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Topic: Best Possible Audio [For Dummies] (Read 5197 times) previous topic - next topic
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Best Possible Audio [For Dummies]

Ok, I know there are lots of threads that explain this but all are far too complex for me.  What I want is someone to explain what the best settings are.  I've replay-gained all my files and use the 48000Hz resampler (coz of my SB!Live).  All my mp3s are about 1.15DB "REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_PEAK".  Do I need to use the preamp plugin?  And if so to what value should I set it?  Should I enable the limiter?  All I want is the best possible sound quality, nothing else.


Best Possible Audio [For Dummies]

Reply #1
Use whatever sounds best for you.  Experiment!  Your opinion is the only one that matters at the end of the day.

But if you don't have a high end speaker setup, then endless tweaking may be a waste of time.  Especially with a cheap sound card. 

Good luck anyway!
[span style=\'font-size:9\']\"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light\"[/span]

Best Possible Audio [For Dummies]

Reply #2
Thanks man, that's what I though.  I was just hoping that someone would come along and say "Duh!  Enable 'x' and you'll get sounds twice as good!"

Best Possible Audio [For Dummies]

Reply #3
I know some people will disagree, but I'd always enable the hard limiter for the sake of avoiding clipping. I have some tracks that ReplayGain massively amplifies, (theoretically) pushing the peaks beyond 300%, and giving me hundreds of badly clipped samples in a row - that sounds really ugly (and it can damage speakers too, it is said).

By the way - the "REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_PEAK" field you're seeing refers to the peak level before ReplayGain adjustment (and is not displayed in dB, but as a multiple of the full-scale mark, so your file would peak at 115%) - if ReplayGain reduces the volume of the file, most likely the peak will be below 100% and thus clipping will be eliminated.



Best Possible Audio [For Dummies]

Reply #4
I guess I'm one on  those that don't like the hard limiter .

Just note that the 6 dB hard limiter will always change the sound (some added colouration due to soft distortion) of anything that goes above -6dB over full scale. In practice, any non-replaygained modern music you play.

Since I don't use replaygain, I prefer not to use it. But if you use replaygain and the music loudness is usually reduced, it may make no harm.

The easiest and safer option is to always use the hard limiter and also set the preamp to -6 dB. This way the hard limiter is harmless, while still reducing any possible remaining clipping. The only problem now is that you will have to increase the output level at your card mixer or amp, to compensate the preamp level reduction. Due to this you may notice some increased background noise. If you don't notice it, then there's no harm in doing this.


Best Possible Audio [For Dummies]

Reply #5
or just simply avoid using that soft clipping limiter and you're out of problems - use the monkee limiter instead.