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 Post subject: Do you normalize?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:34 am 
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I have heard convincing arguments from both sides. As a wannabe audiophile myself, I have shied away. Adjusting the volume of my mp3 player every other song, however, gets really annoying. I was just wondering if there is an audiophile friendly way to normalize.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 1:23 pm 
Willamette
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setting that is too much trouble for me...i just mess with my main volume each time...much easier

plus, i listen to mp3 in the background. so, im only kinda listining


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:16 pm 
8086
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I believe you can use replaygain for mp3s. An easy way to do this, is if you have foobar2000 as a player. replaygain comes built into it. As I understand it, replaygain doesn't alter the files in any way. It just adds the changes into the tag. So, if you decide you don't want to use it, all you have to do is remove the replaygain from the files.

There's two different ways to do it. Scan per-file track gain will make all the files the same volume. Scan selection as album will keep the dynamics of an album. It pretty much finds the loudest part of an album and makes an overall adjustment accordingly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 8:51 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Meh, I hate it when a really quiet song comes up then the next one is freakin loud and you get your ears blown out.

What are the disadvantages to normalizing? What software does it?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 4:19 pm 
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From what I understand, normalizing wav files before encoding to mp3 produces better results and there are different programs for different formats. The drawbacks seem to be that songs intended to be softer gain too much volume when brought up to the levels of a louder file. There is also the issue with clipping, of which I am currently reading up on as I don't really understand it.
I've heard people gripe that peaks can also be cut from songs while normalizing, although it doesn't make sense to me if all files are matched to the loudest registered db.
Anyway, I was just wondering if this was really a big issue and if someone would like to expound on the whole normalizing thing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 1:06 pm 
King of All Voodoo2 Cards
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KingGhidrah wrote:
From what I understand, normalizing wav files before encoding to mp3 produces better results and there are different programs for different formats. The drawbacks seem to be that songs intended to be softer gain too much volume when brought up to the levels of a louder file. There is also the issue with clipping, of which I am currently reading up on as I don't really understand it.
I've heard people gripe that peaks can also be cut from songs while normalizing, although it doesn't make sense to me if all files are matched to the loudest registered db.
Anyway, I was just wondering if this was really a big issue and if someone would like to expound on the whole normalizing thing.


Normalizing is simply the process of taking the highest trancesent peak in the file and raising that to the maximum possible 16-bit value and then raising the rest of the file with a logarithmic value based on that one peak wave.

Clipping is simply impossible when you normalize because there's no peaks being greater then the maximum possible 16-bit value. If you manually raise the volume of the WAV file with a linear value (ie- +6dB) there's a good chance you may end up clipping the file.

Peaks are cut when people start using dynamic compression to iron out all the peaks before they boost the volume manually or normalize. Or if they normalize using RMS values and not the peak value they'll definitely be clipping a few of the occasional spikes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:52 pm 
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I'm using Exact Audio Copy (a free program that was on the Maximum CD from the June issue) and it has the normalize feature. For me, I don't think that it makes sense, because I'm encoding MP3's from regular CD's. I would assume that if it's the same album, the volume levels are going to be correct.

If I were to create MP3's from a "mixed" CD I might normalize, but I doubt it, simply because there are so many other files on my PC right now that aren't and are obviosly going to be at different volume levels. Is there a way to normalize after they've been "ripped" into MP3's? And if so, is it even worth the effort? I've honestly never had a problem adjusting my volume as neccessary when I randomize my music play.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:54 am 
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I don't normalize, mainly because the music I listen to is generally better to listen to in the background or really really loud so normalizing wouldn't help any.


normalizing is good for tracks you have *illegally* downloaded. not that I do that. of course not.


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