Can I Fix Sound on Intensity/Media Express?

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Danny Nowak

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Can I Fix Sound on Intensity/Media Express?

PostFri May 15, 2020 6:26 am

Hi all,
I've finally got a system working for transferring old tapes to video files on my iMac.
Whether it's VHS, Hi-8, Mini DV, or even BetacamSP (yes I have a player), they are successfully saved as files but for one problem- the sound levels are PINNED and I can't figure how to bring them down during the transfer process.
Here's my setup:
From my player deck, S-Video to my Pioneer DVR-640H which I use as a TBC, then component out to the Intensity Shuttle, finally USB in to my iMac and captured on Media Express. Sound was RCA through all the devices. It seems like Media Express is crying out for sound level adjustment, but I don't see any. I've fooled around with the iMac sound preferences but I must be missing something.

Any suggestions would be super welcome!
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Uli Plank

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Re: Can I Fix Sound on Intensity/Media Express?

PostFri May 15, 2020 9:06 pm

Resolve Studio 16.2 and Fusion Studio under MacOS Mojave 10.14.6
iMac 2017 Radeon Pro 580 8 GB VRAM and 32 GB RAM
Mac mini 16 GB RAM plus eGFX Breakway Radeon RX 580
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: Can I Fix Sound on Intensity/Media Express?

PostSat May 16, 2020 4:40 pm

Would not a basic simple mixer like a Mackie do the job? Can you not capture too in DaVinci Resolve and then control the levels? In Avid import comes in from music and CD too high, so I always attenuate -9 to -11db on the clip. Media Express is very limited in terms of control and codecs, compared to most NLEs.
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Uli Plank

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Re: Can I Fix Sound on Intensity/Media Express?

PostSat May 16, 2020 8:22 pm

Of course, it would, but two resistors are quite a bit cheaper.
Resolve Studio 16.2 and Fusion Studio under MacOS Mojave 10.14.6
iMac 2017 Radeon Pro 580 8 GB VRAM and 32 GB RAM
Mac mini 16 GB RAM plus eGFX Breakway Radeon RX 580
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: Can I Fix Sound on Intensity/Media Express?

PostSun May 17, 2020 7:53 am

Most people already have a mixer - you can get one for less than £50. When I used the Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 I had RCA I/O via a Sonifex Redbox to bring levels upto +4DB for interface to a professional mixer/monitoring. A mixer has so many more uses. It is doubtful the 'pinned' audio is clipped, just that it is captured at nearer -10db levels common with music and consumer audio, whereas broadcast levels for film and TV are usually either -18 or -20DB. A simple post capture clip gain reduction in any Daw or NLE or even free Audacity would solve it without any hardware at all.
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Howard Roll

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Re: Can I Fix Sound on Intensity/Media Express?

PostSun May 17, 2020 9:42 am

Steve Fishwick wrote:It is doubtful the 'pinned' audio is clipped, just that it is captured at nearer -10db levels common with music and consumer audio, whereas broadcast levels for film and TV are usually either -18 or -20DB.


You’re confusing the box with what’s inside it, db, dbu, dbv, and dbfs are not interchangeable terms.

Broadcast is +4dbu, (1.23v analog) the ideal recording range is 18-20dbfs.

Consumer is -10dbv, (0.32v analog) the ideal recording range is 18-20dbfs.

Good Luck
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Danny Nowak

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Re: Can I Fix Sound on Intensity/Media Express?

PostTue May 19, 2020 12:44 am

Thanks everyone for your input.
It turns out that I just came out of the 1/4" headphone jack, then into my Intensity shuttle and the sound is fine.
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: Can I Fix Sound on Intensity/Media Express?

PostWed May 20, 2020 6:16 am

Howard Roll wrote:You’re confusing the box with what’s inside it, db, dbu, dbv, and dbfs are not interchangeable terms.

Broadcast is +4dbu, (1.23v analog) the ideal recording range is 18-20dbfs.

Consumer is -10dbv, (0.32v analog) the ideal recording range is 18-20dbfs.

Good Luck


Yes I put it badly, but the ideal recording range is not 18-20dbfs, that is a reference level (UK/US) (1KHz tone @18dbfs=4 PPM) but you would be recording a VO to 5 - 5.5 PPM, well beyond that reference level - absolute permissable peak being 6PPM (=-10db VU below digital clipping). My point is that a music CD can be up to -1 db below clipping, for example, so when you you bring that into an NLE you will have to gain reduce it approx -11 db for TV. And so I suspect this is the problem for the OP and a similar gain reduction is required for capture. If the DV was captured natively in firewire it should be right. It's just that rca analogue is a consumer level device.

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