I use a USB capture card, and CyberLink PowerDirector, to capture video. The capture card is connected to a TV through three RCA cables (one yellow, one white, and one red), and to a laptop which has Windows 10 on it. There is a volume slider in PowerDirector. There is a volume slider in Windows 10 in system tray. The TV has volume plus and volume minus buttons.
In PowerDirector, I will set audio to MP2 at 256 kbps. After capturing, I don't want to put the audio in an audio editor and normalize it, or increase or decrease the number of dB. I want to leave the audio untouched. But this means that, before the capture process is initiated, the volume must be normal, not too low, and not too loud.
What volumes do you recommend for the TV, for Windows 10, and for PowerDirector? Should I set all three to 50%? Or is there a better way to determine all three volumes? Is connecting a pair of headphones to the laptop, to monitor the volume, a good solution? Because I noticed that a pair of headphones sounds too loud when volume is set to above 20%, but another pair of headphones doesn't sound too loud at 30% volume...
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Last edited by codemaster; 16th Mar 2017 at 09:36.
Use the VU meter in your capture software.
Capture a short sample and check the volume levels. Adjust if necessary before doing the real capture.
Aim for highest peaks somewhere between -9 and -6 dBFS. The headroom is for unexpected peaks, because if you hit 0 dBFS, you get permanently distorted audio. The free Orban Loudness Meter will show you digital levels and how your audio compares to loudness standards.
You might be able to use the meter in Windows' audio controls applet. Right click on the speaker icon in the System Tray. Select Recording Devices. See if the capture device's meter shows up and moves while you capture.
When PowerDirector captures video and audio from the usb capture stick, it captures sound from the capture stick, not from the PC's sound card. Changing volume in Windows and in PowerDirector doesn't change the volume in the recording. Changing volume on the TV to which the capture stick is connected, changes the volume in the recording.
On the TV, volume has 25 levels. I put the TV volume to level 13, I did a test recording with the capture stick, I demuxed the audio stream and opened it in an audio editor. In the audio editor, where there is speech, levels get very close to -15 dB, but do not go over -15 dB. Should I normalize to -3 dB?
Last edited by codemaster; 28th Jun 2017 at 23:42.
There is no standard dBFS reading that you should aim for except not going past -1. It depends on how you have your playback volume set and how loud you can make the TV before it distorts ahead of the converter. You will have the most control converting at a reasonable level, like you have right now, and then normalizing in software.
Then, the easiest solution seems to be:
- to put TV volume at 50 %, so that levels in the recording will not be too low or too high;
- to record with PowerDirector and usb capture stick;
- to demux audio stream;
- to normalize audio stream to -3 dB, because this would ensure that a recording doesn't have levels that are too low.
Last edited by codemaster; 28th Jun 2017 at 23:49.