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Topic: Normalize audio from different songs? (Read 1981 times) previous topic - next topic
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Normalize audio from different songs?

I have many different songs and some of them play at different peak volumes so some are loud, some are soft.

I forgot what the term is to describe but I want all these songs, whether some are soft or loud so that they will try to converge to a certain average dB.
But basically how can I get my default player (or any other player) foobar2000 to try to keep everything sounding more similar in volume? I can use a different audio player too if foobar doesn't offer this.

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #1
You should use ReplayGain for normalization. Load the tracks you want to normalize into a playlist and select ReplayGain -> Scan... The choice "Scan as albums (by tags)" is usually the best option. It will analyze multiple albums as units and record the average loudness of each, as well as that of individual tracks. On playback you can choose which kind of normalization to apply in Preferences -> Playback. By default it is set to apply Album gain.

ReplayGain is supported by many players. Those that do not recognize it, will play the files back at the original level.

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #2
A couple of notes:

Regular normalization maximizes (or sets) the peaks and that does NOT match perceived volumes.   Most commercial releases are already normalized and that's not what you want.

The file is scanned in advance and ReplayGain makes ONE adjustment to the file before the playback starts so the loud parts of a song remain relatively loud and the quiet parts remain relatively quite.    It's not automatic volume control and it does not mess-up the dynamics.    

If you don't have a player that supports ReplayGain, MP3Gain and WaveGain make a "permanent" adjustment to the file so they work on any player.    Apple supports something similar to ReplayGain called Sound Check,

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #3
Basically, the situation I want to avoid is there are a small number of songs I dl'd from youtube that are overly loud or soft.
If I can have a way to deal with those easily that would be convenient. Is replaygain still what I want?

And other than that, can you show me how to dl replaygain? I'm confused by the wiki and I want to obtain it from a safe site.

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #4
j7n has explained how to do it in foobar2000 :)

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #5
how do I access replaygain?
isn't it something i have to install?

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #6
No, just load your audio files in foobar. Then right click a file -> replaygain.

If you select one or more individual file, you should use "Scan per-file trackgain".
If you select all track of one album, then select "Scan as a sinlge album".
If you select multiple complete albums with correct tags, then you can use "Scan as albums (by tags)".

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #7
ReplayGain is part of music players. Not all of them can scan and tag, some can only read and apply the gain. Foobar2000 is the most convenient player on Windows to use for this purpose. Read the theory from the wiki, but ignore the listed command-line programs.

You probably should scan all of your collection to adjust it to the same volume. It is a fast process. The RG reference level is lower than most commercial music, and you will probably find that scanned files play softer than the rest. You could adjust the target loudness level by a couple dB with the "preamp" setting in Preferences, probably reducing "without RG info". Another option is to edit the gain of each track manually from the properties dialog.

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #8
Oh.. I see. Thanks a ton

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #9
ReplayGain only works if your player supports it.  What are you using to play these files?

@j7n has suggested making a duplicate library of your files that have been volume-adjusted using ReplayGain.  These would work as you want on any player.  Once you have applied RG tags to your original files, foobar2000 can make volume-adjusted copies via its "Converter" function (see below).  You want to adjust your file volumes using the "track" source mode if you typically are playing tracks at a time (e.g. playlists) rather than albums at a time.



These instructions are old, but mostly still accurate: http://eolindel.free.fr/foobar0.9/Replaygain.php

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #10
Oh I see

Thanks guys.
So yeah basically, the issue is that I have a number of loose songs and some will be off. In that case it seems I should follow  Apesbrain's advice and set source mode to track. Ty

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #11
As long as you a player that supports replaygain, then the replaygain tag will do fine. This is the recommeneded way to use replaygain.

Only if you have a player like your car stereo that does not support replaygain, then you need to make a copy and apply replaygain to the actual data instead of just a tag.
You do not need to use the convertor for this. Foobar supports this for mp3 and aac files. It is called apply replaygain to data or something like that.
You need to make a copy because this process alters the files and is inreversable. Foobar will give a warning when you want to do this. And it is only recommended if your player does not support replaygain.

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #12
You can losslessly apply replaygain amplification on mp3 files with mp3gain. Even if your car stereo cannot read the Replaygain tag, this ensures files are normalized.

If you're looking for something more radioish' in terms of audio normalization, and don't mind experimenting, you can try Stereo Tool with a built-in lighter preset which compensates for too low and high volume parts inside a single song. Not all features are free, you might have to alter existing presets to disable paid features. You can add this into the Foobar Converter plugin's DSP chain using either the VST or Winamp DSP adapter. You need to reencode the song for this though, so it's best if you have the original lossless version at hand.
WavPack -b4x4hc
Opus --cvbr --bitrate 256 --framesize 5

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #13
Load the tracks you want to normalize into a playlist and select ReplayGain -> Scan... The choice "Scan as albums (by tags)" is usually the best option.
Why "Scan as albums (by tags)"? The songs are from different sources/albums. Wouldn't it be more suitable "Scan per-file trackgain"?

You could adjust the target loudness level by a couple dB with the "preamp" setting in Preferences, probably reducing "without RG info"
Could you please clarify that step for me?

Many thanks

Re: Normalize audio from different songs?

Reply #14
If you have only loose tracks then it indeed makes more sense to only scan for track gain. Albums by tags was my default choice without knowing the contents of your collection. This command calculates both and still allows to revert to track gain when needed. ReplayGain in Foobar will fall back track gain if album hasn't been calculated.

The preamp setting allows to adjust the loudness of all music with or without ReplayGain tags by a fixed amount on the fly like another volume knob. This is useful if you choose not to analyze part of your collection. Normalized music will usually play softer. If you add some new tracks that haven't been scanned yet, they will stand out being too loud. This can be mitigated by changing the "without" preamp setting to a negative value. You can also choose the inverse and increase the "with" gain, at the risk of distortion in dynamic music. For best results scan all files.

 
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