1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Normalize audio files?

Discussion in 'Audio' started by tcbman, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. tcbman

    tcbman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Hello,

    I have often music files with different sound volume to them.
    In the past I have used a 5 year old Nero Burning Rom software and the normalize option when burning to cdr but I recently noticed that it gives some "hiss" sound in the process.
    Only noticable when comparing old track with new using headphones.
    Are there any other.....hopefully free....that does this normalize thing without or less loss in quality?
    Would be great if this software support a variety of files. (mp3/wav,flac)

    Anyone??
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  2. Mrguss

    Mrguss Regular member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    All music "files" have diff. sound levels from day one, since the Original Masters are recorded by all kind or music studios on diff. locations, diff. decades & diff. Recording Equipments.
    The volume level has been increasing trough the decades and it just get worse on re-mastered music, etc.

    Try Music Bee (free) it has a "volume softener" option when you convert files or rip CD's, etc. ...it will improve the quality too; if you use the files to be playback on PC's or smaller players.

    NOTE:
    1.- I haven't used it on a bunch of files at once, yet.
    2.- It is only "so much" you can match those diff. volumes levels tho.
    3.- I level the diff. volumes: before recording collections or mixes.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  3. Mez

    Mez Active member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,936
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Hopefully what has happened is you have increased the volume enough so you can hear the hiss. It was always there. Otherwise, your normalization software screwed with the audio instead of adjusting the overall volume, as it should. Either way your music is now garbage.

    I suggest just not using descent phones to listen to the music or try reducing the volume. Hiss is 5-7 kHz. You will not be able to hear the hiss unless the volume is high (Fletcher–Munson effect). I find it amusing that some persons claim they can tell the difference between lossy and lossless (lossy up to 19.5 kHz and 20 kHz lossless). As you have discovered it is a bit difficult to hear 7 kHz tones. The Fletcher–Munson effect is logarithmic so the loudness to make 20 kHz tones audible would need to shake the building because they were so loud. An explanation of the Fletcher–Munson effect is in the top sticky ‘You too can be an audio expert’.

    Nero makes mediocre software not the best and not the worst. Audio ripping converting is far more complex and difficult than you would expect. I always cringe when someone posts transcoding advice using some new free transcoder because it worked OK for him or her. We have no idea if the ‘expert’ had good enough play back to hear defects 9 out of 10 do not. I also know to rid a VBR mp3 transcoder of all defects takes about a million hrs of testing. There is only one decoder, LAME that has that level of testing. That only because it was the first transcoder to approach perfection so the audio world produced thousands of free testers who each spent hundreds of hours testing to get it right.

    Now that you have better playback equipment you might want to re-rip all your music. Avoid Nero. I normally use dbPowerAmp to rip but use EAC if the album in not in accurip. dbPowerAmp relies too heavily on accurip but is a much faster rip. I use Media Monkey to burn.

    You can also try to remove the hiss in Audacity. It will do that but removing the hiss will not produce an audio as clean as a quality rip and only touching the audios with high quality software. A complete reprocessing will be faster as well as much better.

    A good normalizer
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReplayGain
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  4. scorpNZ

    scorpNZ Active member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,012
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    78
    lmao..that hiss was a pain when it used to be a tape (not 8 track either you cheeky smart asses i ain't that old) :p or god forbid an LP
     
  5. Mez

    Mez Active member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,936
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    68
    I am that old. Most analog sources have some hiss not just 8 tracks. 8 tracks were very low fidelity but that did not matter because playback systems in cars were equally poor. It would be rare to have an 8 track in the house since LPs were cheaper and high fidelity. Cassettes blew away 8 tracks at about the same speed as DVDs blew away VHS. Once they were close to the same price who would buy the inferior product.

    TCBman you normalize mp3s. That can be done cleanly while lossless can't. What is the use of maintaining lossless if you are going to trash it? I would advice keeping lossless as archive only. If you are just able to hear hiss your hearing and play back devices don't warrant lossless. That hiss is thousands of times easier (louder to human ears) to hear than any tone that lossless preserves that good lossy will not.
     

Share This Page