I’m editing a podcast. I normally use Audacity but I really want to move editing to Ardour.
I’ve been playing around in Ardour for about 2 weeks and I’m getting the hang of it.
There are 6 tracks all with a different podcast guest on each track. We are all over the world, not in the same room.
After I apply the different effects via plugins what is the best way to get a better mix? Some guests are a little quieter than others. I use a compressor and a limiter but the overall levels still vary widely.
One way I’ve done it is, at the end, to switch to the Mixer view and adjust the gain for each track until they hover between -10 and -5 db. Something feels hack-y about that. I feel like after the compressor and limiter, and the makeup gain, I should already be in those levels. When I used Audacity, once in awhile I had to amplify a track to boost the gain, but not often. Is there a better way to get the output in the -10 to -5 range?
Also, 2 guests have pretty hot mics, I try to remind them to turn their mic input down a bit, but sometimes they forget and they have slight clipping. In Audacity I can use a hard limiter and chop everything off after say -2db but I can’t figure out how to do that in Ardour. I have been playing around with the LSP Limiter Stereo but maybe I need to use a different limiter. I have the threshold at -5 but I still hear some clipping and I have to turn the input level down in order to fix that and not get lots of popping from plosives.
Also, I’ve been hearing about the LUFS standard and that for podcasts, you want it to be -18 to -15. How do I see in advance what it will be? I have exported small sections to see it, and I’m getting more like -29 to -31 LUFS, viewable by selecting Analyzing Audio. The problem is that I can only see it after waiting for an export. Is there a way to know in advance what the output will be so I can make adjustments before exporting?
Sorry for all the questions, but I’m loving Ardour so far, but there are a couple of things I need to get better at to ditch Audacity.
Since I use a limiter, I feel like when I export, I shouldn’t need to normalize. When I export, it doesn’t seem to matter whether I check normalize or not. The sound stays the same and the LUFS is always within that -31 to -29 range and the tracks still vary in their levels.
Any help is greatly appreciated.