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Topic: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up (Read 867 times) previous topic - next topic
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Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Help required please with using Replaygain
Hi there this is my first posting so please be lenient with me as I am not a “techie” :-[
Firstly, let me outline the problems that I am having as simply as I can. Also, I have chosen to post this question in the Foobar forum rather than the cd burning section (I will explain more fully)
I use Foobar predominantly for listening and monitoring albums and also individual tracks that I have remixed or remastered and listen via headphones and have manually tailored the equaliser settings accordingly to my preferred playback listening experience within Foobar and then saved the pre-sets so I can choose which one I want depending on my audio source I listen to, which is mainly pop/rock.
The settings I use
Settings Replaygain Scanner:  analyse loudness using EBU R128 selected
Down sample and True peak scan I have left blank, as I don’t fully understand what they do 
DSP manager: I only have Equaliser as an active DSP but not “Replaygain alternative” so not sure if this should be selected as active or not?
Under Playback: I have read in various forums that this should ideally be set to:
setting the slider labelled “Without RG info” to -8.0
and “with RG info to 0 dB” so those are my settings
I would also add that mostly I tend to save audio files as lossless flac and would have each of them
saved as -1.db using Audacity

I tend to burn a lot of home-produced cd compilations and that does pose a few problems with some of the tracks not being of the same playback levels through my cd sound system and stereo audio speakers.  I appreciate that obviously there are going to be times when certain tracks will be quieter than others in which case, I may select Replay gain by album instead of “by track”.
Even so, just lately I have been getting uneven results and am wondering if I have not set Foobar up correctly or have messed up some of the settings.  So here are the steps that I normally take before burning my CDs
Firstly, I adjust all audio tracks as previously mentioned to -1db so as to avoid any clipping and distortion
1.   I load the album tracks that I want to burn into Foobar and obviously do a lot of listening beforehand through headphones to identify any errors etc (with the RG box set to NONE)
2.   Next, I go into the drop-down box RG setting, and select TRACK and then apply gain and prevent clipping acc to peak
3.   Then I (highlight/select all tracks) and scan per file track gain
4.   My current playlist for one project shows track peak as nearly all 0.891266 for all 18 tracks
What I don’t fully understand is with step 2 is what would happen if you left the RG drop down box set to NONE before you apply the step 3 and perform the replaygain scan. In other words, does the RG box settings only have an effect on the playback properties after the scan has been applied
Also does the replaygain scanner get its readings from the “Playback settings” I keep as the default i.e., the -8db and 0db or is that purely just for the internal playback through Foobar and has nothing to do with the new file settings that are produced by the replaygain scanner. (I’m probably not explaining myself very well but is there something that I should be doing, if essentially, I just want to achieve the same volume levels as close as possible (through my external cd player) which at the moment is a bit hit and miss. I might add that I use CDBurner Xp and toggle the settings there to accept reply gain by track before I burn a cd
The components I have loaded are: replaygain DSP 0.2.8     foo__dspreplaygain and
ReplayGain Scanner for foobar2000 Copyright (C) Peter Pawlowski  ver 1.6.10  foo__rgscan (although listed under installed components, this appears to be greyed out) 
I hope that I have presented my question that is understandable and have not added layers of confusion- if so please accept my apologies.
I someone could perhaps see if any of the settings or steps that I am using could be wrong then I would be extremely thankful.




Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #2
Thanks 2 tec, but that is where I got my original information about settings from and also other user groups and articles, so I have already read this page several times- plus others about Replaygain, but unfortunately this has not solved the specific points raised  Thanks anyway




Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #3
Are you certain your tracks have RG tags?  Add these columns into your playlist and you'll see the values:

Track Gain = [%replaygain_track_gain%]
Album Gain = [%replaygain_album_gain%]

When you convert the playlist using "Write Audio CD", how are you setting the "ReplayGain Processing" options?

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #4
Select a song or group of songs, go to the properties>replaygain

you should see something similiar to https://postimg.cc/vgQkW4dP
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #5
What I don’t fully understand is with step 2 is what would happen if you left the RG drop down box set to NONE before you apply the step 3 and perform the replaygain scan. In other words, does the RG box settings only have an effect on the playback properties after the scan has been applied.
Also does the replaygain scanner get its readings from the “Playback settings” I keep as the default i.e., the -8db and 0db or is that purely just for the internal playback through Foobar and has nothing to do with the new file settings that are produced by the replaygain scanner.
I'm no expert but to my understanding both the options you mention only effect playback. The scanning process has nothing to do with these options. (Which you could verify by scanning again and noting the values with the options on/off - 'Track Gain' values would be the same)

In my experience when using Track Gain (Source mode: Track) with a mix of tracks from different mastered sources, sometimes a really quiet track will just get boosted a little too much comparatively. Especially when played alongside louder tracks that have compressed dynamics (due to "loudness wars"). I'm not sure if this is what you're experiencing.

I'm sure someone else can explain in more (correct) technical terms. ;)

Just to note for the occasional problematic track, you can always modify the 'Track Gain' value in right-click track > Properties > ReplayGain tab to compensate. If you feel a track is too loud relative to others, subtract a few dB and listen again.

Quote
1.   I load the album tracks that I want to burn into Foobar and obviously do a lot of listening beforehand through headphones to identify any errors etc (with the RG box set to NONE)
2.   Next, I go into the drop-down box RG setting, and select TRACK and then apply gain and prevent clipping acc to peak
3.   Then I (highlight/select all tracks) and scan per file track gain
(The order of 2 and 3 makes no difference)

Hopefully you also do some listening with RG on to compare relative track levels, before you burn a CD (save the plastic) ;)

Quote
I might add that I use CDBurner Xp and toggle the settings there to accept reply gain by track before I burn a cd
No idea about this program. (I suppose if the relative track levels are similar to what you hear in foobar with RG on, then it works?)

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #6
Are you certain your tracks have RG tags?  Add these columns into your playlist and you'll see the values:

Track Gain = [%replaygain_track_gain%]
Album Gain = [%replaygain_album_gain%]

When you convert the playlist using "Write Audio CD", how are you setting the "ReplayGain Processing" options?
Hi - Many thanks for the nifty Track and Album gain additions, which I have loaded into my playlists and can already see the track gain values for those playlists where I have RG loaded/engaged. I similarly also used to highlight all tracks and select properties and view from there but this is quicker- and stays permanent.
I'm not sure what you mean by "Write Audio CD" as I do not use Foobar to do this, but instead use cdBurner Xp which gives you the option to turn on "replaygain" values prior to burning the cd. In that software, you can select Track gain or album gain or NONE as the three default options before burning

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #7
What I don’t fully understand is with step 2 is what would happen if you left the RG drop down box set to NONE before you apply the step 3 and perform the replaygain scan. In other words, does the RG box settings only have an effect on the playback properties after the scan has been applied.
Also does the replaygain scanner get its readings from the “Playback settings” I keep as the default i.e., the -8db and 0db or is that purely just for the internal playback through Foobar and has nothing to do with the new file settings that are produced by the replaygain scanner.
I'm no expert but to my understanding both the options you mention only effect playback. The scanning process has nothing to do with these options. (Which you could verify by scanning again and noting the values with the options on/off - 'Track Gain' values would be the same)  This has been very helpful as Foobar's explanation about Replay gain is so outdated and is not very well presented and this information you have provided confirms my suspicions

In my experience when using Track Gain (Source mode: Track) with a mix of tracks from different mastered sources, sometimes a really quiet track will just get boosted a little too much comparatively. Especially when played alongside louder tracks that have compressed dynamics (due to "loudness wars"). I'm not sure if this is what you're experiencing.  This has also been valuable info- and yes I have also noticed that too- for example on Abbey Rd - The Beatles- "Her Majesty" which was supposed to be relatively low  ( just Paul and an acoustic guitar and vocal-gets boosted way to high and I often wandered how to reduce just this one track

I'm sure someone else can explain in more (correct) technical terms. ;)

Just to note for the occasional problematic track, you can always modify the 'Track Gain' value in right-click track > Properties > ReplayGain tab to compensate. If you feel a track is too loud relative to others, subtract a few dB and listen again.

Quote
1.   I load the album tracks that I want to burn into Foobar and obviously do a lot of listening beforehand through headphones to identify any errors etc (with the RG box set to NONE)
2.   Next, I go into the drop-down box RG setting, and select TRACK and then apply gain and prevent clipping acc to peak
3.   Then I (highlight/select all tracks) and scan per file track gain
(The order of 2 and 3 makes no difference)  This is also very helpful information Thank you

Hopefully you also do some listening with RG on to compare relative track levels, before you burn a CD (save the plastic) ;)
Yes - always but am still wasting too many burned cds that have one or two tracks that are too low
Quote
I might add that I use CDBurner Xp and toggle the settings there to accept reply gain by track before I burn a cd
No idea about this program. (I suppose if the relative track levels are similar to what you hear in Foobar with RG on, then it works?)
Ahh... that's the problem because in Foobar by listening through headphones after applying RG and monitoring you get a different "perception" of how it all sounds, compared to the actual playing of the cd through a stereo system- in other words you can pick out more detail through headphones, which can be lost or hidden in the subsesquent  playback via the cd method- but equally you can discern volume inconsistencies as well, and that is my main problem.. Maybe I ought to try and use "Album gain" and see if that makes any difference

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #8
If you set it to "album" gain, it will use the album gain tag if that one exists - and otherwise fallback to track gain. So if you have e.g. various artist compilations you want to be played back each track of its own, then you can scan as individual tracks. (If you already scanned as albums, you can just remove the album gain and album peak tags.)

To search up those tracks that have or do not have a certain tag, the query syntax is e.g. %replaygain_track_gain% PRESENT or  %replaygain_track_peak% MISSING or whatever tag you want to query about.


The settings I use
Settings Replaygain Scanner:  analyse loudness using EBU R128 selected
Down sample and True peak scan I have left blank, as I don’t fully understand what they do 
Downsample: if there is, say, a 352/24 file, the RG scanner can disregard everything above 20 kHz, as you cannot hear that anyway. (If there is a lot of ultrasonic content, then ... poor speakers!)
True peak: if your DAC oversamples, you should probably use that to avoid clipping. Very rarely you will have potential issues anyway, but using true peak scan doesn't hurt anything but the time taken to do the scanning.


I would also add that mostly I tend to save audio files as lossless flac and would have each of them
saved as -1.db using Audacity
Those are the ones you process?
(Unless you intend to do any EQ processing or that kind, you might keep them out of Audacity.)

As for CD burning, I do not know whether your can be set to apply the RG values to the content. If not, then those are tags only, and burning an audio CD will only write an audio stream, not the RG tags. RG is supposed to be a losslessly reversible operation, that is why it is in tags and does not alter the file content - rather it just instructs the player to do volume shifts on every playback.
Last two months' worth of foobar2000.org ad revenue has been donated to support war refugees from Ukraine: https://www.foobar2000.org/

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #9
If you set it to "album" gain, it will use the album gain tag if that one exists - and otherwise fallback to track gain. So if you have e.g. various artist compilations you want to be played back each track of its own, then you can scan as individual tracks. (If you already scanned as albums, you can just remove the album gain and album peak tags.)

To search up those tracks that have or do not have a certain tag, the query syntax is e.g. %replaygain_track_gain% PRESENT or  %replaygain_track_peak% MISSING or whatever tag you want to query about.

Thanks again useful to know
The settings I use
Settings Replaygain Scanner:  analyse loudness using EBU R128 selected
Down sample and True peak scan I have left blank, as I don’t fully understand what they do 
Downsample: if there is, say, a 352/24 file, the RG scanner can disregard everything above 20 kHz, as you cannot hear that anyway. (If there is a lot of ultrasonic content, then ... poor speakers!)
True peak: if your DAC oversamples, you should probably use that to avoid clipping. Very rarely you will have potential issues anyway, but using true peak scan doesn't hurt anything but the time taken to do the scanning.
Also useful info- Thanks

I would also add that mostly I tend to save audio files as lossless flac and would have each of them
saved as -1.db using Audacity
Those are the ones you process?  Yes all my files are edited using Audacity as my DAW and I always set volume amplification as a final process to -1db- if there is any clipping which Audacity can detect

(Unless you intend to do any EQ processing or that kind, you might keep them out of Audacity.)   Some of my audio files do have EQ added but I tend to use EQ sporadically now anyway

As for CD burning, I do not know whether your can be set to apply the RG values to the content. If not, then those are tags only, and burning an audio CD will only write an audio stream, not the RG tags. RG is supposed to be a losslessly reversible operation, that is why it is in tags and does not alter the file content - rather it just instructs the player to do volume shifts on every playback. Thanks- Well as I have stated I just select the option to Track Gain within CDBurner XP and let the programme do the rest-  (it has always worked for me so I know that it can handle RG as well-  the programme website also states : support for ReplayGain:  see here  : https://cdburnerxp.se/help/kb/7   and also support for CD-Text

The programme may well be very old now, but I have been using it for several years as it's so reliable as a burner- & rarely had any cd errors using this program. I always  convert my stuff to 16bit files (and dither if necessary from 24bit- by the way)   Once again, thanks for your valuable input :)
  

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #10
If you do not intend to alter EQ or anything, and are happy with how the volume comes out of the RG scanning, there is no need to put them through Audacity. Extra work and irreversibly changes your files.
Last two months' worth of foobar2000.org ad revenue has been donated to support war refugees from Ukraine: https://www.foobar2000.org/

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #11
I'm not sure what you mean by "Write Audio CD" as I do not use Foobar to do this, but instead use cdBurner Xp which gives you the option to turn on "replaygain" values prior to burning the cd. In that software, you can select Track gain or album gain or NONE as the three default options before burning
I'm familiar with CDBurnerXP and what you describe should work. Use Track Gain. You might try the foobar2000 CD burner component to see if you get a better result.

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #12
If you do not intend to alter EQ or anything, and are happy with how the volume comes out of the RG scanning, there is no need to put them through Audacity. Extra work and irreversibly changes your files.

  Hi  there,  Sorry, I may possibly not be making myself clear ::) . Audacity is my DAW that I use solely to master various recordings including multi-tracks and then I save the audio files as lossless flac 16bit 44100htz there. It's only when I want to put together an album of say compilations or remixes that I run those tracks through Foobar, for listening (so I may have many playlists) before I decide to add any RG to them, then burn as a cd-r through CDBurnerXP.  So Foobar, is last in the chain so to speak. I never go back into Audacity again once the main editing has been done there- for the reasons that you have highlighted

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #13
I'm not sure what you mean by "Write Audio CD" as I do not use Foobar to do this, but instead use cdBurner Xp which gives you the option to turn on "replaygain" values prior to burning the cd. In that software, you can select Track gain or album gain or NONE as the three default options before burning
I'm familiar with CDBurnerXP and what you describe should work. Use Track Gain. You might try the foobar2000 CD burner component to see if you get a better result.
  Thanks for that info- I might look into that as an alternative if all else fails. (It's just this one album that I have re-mixed that is bugging me  ::)  ::) Normally I don't mind, if the levels area bit low if I'm sitting at my computer with cans on as I am there and can tweak the volume- how I like - or ditch the RG setting etc... but when you burn a cd and are constantly having to get up to alter the volume on the stereo it becomes tedious ???  ???

Re: Help please using Foobar replaygain and set up

Reply #14
UPDATE
Hi there- :)  Well, managed to eventually get the results I wanted, by manually adjusting each RG track by listening to each one through headphones and then lowering the db levels so they are relatively even now  ::)
Sounds ok  on cd anyway, which is what I wanted..... but never thought that this would be so time consuming ???  ??? .
Thanks to everyone who has provided information and feedback as much appreciated ;)