Normalization…for the longest time I couldn’t figure out exactly what it did. I had audio geeks tell me to normalize everything and I’d ask, “what does it do?” The answer I always got was always to technical and in terms I couldn’t understand. I think like a video editor, so I needed it explained to me by a video editor. I found a perfect post by Final Cut Pro Master, Larry Jordan, explaining exactly what Normalization does.
Normalization means to raise the audio gain of an enitre clip such that the loudest portion of the clip does not exceed a level which you specify. As a note, I never normalize to 0 dB — it’s too loud. I tend to normalize audio between -4.5 and -6 dB.
That explains it and is a great utility to use on your clips. Select all the audio in your project that you want to Normalize, which should be all the talking audio, and normalize. You have to be careful though not to Normalize a final project without selecting the audio tracks from the clips because it will add gain to the entire project including any music tracks that you have.
If you care about becoming a more efficient video editor check out Larry Jordan’s site and learn from the master. This one tip will save me about 30 minutes every two weeks when I clean up the audio for Often Awesome the series.