Import doesn't alter volumes …
What Ben says: checking levels while recording is essential, two examples from my latest projects:
here, lil' Juliette talks to her Nanny about her flirt with Romeo: in camera audio levels all fine, although I need it just for 'walla', cause my position is way too far away from stage.
… and, here my ext audio-recorder was connected to some stage mixer … unfortunately, the 'engineer' managed to deliver a completely off-spec line-out signal for the first part of the concert => all red, unusable, there's nothing you can do in post to fix an 'overdriven' signal
… used the cam audio instead, my Røde picked up the loud PA-sound well … and I wanted the crowd atmosphere anyhow
Most cams offer audio-meters, tiny, but given a rough estimation; avoid any 'auto' levelling; if optional (hey, Sony, Panasonic - wake up!!), plug-in headphones … best-practice: second unit, using ext. equip, caring 'just' for audio …
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