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Using ReplayGain

Hello there,

My question is about using ReplayGain.

I have a large library of music files such as FLAC, M4A, WMA and MP3 in various qualities from 112 to 320.
Their volume level varies as well and I hate changing volume for every song that is playing.
So I applied ReplayGain data to all of my files as Track (not album or auto) using Foobar 2000 on my Windows computer, hoping that would fix it to a level that it would not be so obvious and I wouldn't have to adjust the volume all the time. It didn't work as I wanted it to.
Loud files are louder and less loud files are still playing in a very low volume level that forces me to increase and decrease the volume level all the time.

In my car, I use Pulsar because I like to drive using Android Auto, I enabled ReplayGain on Pulsar and it's also not working well.
Regarding Pulsar, do I need to remove the ReplayGain data from the files and let Pulsar apply it on its own or do I leave the ReplayGain info?

How else can I normalize all my files to play at a relatively close volume level so I don't have to adjust it manually all the time?

Thank you,

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #1
Use foobar2000 to write both Album and Track Gain values to you files. Pulsar will read these tags, set its ReplayGain to "Auto".

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #2
Hi Apesbrain, thank you for answering.

Can you please explain why do I need to write both Track and Album Gain data to my files?
Although I tried my best to sort all my files into their albums, the files that compose the albums are not always the same type.
For example, I might have an album that is composed of MP3, FLAC and M4A files or only MP3 but in 128, 160, 192, VBR and 320 bits.
Each file also has a different volume level, applying Album Gain and Track Gain will fix that?

The way I sorted my files is as follows:

If I have 4 or more files from the same album, they are in their own folder, otherwise, I place them in an "unsorted" folder.
As a result, I have an unsorted folder with over 400 files of different types, bit rate and quality.
Can I apply Album Gain by selecting all of them together or do I have to go one by one (album by album), even though I might have only one song from a certain album?

Setting Pulsar to Auto, is no problem

Thank you,

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #3
Quote
Each file also has a different volume level, applying Album Gain and Track Gain will fix that?
Track Gain adjusts the files individually.    

Album Gain adjusts the whole album by the same amount to retain the original album performance as it was intended to be heard.   If the 2nd track is 2dB quieter than the 1st track it's still 2dB quieter with Album Gain.

You select which one to use with the player so there's no harm in applying both.

...If you treat 400 tracks as one album AlbumGain is useless.

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #4
OP, given the additional information you've provided I'm going to guess that you are a "random tracks" or "mixed playlist" kind of listener rather than an "album at a time" listener.  That's good because the multiple formats and disk organization of your files will make calculating accurate Album Gain values difficult.

Load your entire library into foobar2000, select all tracks, and right-click to the "ReplayGain" > "Scan as albums (by tags)" option.  For playback, set Pulsar to "Auto" and that may be as good as it gets.

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #5
Hi DVDdoug,

If Album Gain Adjusts the whole album by the same amount and I have a one song from that album, what would it adjust it to?
I have a lot of files, many of them are the only one from the album they wee released as a part of.


Thank you,

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #6
Hi Apesbrain,

That's exactly what I did when I applied Track Gain, I loaded the whole library and applied Track Gain.
All of them are tagged properly, so applying Album Gain as you suggested should not be a problem.
But, like I wrote to DVDdoug, what happens to the only song from an album when I apply Album Gain to?
Wouldn't that be almost as applying Track Gain? There is nothing else to compare it to.

Thank you,

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #7
But, like I wrote to DVDdoug, what happens to the only song from an album when I apply Album Gain to?
Wouldn't that be almost as applying Track Gain? There is nothing else to compare it to.
Exactly, for that one track Track Gain and Album Gain would be the same.

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #8
Hi Apesbrain,

Okay, so last question, should I remove Track Gain and apply only Album Gain by Tag or keep both Track and Album Gain even if there is only one song in an album?

Thank you,

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #9
It doesn't matter.  I'd keep both for consistency sake.  Pulsar set to "Auto" will read the correct tag for the circumstance.

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #10
Hi Apesbrain,

Both tags it is then!
I will apply Album Gain tags and see how it works.
Pulsar is already set to Auto.

I'll update during the week, just finalize the thread if it is working as expected

Thank you so much for your help,

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #11
My logic for choosing whether to scan for album gain is that I only do it if I am reasonably certain the group of tracks in question are mastered together. If I have any doubts, I only scan for track values.

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #12
Hi Zarggg,

Believe me, I spent a lot time classifying each file to the original album it was initially released on.
I didn't accept re-releases, only original albums. I also took care of finding the original album art just for consistency.

Thank you,

Re: Using ReplayGain

Reply #13
After a few days of using my player with the new settings, I can confirm that the volume level of all my music files is much better.
It is not 100%, but I found myself adjusting the volume much less then a week ago. I set my phone and my car radio to a certain volume each and let it go. Most songs I listened to so far play at a much closer level to each other now.

Thank you for all your help.

 
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