and place it "over" (always on top) the PD GUI or perhaps on another screen of an extended desktop, you essentially have level meters for audio reference.

However, who's to say what level is too much or too little? You need a reference level of 0db. I've attached a 1kHz tone wav & mp3 file that I use, but what's 0db on my system could be -4 or +8 on yours. This is not an error. Rather, it means you need to calibrate your system audio output volume to display 0db on the level meters.

Much like color bars in the broadcast world, NTSC color bars are/were used for viewing on a video waveform and vectorscope monitor. One would view the playback of color bars that are on a tape or digital media, then adjust proc amps and TBC controls so everything referenced the standard North American NTSC levels of luminance and chroma presented in the color bars.

So, get your Darkwood level meters on top of your PD GUI, import the 1kHz tone and play the clip (or drop it in your timeline and play the movie). While playing it, set your PD *System Volume [Ctrl]+U until the 1kHz tone reads 0db on the meter's L & R channels.

Then go about your editing, watching the audio levels of your media in the timeline and adjusting accordingly so the overall volume doesn't ride above 0db. Note that occasional 'hits' above 0db are okay, but in the world of digital audio, levels that peak aren't forgiven nearly as much as they were in the analogue days. Digital audio overdosing produces an undesirable series of "cracking" sounds, where analogue audio simply distorts.

*Setting the PD System Volume will alter the overall output to your PC's speakers or headphone. What's really going on with the VU meters is they are showing the output of the PC's audio, even though you can use PD's System Volume to do so. I recommend powered speakers from your PC (and likely most of you have them already), then using the volume level control on those speakers for your listening needs. This will not affect the 0db reference you've setup within PD because the external speaker volume control is (duh) downstream of your system/pc audio.

(hey, I wouldn't mind a video waveform monitor within PD )

-Brad53

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Standard tone (wav) for level reference
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 Filename
1kHzTone.mp3
[Disk]
 Description
Standard tone (mp3) for level reference
 Filesize
315 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
492 time(s)
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RobAC [Avatar]
Contributor Private Message Joined: Mar 09, 2013 18:20 Messages: 406 Offline
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Brad- thanks for the tones.

Here is what I would like to see... a real time live audio level meter / viewer in the middle like the following pic. (I copied another NLE's meter and stuck it in there just to show what I mean.)

One where we can see the levels - a kind of Master min / max viewer- that allows us to lower the levels via the sliders if they are too loud or increase the sound levels if they are too low. As well as a "normalize" function that actually normalizes the entire video production to a reasonable sound level before producing.




Rob
[Thumb - Audio Meter 2.png]
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Audio Meter 2.png
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This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at May 04. 2014 11:12

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Paul1983 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Nov 07, 2019 09:05 Messages: 12 Offline
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Quote There is a free audio level meter. It shows the level of your Stereo Mix.

http://www.darkwooddesigns.co.uk/pc2/meters.html


Works great on Windows 7 after activating Stereo Mix.


I'm a bit late to this post.... but I've been searching everywhere for a meter (independent of another editing software) that works on Windows 10.

I still wish, even after all these years, that PD had an integrated meter like this
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