Volume Difference Between East and West Coast Videos

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#1 Edited by GeneralBison (534 posts) -

Not so much a site bug but recently there's been a noticable difference in the volume between videos produced from the San Francisco and NY offices, NY produced videos are consistently quieter than SF videos (not just the mics, but also the QL intro).

Wondering if anyone else had noticed this or if it's a known issue.

EDIT: Found this thread from a couple of years ago, weirdly I've only just noticed this difference.

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#2 Posted by rocketblast0063 (324 posts) -

I have noticed this for years, and it's not just between east and west.
Most of the time I use headphones, and digging through downloaded material over the years the volume is really inconsistent between videos.

And generally GB is not as loud as the rest of internet. I think we have to live with this, GB has never been known for a high production value and probably never will.

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#3 Posted by The_Nubster (4367 posts) -

Chiming in to say this has been a longtime issue. I hope they fix it at some point but it's not the end of the world if they don't.

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#4 Posted by HansGr00ber (49 posts) -

I find the west coast videos are loud rather than east being quiet. I need my TV volume much lower with GBW videos than anything else. Not really a major issue but is noticeable.

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#5 Posted by cikame (2955 posts) -

It's pretty much on a per video basis for me.
It's better than it was, years ago i used to download every video so i could use VLC's volume boost, i still download every video but now i only have to adjust within 10%.

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#6 Posted by Darkflight (53 posts) -

@hansgr00ber: This, I find I have to step the West videos down a bunch for them to not be aggravating

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#7 Edited by OONTZOONTZOONTZ (38 posts) -

I've noticed East videos have an issue where you can see their mouths moving but no audio. I assume it's some kind of audio compressor setting difference between the two offices.

Anyone else notice this?

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#8 Posted by The_Nubster (4367 posts) -

@oontzoontzoontz Can't say I have, personally. You hear audio sometimes but not every time they talk? If you have a specific timestamp in mind I'd happily go see if I could corroborate it for you.

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#9 Posted by PhilipDuck (762 posts) -

Yeah I'd say this is more GBW being too loud rather than GBE being quiet.

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#10 Edited by MrKlorox (11190 posts) -

Guys at GB. Specifically @vinny, @unastrike, @janman THIS IS NOT AN AD

Please for the love of your fans please look into software that will maximize your waveform. I have been using this piece of broadcast software called BreakawayOne for about a year (and the home user edition Breakaway Audio Enhancer for years before that) to watch GBI and I can't imagine doing it without that. Have you ever heard of the Omnia line of high end broadcast processors from Telos Alliance? The developer of it is the same developer of BreakawayOne (Leif Claesson) and the base HD core is $150 piece of software instead of a $10k appliance. It's not NEARLY as configurable (see Omnia manual pdf to compareavailable features to configure) They have an unlimited trial mode that interrupts the stream every hour with a jingle/reminder to register so you can really put it through its paces before deciding it's worth purchasing. It'll run on any windows PC from win7 on, so try it out at home on your own time if you're interested.

Jan knows I've been pretty persistent about this software, so I can understand if this is a huge turn-off. Sincere apologies if that's the case.

Loading Video...

Here's a quick and dirty example I pulled from GBI Vinny Vania earlier today.

Now, all my Duders who come to GB and GBI for all the awesome content: My answer to you in the mean time would be to try Breakaway Audio Enhancer first. Its trial mode isn't as flexible as BreakawayOne's, being limited to 30 days. But it's also like 30 dollars for a lifetime key. I say give it a try and if you don't think it was worth the dollar a day you used it, uninstall and forget about it.

My homie @greenboots uses it (BAE not BAO) and he can attest to its efficacy for making many different videos with vastly varying qualities sound similar and presentable and equally loud. For game videos it will turn up the game volume whenever the guys aren't talking, and ducks again when they pipe up without you having to fiddle with your volume knob.

I've been a fan of the developer for like 20 years since he was working on Winamp plugins.

EDIT: Here are some more samples/examples:

  1. https://youtu.be/u-YOtgjY7SI
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12idRRp7uVA
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3IkZV5M6sg
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#11 Posted by PurpleMoustache (143 posts) -

I think the extra samples in the @mrklorox post are pretty damn good. It goes from kinda blown out to a bit more managable

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#12 Posted by MrKlorox (11190 posts) -

Thanks @purplemoustache Yes. The red parts are to show what it sounds like if you go above the +0db target into +6db. I really don't know why I showed that part other than showing what the loudness limit could do. I don't think it'll do any good for the cause though.

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#13 Edited by greenboots (4 posts) -

I can certainly attest to Breakaway being great at normalising the volume differences between videos on GBi as a user. Beyond that I'm not qualified in the slightest.

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#14 Posted by OONTZOONTZOONTZ (38 posts) -

@the_nubster: first second of the GBE RE4 playdate on 5/22/19.

Also checked another video, the Quicklook for Rage 2. Around the 25s mark it looks like Vinny is talking, but maybe he's below the noise floor?

I assume it's a compressor issue, because it's usually only when somebody first begins talking.

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#15 Posted by The_Nubster (4367 posts) -

@oontzoontzoontz: Checked those out and nothing seemed weird to me. In the RE4 one, it seemed like Abby was just opening her mouth to start talking and I didn't notice any missing sound from Vinny in the Rage one. You meant the very first 25s, right? 0:00:25?

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#16 Edited by schindigg (180 posts) -

Seems like @mrklorox is onto something here, volume levels and consistency are all over the place between the coasts and it would be cool to see this get looked into.

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#17 Posted by Shami_Sansi (56 posts) -

I've used the program @mrklorox is on about and it totally fixes the issue this thread is about. Would be nice to get it, or an equivalent fix, on GBi actual, the volume levels are the only reason I don't have GBi running constantly :x

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#18 Posted by FinalDasa (3241 posts) -

So production is pretty difficult.

Giant Bomb has said in older streams when chat complains about low volume that their machines are as loud as they can go. This isn't something overlooked, or "unprofessional" like some suggest, just a strange reality of all these different pieces of hardware and software talking to one another.

The fixes listed in here are post processing/editing fixes and if you notice GB does very, very little editing. To have a swift and nimble website with lower costs, they have a small and crafty production staff. The focus is to get streams up asap which is itself a difficult task cause even Twitch and Youtube take awhile with their own uploading and rendering times.

There may be some tweaks but if you're hoping for GB to suddenly take extra time, on every video, and every live stream to boost the audio you may be disappointed.

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#19 Edited by MrKlorox (11190 posts) -
@finaldasa said:

The fixes listed in here are post processing/editing fixes and if you notice GB does very, very little editing. To have a swift and nimble website with lower costs, they have a small and crafty production staff. The focus is to get streams up asap which is itself a difficult task cause even Twitch and Youtube take awhile with their own uploading and rendering times.

There may be some tweaks but if you're hoping for GB to suddenly take extra time, on every video, and every live stream to boost the audio you may be disappointed.

The effects I've posted about are real-time postco processing effects. Suggesting they take time to change or add an extra step in their editing is indeed silly. Breakaway goes at the very end of the audio chain before streaming out or recording. How else did you think it would work for GBI or for people who use the home version? I assure you they don't download, rerender the videos trhough breakaway (which isn't even a thing) then end up with a shiny new loud file. This ain't no levelator.

The whole point of Breakaway or Omnia is so you can set it to have the sound you want in and it'll try to keep that sound IN REAL TIME through various techniques that are way over my head.

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#20 Posted by HansGr00ber (49 posts) -

Has GBW recently (in the last few days) lowered the volume of their videos? It seems to be better on my end.

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#21 Posted by Computron7000 (20 posts) -

I've been using the Breakaway trial version over the weekend and can relay my experience with a couple different video types.

  • GB @ Nite videos: Didn't appreciably change anything since the audio levels were consistent and reasonable to begin with.
  • Alex's Drumstravaganza: I ended up disabling it since I found it more distracting to constantly have the music volume changing whenever Alex was talking or the drum hits were triggering the noise gate.
  • Most videos I watched on GBI: did a decent job normalizing volume levels between videos.

In some videos it also helped to make the background game audio more audible without having to turn up the speakers on my TV, but this was not too consistent since it depended on how much talking was going on and maybe also on the initial audio mix.

I ended up uninstalling the trial version though since it didn't play nice with my audio output device changing every time I switch my display between my monitor and TV.

I would like to see something similar integrated into the streaming and recording pipeline if possible though since it helps or at least doesn't hurt in almost all cases I've tried so far (just disable it for drum streams).

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#22 Edited by MrKlorox (11190 posts) -
No Caption Provided

@wcarle, @janman, @unastrike@ybbaaabby@vinny Sorry for this block of text about BreakawayOne. Again, not an ad. I really just want my favorite website/channel to sound as amazing as the content already is. I know all of you work super fucking hard tuning everything to sound just perfect, and I don't mean to disrespect. THANK YOU for your attention. I've just put a little bit of time into OBS and came in on the right (random PC) game video in GBI: Omikron. It's Vinny, Dave Snider, and Drew (Alexis hasn't made it into the room yet in this example) and what might be just one microphone.

So basically BreakawayOne has a 5 slot VST host and it allows you to insert any necessary effects, such as Thimeo Stereo Tool's unequaled Declipper module --which I used in the embedded video-- or fun stuff like a vocoder or autotune, before it starts processing inside Breakaway. The upper two waveforms are the In and Out of Stereo Tool's VST plugin; the red edges (sorry Jeff and Vinny) in the upper left waveform represent clipping and the right is the declipped signal, above0db in a 32-bit floating point audio pathway (I think). The bottom three, if you can't read the labels are Pre-VST, Breakaway Input, Breakaway Output. The green line represents 0db.

The left audio channel is the original unmodified the-way-GBI-plays-it audio. The right audio channel is the final out of Breakaway and Stereo Tool. You should probably use a Youtube Downloader thing (or staff send me a PM and I'll link a cloud upload) and VLC because it's easy to Right-Click>Audio>Audio Device> Left or Right and have it fill out the other channel. BAO is ~$150 for an HD core (you dont need a different core because you're not complying to AM/FM standards. And ST's Declipper is like ~$130 USDs. Combined they can repair/present with a clarity you've never had before. Just look at it in the spectrogram image around 1:11 when everybody "oh nooo!s" at once.^

Loading Video...


Now, is this for the podcast studio? Is this for Giant Bomb Infinite? Is it for the video studio(s)? Yes! It would be amazing to get the "Omnia" sound for all three of your recording zones and one playback zone without it costing $40K+ for four broadcast appliances. Maybe ya'll try out the Breakaway One/Declipper combo on GBinfinite and fall in love with it and/or want more control and decide to buy Omnias for the studios. And remember it's for home broadcasting, so Jeff and Abby could probably make some use of it too.

Thanks @computron7000 for checking it out. Admittedly the older (Win 7 era) BAE doesn't play nice with multiple devices changing all the time like with how detection and auto-switching happens in modern gaming/windows. BAO allows for multiple outputs so you can send it to your headphones and to your tv without having to reconfigure.

Sorry if I come off as rude in any way. I pulled an all nighter and am a little fuzzy by now.

edit: If you can come up with a better way for me to exemplify these software, please let me know. It's not a straight forward solution to provide two audio tracks to swap between at will.

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#23 Edited by MrKlorox (11190 posts) -

Here's a straight up download link of the video.

Also new bug: I can't edit the above post in chrome or firefox.