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Topic: ReplayGain Newbie (Read 389 times) previous topic - next topic
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ReplayGain Newbie

I have just found out how to rip my several SACDs to .dsf. For now I have just ripped the multi-channel audio. I then used foobar2000 to convert the .dsf to FLAC 24/44.1. The music plays back quietly and I have read that SACD files are about -6dB quieter in general. So I thought I would look to using ReplayGain to normalise.  So far I have written tags to one sample album from a scan using the option "Scan as a Single Album". I attach a screenshot of the values, which I am not sure how to interpret. Am I naive in thinking that when I play this album back the volume will be normalised? It does not seem to be working that way. What else do I need to do?

My aim was to normalise the ripped and converted SACD FLAC, and then look to more wider use of ReplayGain if I liked the results. I also use Kodi music player which has the option to normalise from "album gain" tags but I do not notice any volume uplift in Kodi either. Any guidance and assistance will be greatly appreciated.



Re: ReplayGain Newbie

Reply #1
If the KODI player can recognize and use Album RG tags, then it should volume normalize.  But in your example, I can see why you would notice no difference in volume. The Album RG value is so small, it is likely not audible. You should test with an album that has much larger album RG adjustment.

Re: ReplayGain Newbie

Reply #2
ReplayGain is designed to be applied across your entire library.  It will bring playback of all files -- soft and loud -- to the target level.  You can load your music library into foobar2000 and "Scan as albums (by tags)" in order to write ReplayGain tags to each file.  (You may want to start with a subset of your collection just to confirm you get what you expect.)  Set Kodi to use RG "Album values", enable "clipping protection", and don't mess with the target dB levels.  I am not familiar with everyday use of Kodi, but with my music server if I change/add RG values I then need to rescan my library for changes before the new values take effect.  Remember, the RG values are tags (which means that you can remove RG via foobar2000 at any time without changing the audio quality of your files.)

If you're not comfortable with this, just amplify your SACD-derived FLAC files by +6 dB and re-save them.  This is easy enough to do with Audacity in batch mode and should approximately match your library average which likely has been affected by the "Loudness War" and the reason why these new files sound quiet to you.

Re: ReplayGain Newbie

Reply #3
Thanks for your help and advice @garym  and @Apesbrain

It does seem I was looking at this the wrong way round. It is not that my SACD rips are quieter, (@garym indicates the example is near the RG target), rather that the CD rips are louder (loudness wars era?).

I have now written tags to the rip I made 8 years ago from the CD layer of the exact same media disc shown in my original post. It used to play back much louder that the recent SACD layer rip. Now that I have added RG tags they both play back at the same level. Below is a screenshot of the CD layer RG values.

I will over time add RG tags to my whole library starting with a subset of folders to check I am getting what I expect. I do want to preserve any relative changes in level from track to track within an album which may be present for artistic reasons. So I assume I need "Album gain" scanning to achieve this.

Re: ReplayGain Newbie

Reply #4
Correct. To retain intra-album track differences, use ALBUM RG.   But when scanning all your albums to add RG tags, I suggest you go ahead and add both TRACK and ALBUM RG tags.  It's just tags and not used unless you tell your player to use it.  And there may be sometime down the road when you want to make some playlists from different albums and then when playing you would want the player to use TRACK RG tag value.  You can use foobar2000 to add these tags, by album, in a batch manner. A couple of mouse clicks and let it run to analyze and add RG tags to 1000s of albums.

p.s. In my own case, all my players support some sort of "Smart" ReplayGain tag use.  That is, if I am playing songs from the same album, Album GAIN is used.  But if I'm playing a mixture of songs from different albums, TRACK GAIN is used.  This is all automatic.  In foobar2000 this is called "by playback order".  In LMS it is called "Smart Gain".

 
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