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Topic: Skip Silence DSP accidentally enabled for months while ripping music (Read 358 times) previous topic - next topic
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Skip Silence DSP accidentally enabled for months while ripping music

Oh boy.

I archived a lot of my music in the last months as lossless FLAC. I usually rip the music as WAV first and then convert it in Foobar into FLAC. I had this preset saved which I use for all my music. Well, seems like this preset also saved my active DSP which I used for trial and error to remove hidden track silence. Back then I guess I saved this into the preset as well and didn't notice it for months.

Come to think of it, that also explains why I never had to bother with any silence while I listen some of those rips. Quite cool actually since I hate silence anyway. Still, the fact that now all my rips are pretty much changed from the original source is a bit annoying. Beside of the fact that someone could theoretically just use Skip Silence as a active DSP in Foobar2000 while listening to music. Maybe there was artistical silence in my tracks and now it is pretty much removed. Thing is, I wouldn't know I guess since I never noticed this. Which also makes me think if it really matters that much after all. Was cool not hearing silence on my audio players as well. Usually skipping silence and stuff doesn't work on those walkman players for on the go.

My settings in the DSP are 500ms for it to toggle and the threshold is -90db. Which means it toggles really fast but the threshold is really low.

I came here to get some opinions from other people whether it would really matter or not because I am darn not sure at all anymore. First I was shocked but now thinking about it... I guess it can't have removed that much "artistical" silence beside of the endings. Or can it? -90db is really silent, no? So maybe it doesn't even toggle in some cases because of white noise recording sound? Often the ending silence and silence inside audio can differ... Also the fact that I didn't even notice is another thing that makes me think. Maybe I shouldn't care and perhaps keep it like that? Of course I wouldn't have 100% genuine audio raps anymore with this DSP or would I?... MEH.

I have no idea anymore. Would be cool to get some input and thoughts of others.
Damn, must sound like a first world problem audio thread. Guess I am an audiophile and this is really something which has been on my mind for some days.

Re: Skip Silence DSP accidentally enabled for months while ripping music

Reply #1
The threshold you set pretty much means only absolute digital silence has been stripped. I'd think majority of your files are affected as non-gapless CDs generally have two seconds of silence between tracks. If you aren't a perfectionist having an altered collection may not be too bad, but I know I would rerip the tracks.

Re: Skip Silence DSP accidentally enabled for months while ripping music

Reply #2
I already looked through several albums from different genres and couldn't find a single example where artistical silence was removed... We are talking about over 100 checked tracks so I guess it is extremely rare. I did find silence in some tracks but it wasn't digital silence, more like white noise recording sounds. Of course there might be tracks where silence actually gets removed but I guess I don't care anymore. Theoretically I would re-rip too but I ripped quite a lot of CDs lately. Far over 200. So NOPE.

I did some experiments with silence and it seems like this -90db setting only seems to remove digital silence. I also tried to measure the loudness with different types of silences like vinyl, white noise, etc and nothing was cut away. This type of silence usually seems to be between 20-30db. Weirdly enough digital silence too but I am not sure if Audacity and MP3Gain gave me wrong db values or if it is just not measurable because it is digitally zero db but no idea... Maybe they also gave me back the value of a short clipping at the track start or end because nothing else was measurable. What does this -90db mean anyway? Does it take 100db as default value and anything below 10db gets cut away? Really wonder.

In the end I might just keep it but adjust it to -95to -99db, have to test around. Just to limit it really to digital noise only. Gotta check the results and if any of my over 100tracks show a difference in playlenght after re-encording it in flac. I have too much freetime...
Of course there might be tracks where the engineering or mastering of a track really is with artistical DIGITAL silence inside the track. In that case... Bad luck to you. Not like I would ever notice this, duh. Most seem to use white noise silence. Probably also up to how modern the track was produced/recorded.

Re: Skip Silence DSP accidentally enabled for months while ripping music

Reply #3
What does this -90db mean anyway? Does it take 100db as default value and anything below 10db gets cut away? Really wonder.
The reference level is digital fullscale. -90 dB means anything with absolute sample value of about 0.0000316 (on a scale from 0...+1) is considered silence. With 16 bit material the lowest sample value that isn't silence is -90.31 dBFS.

Re: Skip Silence DSP accidentally enabled for months while ripping music

Reply #4
Oh wow. Which means it should theoretically trigger nowhere except at digital silence, no?

Sometimes I wish this Skip Silence DSP had a option to only trigger at the beginning and ending of an track. Like it measures anything around those points until the first measurable tone is "recorded". I know there was this Gap Killer and stuff once but it is no longer in Foobar for some reason plus it was kind of a "dirty" way to get those silences away anyway. Not even sure if it worked with anything but MP3. I started a bit over a year ago to stop using MP3 since there isn't really a reason to use them anymore. Now I rip everything in Wav/Flac.

Re: Skip Silence DSP accidentally enabled for months while ripping music

Reply #5
You can try to retro-verify your rips with CUETools, http://cue.tools/wiki/CUETools_Download . It is better at finding stuff in AccurateRip than foobar2000 is. And if it finds and verifies it, then ...
Or this: https://www.dbpoweramp.com/perfecttunes.htm

What did you do to rip? Still got the logs?
Memento: this is Hydrogenaudio. Do not assume good faith.

Re: Skip Silence DSP accidentally enabled for months while ripping music

Reply #6
I ripped all my music via EAC as WAV with logs and from there converted it to FLAC in Foobar. And no, I don't keep the source files since it was kind of a waste of space. Yeah, which means I would have to re-rip everything to fix it. I also don't use CUE sheets. I have each track in a own file. I Don't find those sheets comfortable.

Re: Skip Silence DSP accidentally enabled for months while ripping music

Reply #7
But did you keep the log files? They make it easier for CUETools to find it. Anyway: if you have a directory for each album (each "physical disc" in case of 2CD/3CD/nCD albums), then install CUETools; then either choose drag+drop and give it all the directories, or point it at the parent folder. I suggest you first make a test run without without setting it to write tags. Then, if there are many that are found in AccurateRip, you can let it write AccuraterRip tags, use foobar2000 to find those which are OK and move them out of the way, and then you see which ones are "damaged" ... if you like to call them that.
Memento: this is Hydrogenaudio. Do not assume good faith.

 

Re: Skip Silence DSP accidentally enabled for months while ripping music

Reply #8
The threshold you set pretty much means only absolute digital silence has been stripped. I'd think majority of your files are affected as non-gapless CDs generally have two seconds of silence between tracks. If you aren't a perfectionist having an altered collection may not be too bad, but I know I would rerip the tracks.

I wouldn't worry too much about missing digital silence; depending on how your drive interprets track markers you may have never been able to rip them anyway.

The start of the audio portion of a CD track is technically its index 01. The two-second silence before the first track on a disc, if there is one, is technically the pregap (index 00) before the track. The Red Book spec was that it should be at least two seconds (150 frames) at the start of the CD and a similar leadout at the end - gaps between tracks is somewhat more optional. Nowadays it's not really strictly adhered to.

CD players will play the pregap (and if they're designed strictly to the Red Book spec, they will display a minus time countdown, then start counting from 0 when the audio track begins). It's a bit hit and miss these days. Despite the standard being clear on pregap, some CD players nowadays don't bother them and some can't even 'rewind' into the pregap. Nowadays it seems people discard the pregap when ripping, unless they care about preserving the duration of songs.

Hacking the spec (using Sequioa, Sonoris DDP creator, CDRWIN or similar cuesheet creation tools) you can produce an audio CD with audio in the index 00 - you end up with 'hidden tracks', which you can't skip to (unless your CD player lets you specify both track and index) -- but you can listen to them if you let the CD play through.

The stealthiest hidden tracks were hidden at index 0 of track 1 (making them impossible to listen to unless you rewind into them from the start of track 1) or at the very end of a long pregap which was otherwise digital silence.

Whenever I rip CDs, I set my ripper up so that if there's any non-zero duration pregap detected for a track in the TOC and PQ metadata, it appends the same duration to the end of the previous track. That means they'll play back correctly when listening in 'album mode', but not add digital silence to the start of the following track.

If in doubt, rip the CD as FLAC + cuesheet (preserving gaps), and play back using the cuesheet. You'll be able to see any pregaps by inspecting the cue, and you'll be able to subsequently produce individual files from the FLAC+CUE by splitting on index markers.

Nowadays with effectively-gapless albums, pregap / pause mark / track end marks are not really used. Apparently Florence and the Machine - 'Lungs' and The Script - 'The Script' CD albums are recent issues with some non-zero gaps between tracks.

I think I probably have about one- or two-dozen CDs out of my whole collection which use non-zero pregaps. It was a thing in the 80s and early 90s but it fell out of fashion as people realised they could be more creatively interesting by doing 'gapless' tracks and inserting their own transitions between tracks.

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