Basic Operations within Avid video workstations

LevelNorm is an AudioSuite plugin and therefore operates on files, not in real time. This file needs to actually exist in the bin (or timeline) and it must be a stereo file if the broadcast is in stereo. In an Avid video editor environment, AudioSuite can only process one file at a time and therefore two mono files do not make a stereo pair. Fortunately, starting from Avids Media Composer 5 stereo tracks can be used in the timeline. Note however that the default track type is still mono. Consult the Media Composer manual on how to create stereo tracks. To learn more about the stereo feature you may also like to view this online tutorial here (3rd party).

LevelNorm automatically tests whether your audio is mono or stereo. In Avid video workstations the surround formats are of no use, so you can ignore the ‘format’ option.

To normalize your audio, the first step is to print your mix to a new stereo file. This is most easily done using the menu “Special -> Audio Mixdown” and then select “Stereo” and a new audio track. Now open the AudioSuite toolbox from the ‘tools’ menu. Select the stereo audio file on the time line or drop it from the bin on the AudioSuite toolbox. Select LevelNorm-EBU or LevelNorm-ATSC from the plugin menu within the AudioSuite toolbox. Open and activate the plugin interface by clicking the purple plugin icon. The user interface looks like the screenshot above. Select your desired format and target level in the LevelNorm interface (usually ‘stereo’ and ‘0 LU’). Next click ‘Render’ and wait for the analysis and rendering to finish. Click OK. The file is now leveled to the selected target. If the average loudness of the file was so low that normalizing it to 0 LU would cause a clip, LevelNorm will show a warning and amplify the file to a maximum peak level of 0 dBTP. Mark that to maintain the correct 0 LU level of a normalized track during a second print, the channel fader should be set to 0 dB. LevelNorm also offers an option to just analyse a selected audio file’s loudness. To do so, click ‘Find LU’ in stead of ‘Render’. After analysis, the plugin window shows the file’s loudness but has not changed its level.