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Any other free volume normalizer apart from MP3Gain?, MP3Gain not doing the job
musicollector
post Nov 28 2011, 02:59
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I have normalized a ton of songs using MP3Gain at 90 dB. However, some songs are still louder than others. Is there another, better free normalizer that someone can recommend?

TIA.


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saratoga
post Nov 28 2011, 03:08
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You can try foobar. It uses a slightly different algorithm.
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musicollector
post Nov 28 2011, 03:51
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Nov 27 2011, 19:08) *
You can try foobar. It uses a slightly different algorithm.


Thanks very much.


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zipr
post Nov 28 2011, 04:07
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Are you using album gain or track gain in mp3gain? If you want all individual tracks to be the 'same' volume, make sure you're applying track gain.

Many mp3 players offer some sort of volume normalizing -- I believe that both iTunes and MediaMonkey do, though I've never used them as mp3gain has been great for me.
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musicollector
post Nov 28 2011, 04:21
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QUOTE (zipr @ Nov 27 2011, 20:07) *
Are you using album gain or track gain in mp3gain? If you want all individual tracks to be the 'same' volume, make sure you're applying track gain.

Many mp3 players offer some sort of volume normalizing -- I believe that both iTunes and MediaMonkey do, though I've never used them as mp3gain has been great for me.


I have used Track Gain all along. I have never used Album Gain.

However, I have a few more questions. smile.gif

I just checked out Foobar, but came across something called RaplayGain. Is RG a module within FooBar?

I never realized that MP3Gain may be messing with my ID tags! If that is the case, does FooBar also do the same thing? I have spent too much time fixing up certain ID tags to lose everything in one simple action.

After reading the following :"let's say we have a file which is VERY LOUD. We use Foobar2000 to adjust the Replaygain header, which of course writes a value which tells a Replaygain-aware player to turn everything down a lot." here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....ic=24527&hl, I am unsure of what a "Replaygain-aware player" is. I have absolutely no appetite for modifying my files in such a way that it will play one way on my iPod and another way on my computer. All I want is for all songs to play at the same volume - nothing more, nothing less.

I also read in the same post: "To set MP3Gain to not write tags to the file make sure "Options" > "Tags" > "Ignore (do not read or write tags)" is NOT checked. " Nothing is checked under TAGS within MP3Gain. Does this mean I have been safe all along?

Thanks again for your response.


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tpijag
post Nov 28 2011, 04:27
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You might want to read current information, say in the wiki before you start getting even more confused via information from a post from Jul 30 2004!
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musicollector
post Nov 28 2011, 04:44
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QUOTE (tpijag @ Nov 27 2011, 20:27) *
You might want to read current information, say in the wiki before you start getting even more confused via information from a post from Jul 30 2004!



Shall do. LOL. Thanks.


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slks
post Nov 28 2011, 08:38
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MP3gain and foobar2000 use different algorithms to calculate loudness? I was under the impression that they were the same in terms of calculating the gain, but I could be wrong...

But on to what I do know:

ReplayGain, as implemented in foobar, will add ReplayGain tags to your MP3s. It does not change the tags or audio data in any other way. Compatible audio players will read the tags and adjust the volume as prescribed, other players will not read the RG tags and thus the files play normally.

Where MP3gain acts differently, is that it changes the actual audio data itself, so that any player will play the file at its adjusted volume. Personally I don't like this approach because the changes can be difficult to undo.

Apple also has their own normalization system, called Sound Check. I'm fairly sure it calculates loudness using a different formula than ReplayGain / MP3gain. The plus side to this is that it'll work with the whole Apple ecosystem of iTunes, iPods, etc. However, I don't think there's wide support outside of Apple. It works in a way similar to foobar's ReplayGain where the gain is just written to a tag, so I doubt you could get Sound Check to work on, say, Winamp or foobar.

Really, at this point there is no universal way to normalize your entire MP3 collection that will work anywhere - except MP3gain. There just aren't many players that support ReplayGain or Sound Check tags.

I suppose you could give Apple's way a try, but I doubt the results will be any better than MP3gain.

This post has been edited by slks: Nov 28 2011, 08:39


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damjang
post Nov 28 2011, 08:54
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Also with foobar you can apply permanetly the calculated replaygain (like mp3gain)...

This post has been edited by damjang: Nov 28 2011, 08:54
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halb27
post Nov 28 2011, 09:08
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Formerly I used mp3gain, now I use foobar for the replaygain procedure because it uses a newer way to find out about a track's volume.
From my experience so far however it doesn't really help with the basic problem you described, musicollector: replaygain values are quite often quite a way off from what you expect.
There's no other way than manually correct the calculated values a bit in these cases, no matter using mp3gain or foobar. We can't expect more from an automatic procedure, and at least the automatic gives us a good starting point for individually finding good values.

As for universally using replaygain with any player: replaygain support (making use of replaygain tags) is rare on mobile players. As far as mobile players are of concern for you and you don't want to rely on specific players, I suggest you have foobar or mp3gain have the audio data in the mp3 file altered to reflect the replaygain value. This doesn't mean re-encoding. Instead the process applies to scale factors in the mp3 structure which is a lossless process with the exception that extremely small scale factors can become zero.
In those cases where I don't have the lossless source file I always keep the original mp3 file before replaygaining, so I'm always on the safe side.


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db1989
post Nov 28 2011, 10:23
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QUOTE (slks @ Nov 28 2011, 07:38) *
MP3gain and foobar2000 use different algorithms to calculate loudness? I was under the impression that they were the same in terms of calculating the gain, but I could be wrong...
QUOTE (halb27 @ Nov 28 2011, 08:08) *
Formerly I used mp3gain, now I use foobar for the replaygain procedure because it uses a newer way to find out about a track's volume.
foobar2000 now uses libebur128, for those who might wish to search for background information. MP3Gain, in contrast, uses the original version of Replay Gain and then approximates the computed volume adjustment to 1.5 dB precision using the MP3 scale-factor, so as to avoid altering the audio itself.

Also, you’ve probably noticed by now that Replay Gain is based here and was developed by HA’s own 2BDecided, so there’s plenty of reading material. wink.gif
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halb27
post Nov 28 2011, 10:52
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Nov 28 2011, 11:23) *
.... MP3Gain, in contrast, uses the original version of Replay Gain and then approximates the computed volume adjustment to 1.5 dB precision using the MP3 scale-factor, so as to avoid altering the audio itself. ...

This sounds a bit like foobar changes the mp3 file in another way than by changing the scale factors. Hope it doesn't.


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db1989
post Nov 28 2011, 11:15
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I was working under the assumption that it simply writes RG tags, but you have reminded me that indeed: it has a separate option to apply the adjustment MP3Gain-style. Sorry for the confusion.
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soulsearchingsun
post Nov 28 2011, 11:27
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QUOTE (halb27 @ Nov 28 2011, 10:52) *
This sounds a bit like foobar changes the mp3 file in another way than by changing the scale factors.

fb2k calculates exact values, but as you may have found, there is still some gain adjustment (other than 0.00 dB) left if you apply the calculated values to your files. That means that foobar can only use the tools available an change the scale factors, as mp3gain does. In my case, I had an album gain of -11.69dB, after applying there was still +0.35dB left. I'm a little bit confused why this doesn't add up to exactly 12.00dB, but this may be due to rounding errors. (Of course i applied album gain, not track gain).
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bilbo
post Nov 28 2011, 16:20
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Also, keep in mind that the device or software used to play RG or SC tagged music, need to have the option enabled manually. I have a few friends who complained about RG but when I told them to enable it, the problem went away. I don't know of any player that comes with it enabled. I had to enable SoundCheck on my iPod.


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DVDdoug
post Nov 28 2011, 19:21
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QUOTE
I have normalized a ton of songs using MP3Gain at 90 dB. However, some songs are still louder than others. Is there another, better free normalizer that someone can recommend?
Nothing's perfect! If you have a few songs that are "not working", I suggest you simply adjust the volume of these problem-tracks manually ("permanently" adjust it with an audio editor).

Music is complicated and human perception is complicated... One person might say song 'A' sounds louder, and another person might say song 'B' is louder. This is especially true if you are comparing a heavy metal song to a soft rock song, or to a classical piece with very-loud parts and very-quiet parts.

I use ReplayGain (with the default settings) and it works great for me! Whenever a song sounds abnormally loud or abnormally quiet, I usually find that Replay Gain was not applied to that track.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Nov 28 2011, 19:22
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saratoga
post Nov 28 2011, 21:29
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QUOTE (soulsearchingsun @ Nov 28 2011, 06:27) *
QUOTE (halb27 @ Nov 28 2011, 10:52) *
This sounds a bit like foobar changes the mp3 file in another way than by changing the scale factors.

fb2k calculates exact values, but as you may have found, there is still some gain adjustment (other than 0.00 dB) left if you apply the calculated values to your files. That means that foobar can only use the tools available an change the scale factors, as mp3gain does. In my case, I had an album gain of -11.69dB, after applying there was still +0.35dB left. I'm a little bit confused why this doesn't add up to exactly 12.00dB, but this may be due to rounding errors. (Of course i applied album gain, not track gain).


As db1989 explained, the scale factor method only has 1.5 dB resolution. So if you use that your adjustments will only be to the nearest multiple of 1.5dB. If thats a problem, try the tag based method instead (which is exact to several decimal places).
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mjb2006
post Nov 28 2011, 22:37
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Nov 28 2011, 13:29) *
your adjustments will only be to the nearest multiple of 1.5dB. If thats a problem, try the tag based method instead (which is exact to several decimal places).

One might want to spend some time with the blind level difference tests at audiocheck.net in order to determine whether it's really a problem. With speakers I can't hear 0.5 dB differences in their tests; with headphones I can, but nothing smaller. That's when I'm really trying to spot differences in their noise samples. When I casually listen to actual music at different volumes, I don't really notice the differences until they're ~2 dB or more, so I use that as a guide when deciding whether a ReplayGain change is significant. I don't worry too much about the lower precision of MP3 adjustments, or the differences between EBU R128 and original RG formulas; they just don't vary enough to matter. There was also a thread a while back were someone mentioned that RG values, in practice, really weren't that far off from ordinary RMS measurements.
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musicollector
post Nov 29 2011, 02:27
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Thank you very much for all who responded. I am very impressed by the amount of knowledge here and very glad I came here with my questions. This is fantastic information!! You guys rock!


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soulsearchingsun
post Nov 30 2011, 12:42
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Nov 28 2011, 19:21) *
I suggest you simply adjust the volume of these problem-tracks manually ("permanently" adjust it with an audio editor).

You can do that, but there is no need to do so. If you're using the tag-based approach you could change the RG values manually (e.g. in foobar) until they fit your needs. The advantage of this is that you can change them as often as you want without altering your audio data or reencoding (plus, it's completely reversible). If you're applying the calculated values to your files, you still could use a similar technique ('faking' the RG values) to alter the volume by scale factor based on your needs. In contrast to editing those files there is no reencoding taking place and audio data stays the same, too (except sf values, of course).

QUOTE (saratoga @ Nov 28 2011, 21:29) *
[...] your adjustments will only be to the nearest multiple of 1.5dB.

I was aware of that. I just wondered: If i calculated an adjustment of -11.69dB, the nearest multiple of 1.5dB would be -12.00dB. This should result in 'overcompensating' by a small amount, thus the RG values should now read +0.31dB (-11.69dB - 0.31dB = -12.00dB). Instead, they read +0.35dB. I'm not sure where this difference originates, if it's just rounding errors or something else. I'm of course aware of the fact that those differences are no way near audible. It's just numbers.
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pdq
post Nov 30 2011, 13:21
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The adjustment values are multiples of 1.505 dB, so the actual adjustment is 12.04 dB.
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soulsearchingsun
post Nov 30 2011, 13:53
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QUOTE (pdq @ Nov 30 2011, 13:21) *
[...] multiples of 1.505 dB [...]

dry.gif Could have thought of this myself...
But thanks nevertheless!
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