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Home Recorded Music to CD With "Even" Volume

Discussion in 'Audio' started by Alanj72, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Alanj72

    Alanj72 Guest

    One thing I've never figured out as I've ripped different audio, mp3's etc to a cd and manage to keep the volume levels fairly even between the tracks. One song would be ok, then the next was too loud or too soft.
    I have Nero 6 suite, Cool Edit and programs that convert MP3 to WAV and visa versa ( thanks to this forum), but I'm not aware if I can, or how "equalize" the different tracks I download or make to put on a cd.

    To make matters a little MORE complicated, I have been using Cool Edit to record my voice to WAV and MID files and then convert to MP3 to lay down on cd ( don't ask to listen to them---it's only having fun). There are hisses or spaces before the actual song begins that I'd like to edit out.

    Anybody know how I can deal with these issues, or at least minimize them. I sure would be greatful.
    Thanks
     
  2. cr8250

    cr8250 Guest

    Well, as far as equalizing the volume between different songs, you could simply compare songs side by side and adjust volume for each to match or you could do some compression on lighter songs to bring them up a little. Just make sure they dont go over "0 db". One thing you will find by doing this, however, is the songs "sound" will change because the song has already been done the way the musicians, producers, etc., want the song to sound like. As for your vocals: if you have dead space at the beginning, just highlight the bad area and hit the delete key or find the mute process in your menus. I use Sound Forge, so I would go to 'Process' then 'Mute'.
     
  3. Alanj72

    Alanj72 Guest

    OK. Makes sense!! Sometimes I don't think of the obvious. I thought that I heard that some (car?) stereo systems can automatically respond to the different volume levels for home recordings, but, of course, that's on the OTHER end of things. So what I hear ( and adjust) on the PC should burn to the cd thus?

    I've never really gotten into all the bells and whistles in Cool Edit and the like but that makes sense also. Mute the blank and hiss of the beginning.

    Thanks a bunch!! I'll work on that and see what happens.
     
  4. brasseaux

    brasseaux Member

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    somewhere in your program you should be able to check off normalize all audio files when you make a cd(this means that all track will be the same volumne) and also check no pause between tracks
     
  5. wilkes

    wilkes Regular member

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    It is such a myth that normalizing makes the volumes all the same - it simply isn't true.
    Normalizing will raise the peak of the loudest file to the specified volume, and raise the peaks of all the rest accordingly.

    Volume, or relative loudness, is better judged by the RMS value, or 0.707 times the peak level.

    There is no way to do this accurately if you rip the content. However, if you re record from scratch then you can get your levels approximately the same. It is a long job though.
     
  6. desertrat

    desertrat Member

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    As close as I have come to volume leveling is with Musicmatch Jukebox Plus v. 7, 8, and 8.2 which will also convert from various formats to MP3, Wave, WMA...ect and vice-versa.

    You can also rip at 128, 160, 192, and even higher, but the file sizes increase accordingly.

    Does a nice job, without losing any sound quailty.
    Located at www.musicmatch.com if interested.
     
  7. Alanj72

    Alanj72 Guest

    Great stuff!! Little more involved than I thought it would be, but I can see the reasoning. And it doesn't have to be perfect either, mostly so I ( or anybody else) would have to run for the cd player when one song ends and another one starts up at 1 1/2 or twice the volume.
    I will definitely check out MusicMatch promptly. Would be good to have the same program doing a lot of the same tasks.
    Thanks again, all
     
  8. The_Manic

    The_Manic Member

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    mp3 gain is supposed to equalize the volume of different mp3s without losing quality...you can set the db level yourself even, however i would like some more explanation on how to use this program if anyone knows more

    thanks
     
  9. cr8250

    cr8250 Guest

    With normalizing you can raise the maximum levels to "zero" or normalize to "rms" levels. Don't normalize to "rms" levels. You will usually say goodbye to any musical dynamics and it will sound like crap, especially with the modern-day squashed music.
     
  10. hogan

    hogan Regular member

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    I use MusicMatch for MP3's. Much easier than Nero. Has a much easier interface to burn. Not drag and drop like Nero, just click the tracks you want and burn. Auto level on volume works great. It can be downloaded or bought at local electronics store for around $20.00. Good Luck,
    Hogan

     
  11. wilkes

    wilkes Regular member

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    I agree with cr8250 100%, but would go still further. Why bother with normalizing at all?
    There really is no point to it, as if you use RMS then as already pointed out there will be even less dynamics left - and these days there is precious little to start with. See www.loudnessrace.net for more on this, and raising peak values to a minute degree is pointless. If the tracks are ripped, which is distressingly common, then the peak value of the loudest point will already be at zero.

    The best - and IMHO the only sensible way to go about creating compilation discs with all tracks at relative levels is not to rip digitally but to take the analogue output from your CD player and record the signal back into the PC at the best resolution you can manage. Use at least 24 bit and 32 bit Floating Point if you have the option. Keep the samplerate at the same as the destination media - if you are making a CD then use 44.1KHz, and if a music DVD then use 48KHz.

    The benefit here is that the increased wordlength drastically improves the resolution. A 16 bit signal has 65,536 possible states, but a 24 bit signal has a staggering 16,777,216 possible states. This gives you a theoretical dynamic range of 144dB, as opposed to the 96dB of a 16 bit system. The difference is well worthwhile, even if you are going to end up dithering down to 16 bit, as you can do any required processing in the higher resolution. As long as you use a highh quality dithering tool, and for gods sake throw away the Waves L1/L2 maximizers or all the extra work will have been for nothing.

    To quote Bob Katz - "It's not about how loud you make it, it's about how you make it loud". Also, if the end volume is percieved as "too quiet", turn up the amplifier. Don't squash the life out of the music.

    Go visit www.loudnessrace.net and see (& hear) for yourself just how much damage is being done to our musical heritage.

    Rant over - I'm putting the soapbox away now. Sorry, but these things need to be said.
     
  12. Alanj72

    Alanj72 Guest

    And said they were!! Which proves to be some invaluable information which makes a lot of sense. Although I'm not trying to make proffessional-like recordings I would love to be able to have the tools and knowledge to keep as much of the music quality as I can. Kinda went over my head on some of this, but I thank you because it seems I'll need to address some of these issues and as I get further into this I'll be able to use this information to get better recordings. And that would make it all the more pleasing to the ear to get as much of the original sound as I can through the process. Right now it seems I am losing a lot of the "meat" of the music I'm working with. Sounds like I have a little learning curvr to overcome.
    Thanks much for the info. You guys are GOOD. The best!! I haven't gotten anything close to the attention I get here anywhere else, regardless of the issue.
     

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