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Topic: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

With the Pianoteq Video Competition now running, I wonder how many people are thinking something like this: how on earth does anybody manage to get decent quality audio onto a video without having some sort of nervous breakdown? And I don't mean 'surround sound studio master quality', just 'acceptable stereo'.
OK, so I'm confident working with audio files and still images – been doing it for years, I know my way around the formats – but video editing is new to me. The issue of video soundtrack quality, and how to get any sort of control over it, seems to be utterly baffling.
Here's what I've been trying to do. In a video editor, I prepared a simple slide show. Then I made up a test wav file in Pianoteq to use as soundtrack (note, not mp3 – that would be just asking for trouble). The wav was free of any clipping and normalised to a cautious -3dB, and I assumed I wouldn't have any problems. But, oh boy, did I have problems! Goodness knows how many export formats I tried, even one with a 'pcm uncompressed' audio option (the resulting file size was huge). In every single one, the audio sounded horrible and was full of clipping. There always seems to be some sort of rubbishy auto level control kicking in, which just ruins the sound. It didn't seem to matter what program I used: I tried Shotcut, VideoPad and OpenShot, with equally terrible results.  I am well aware that if I uploaded a file to YouTube they would squish the hell out of it anyway, but if I was starting with a file that already had distorted audio I just wouldn't stand a chance. Garbage in, garbage out. So, any ideas where I might be going wrong? How do I stop that dreadful auto level control in its tracks before it trashes my audio?

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

First of all: what video editor are you using... ?

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

There are many things responsible for that issue. First of all I'd propose to check soundcard settings on your OS, then - audio settings inside of editing program (how it handles audio files) and finally - change to KDenlive wink (maybe it will help without ruining budget for professional editing apps). There can ba also problem with computer power - rendering requires a lot of firepower smile

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

Thanks Kacper, will definitely check out KDenlive when I have the chance, it looks excellent.

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

Or try Davinci Resolve - if you have a powerful PC, that is... the software is free, but you need some horsepower to run it.
Otherwise the new version is including a Fairlight audio station, no less !
https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/produc … ciresolve/
It takes some time (for me...) to learn, it needs a damn good PC (and graphic card), but the results are 100% professional from one end to the other.

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

If your OS is Linux, Blender is a good video editing app, even though it’s primary purpose is 3D graphic production and rendering.

Using Blender as a Video Editor
https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLj … Q3x18sNev4

- -

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

This Davinci is also for Linux - I've watched tutorial, and it seems all is very nice even in free version. I'll try it for sure.

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

I, too, am not happy with my final video sound.  It is a constant battle and tweaking.

Kacper_ek, you have some very nice videos with the Bluethner.  What is your process for mastering and/or normalization? 

And for video, I believe you should be using a sample rate of 48K Hz.

Thank you for bringing up this topic, dazric.

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

scorpio wrote:

Kacper_ek, you have some very nice videos with the Bluethner.  What is your process for mastering and/or normalization? 

And for video, I believe you should be using a sample rate of 48K Hz.

I'm using only Pianoteq for my audio files. Internal sampling rate of my version is indeed 48KHz, but my soundcard supports up to 96KHz. After recording something on Pianoteq I only save it to "wav" file (not flac (it is lossles, but with compression), not mp3) - just pure wave (as pure, as digital can be smile ) After that it is time to synchronize audio with video - nothing more - Pianoteq has so many options, that I don't need to use tricks to my music smile

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

Luc Henrion wrote:

Or try Davinci Resolve - if you have a powerful PC, that is... the software is free, but you need some horsepower to run it.
Otherwise the new version is including a Fairlight audio station, no less !
https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/produc … ciresolve/
It takes some time (for me...) to learn, it needs a damn good PC (and graphic card), but the results are 100% professional from one end to the other.

I've installed Davinci Resolve on my system (Ubuntu), everything is working fine except of sound (sic!). Do you have any suggestions what went wrong?
There is an option to use system audio outputs, but it is grey (I can't switch it on).
Davinci looks nice, works smooth, but without sound it's for nothing to me.

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

Kacper_ek wrote:

I'm using only Pianoteq for my audio files. Internal sampling rate of my version is indeed 48KHz, but my soundcard supports up to 96KHz. After recording something on Pianoteq I only save it to "wav" file (not flac (it is lossles, but with compression), not mp3) - just pure wave (as pure, as digital can be smile ) After that it is time to synchronize audio with video - nothing more - Pianoteq has so many options, that I don't need to use tricks to my music smile

Very helpful, thank you.

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

Update: I have just discovered something that made me hopping mad, but at the same time has given me hope of submitting some sort of video entry this year. All this time I've been blaming the video editing programs for the rubbish sound, but in fact it was the playback software that was the problem. I was using KMPlayer to check the videos, and by default it has been activating a horrible, horrible auto volume control system which was distorting the sound. So, to anyone else having problems with video sound, first check what your media playback software is up to. It may save you an awful lot of frustration.

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Re: Video problem: how to get decent quality audio

About Davinci Resolve: I can't test it on Linux but on my Win10 laptop, the sound is OK, using "System Audio Output" (default).