10.23.2006

Turn up the Volume

I enjoy editing and creating digital videos. I have used several different programs, but the one I use most often is iMovie. iMovie has its limitations, but if you have a Mac, it comes free, and for a free program, it's pretty cool.

A problem that I run into sometimes when working with digital video is low sound volume. Video cameras usually don't capture sound too well, especially if there's a lot of background noise going on, and when you import video onto your computer, sometimes you can barely hear what you want to hear. You can also run into this issue if you are trying to create your own audio, but don't have a very sensitive microphone on your computer (a problem I ran into earlier this week).

Now, you can always turn up the volume of the sound clip, but usually there is a limit to how high you can turn it (with iMovie, you can only turn the volume up to 150%), and sometimes that just isn't enough. Here's a screenshot with a sample audio file turned up as high as it can go:


One easy way to get around this problem is to duplicate the sound clip itself, which effectively doubles your sound volume. If your sound is still combined with the video clip, you will first have to extract the audio from it (use cmd-J). After you have the audio extracted from the video, select it, copy it, and then paste it at the same playhead (if you don't place it exactly at the same playhead, the clips will echo each other and it will sound terrible). Here's a screenshot after the sound clip has been copied and pasted at the same playhead:


You can repeat this process over and over until you get the volume as loud as you want it (you can place one sound clip over another), but the more sound clips you have, the more difficult they are to keep track of.

Probably the neatest thing about this little trick is that you can do several creative things with it once you get it figured out. For example, if you have some mp3 files that are quieter (or louder) than others, you can import them into a video editor, tweak the volume of the sound clip like you want them, then export them back out and re-insert them into your library. That way, you won't have to risk hearing loss everytime you listen to your iPod and you have very quiet and very loud songs back to back.

4 comments:

Jared Dockery 10/24/06, 9:13 AM  

Speaking of editing video, have you listened to the interview with Grandpa yet? I would really like to do a nice Tortuga De Fuego documentary with that, when we get a chance. (I realize that before Christmas is probably out of the quesiton.)

Luke 10/24/06, 11:43 AM  

Jared,

I haven't listened to it yet because I don't have the videocamera.

Jared 10/25/06, 5:06 PM  

Luke,

When I clicked your little RSS feed button (to take me to http://lukedockery.blogspot.com/2006/10/rss.xml) I got this message: "Page Not Found: The requested URL was not found on this server. Please visit the Blogger homepage or the Blogger Knowledge Base for further assistance."

On the other hand, "feed://feeds.feedburner.com/reacciones" still works.

TWD 11/20/06, 1:57 PM  

And now I have both Luke's and Jared's blog links...

Luke, I'm with you on Yankees fans.

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