View Full Version : Setting sound levels during capture

14th September 1999, 06:43
What's your sound card Kevin? I have a PCI128 that comes with mixer software.

- Aryko

14th September 1999, 12:24
I would also like to able to monitor the audio levels. But unlike Kevin, I'd like to be able to do it while viewing the footage prior to recording it. I have the PCI 128 sound card as does Aryko, and yes, there are audio levels displayed, but only while recording (or playing back the recording). The PCI 128's mixer program will allow one to alter the audio levels at any time, but it will NOT allow you to visually see what you've done unless you are actually recording. I find this to be rather unsatisfactory. I want to be able to set the audio levels before I record the footage, and not be limited to only doing it during capture.

To get around this problem, I've patched the audio output from my sound card into a Sony SLV-R5 editing deck. This allows me to monitor the audio levels on the deck's audio meters, but this is kind of an awkward way to do it. And if I have to use this deck to play back SVHS footage to be captured, well, then I'm totally out of luck.

There must be some kind of a simple program with a small display that could show inputted audio levels at all times.

Any suggestions?

14th September 1999, 13:55
The only program I can think of is Sound Force. It has a monitor with which you at all time can see the volume level. It will also mark the highest level found during the session. I find this very useful for detecting when clipping has occured.

However, this is NOT freeware, but it comes with SoundBlaster Live! Full Retail version.


[This message has been edited by Ghydda (edited 09-14-1999).]

14th September 1999, 15:56
That doesn't do us much good! http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif

Well, at least this indicates that there are suitable programs of one sort or another available.

Kevin Culp
14th September 1999, 16:54
Does anyone know of any inexpensive (shareware or freeware) programs that will allow me to set and monitor sound card input levels during video capture?

My current method is to load CoolEdit 96 and use the VU meter function to set my levels, close it, then run my capture program in order to make sure everything works properly. Obviously this is unwieldy, and having a continuous sound level (VU-type) display would help matters considerably. Furthermore, it doesn't allow me to tweak the levels (or at least know to what extreme I am tweaking them!) in the middle of the capture if it becomes necessary.

Thank you,


[This message has been edited by Kevin Culp (edited 09-14-1999).]

Kevin Culp
15th September 1999, 16:30

I'm using a "NewClear 3D 128" PCI card... ships with an Aztech Labs driver and some limited Yamaha and Voyetra software.

Just a thought: VirtualDub (Avery Lee's program) has a sound level meter built in. Since Avery Lee has provided the source code for download, maybe an option is to pull that routine and recompile it independently of the VirtualDub software.


20th September 1999, 06:11
I've located a the VirtualDub AVI capture program which has a volume level monitor and it's freeware.

It is also the most informative program I have seen of it's kind. I toyed around with it last night, and so far I like it very much. It offers al sorts of adjustments and is really worth looking into.
www.concentric.net/~Psilon/virtualdub.html (http://www.concentric.net/~Psilon/virtualdub.html)

It is highly recommended to read everything this dude has to say about capturing, it is very informative:
www.concentric.net/~Psilon/video.html (http://www.concentric.net/~Psilon/video.html)


[This message has been edited by Ghydda (edited 09-20-1999).]

[This message has been edited by Ghydda (edited 09-20-1999).]

Kevin Culp
29th September 1999, 13:40

I found one that appears to work well for setting sound levels prior to capture. Unfortunately it won't work during capture (which was my original concern) but it may meet your requirements. Since it's easier than running CoolEdit before capturing every time, I'll probably start using this now.

Here's the link:

<A HREF="http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/programs/Graphic_Level_Mater/" target="_blank">http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/programs/Graphic_Level_Mater/</A>

Take care,

[This message has been edited by Kevin Culp (edited 09-29-1999).]

Kevin Culp
29th September 1999, 15:40
Hey, I found another utility that is even better: <A HREF="http://www.sonicspot.com/wavetools/wavetools.html" target="_blank">Wavetools</A>. This one allows you to "stop" monitoring while you are capturing, so you can avoid conflicts with your capture software accessing the sound card. This one also has an oscilloscope and some other handy utilities, and is **freeware**. The utility I mentioned in my previous post looks sharp, but you must close it before capturing. Wavetools won't monitor during capture but it is more convenient to monitor your sound levels when you need to do so.

Also, to avoid having to tweak sound levels each time I go to do a capture, I found <A HREF="http://www.msaxon.com/" target="_blank">Quickmix</A> -- a utility that allows you to save and load your customized settings as needed (e.g. one for when I'm capturing from Hi8; one for TV; one for VHS; etc.) This is freeware, too.

Just a few things I've found out there that some of you may be able to use...


29th September 1999, 17:39
Hey Kevin, this is great. I can't keep up with all of your suggestions! http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif

This is starting to look promising. When I get a chance to download and try out these programs, I'll post back and give a critique.

Thanks for tracking 'em down.