Audio Levels For Video And Documentary Production

by Sharon Katz
(Philadelphia PA, USA)

Ask Your Documentary Question

What are the current standards regarding acceptable audio decibel levels of 1. Interviews 2. Music under interviews and 3. Music concert footage?

Thank You.

Answer | Desktop Documentaries

Hello Sharon, to make sure to get you the best answer, we pitched your question to Bobby Ellis who runs a video production company in Georgia, USA called The Image Company. He and his team produce broadcast commercials, mini-documentaries and other media products.

Answer | The Image Company

For broadcast, we are currently recording voice at -6 to -12 db in the field with -3db levels voice in editing and around -8 to -16db for our music under levels. Not sure about concert footage? We don't get complaints from broadcast stations. Hope that helps.

Indepth Audio Training

Want indepth audio training? Try the excellent online Audio Tutorials at Lynda.com including the course on Audio Recording Techniques with Bobby Owsinski.


Do you have experience with audio levels for video and documentary production? What audio levels are you using? Please post feedback and comments below.

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