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wbeyea   

New user here.

 

 

Is there a way to scan a music library of lossless files (all in the same format) and normalize them to a standard volume level so they play back without variations in volume/levels? Can this be done by the player or is there software that will analyze each track/file and change its levels and save them? Is there software that will do this when files are converted from one format to another?

 

I'm using OS X but I also have Windows via Parallels. I can go for a solution on either platform.

 

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

 

Wayne

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orgel   
Is there a way to scan a music library of lossless files (all in the same format) and normalize them to a standard volume level so they play back without variations in volume/levels? Can this be done by the player or is there software that will analyze each track/file and change its levels and save them?

 

I use iVolume to do this. Then you're not tied to a specific player. In my experience, iVolume is a little bit better at analyzing and normalizing gain levels than iTunes is, and it's more configurable.

 

--David

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firedog   

I have done this, but to me the results weren't satisfactory. I felt the volume normalization took some like out of the sound. I'm not sure why this should be, but that's what I heard. Your results may be very different.

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dtb300   
I have done this, but to me the results weren't satisfactory. I felt the volume normalization took some like out of the sound. I'm not sure why this should be, but that's what I heard. Your results may be very different.

Not sure why either, but I have tried volume leveling once again, and I feel the same way, it taking some life out of the music being played. Not too much of a biggie for me as I just use Zone Switch for my leveling scheme which works out better for me.

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orgel   
I have done this, but to me the results weren't satisfactory. I felt the volume normalization took some like out of the sound. I'm not sure why this should be, but that's what I heard. Your results may be very different.

 

I debated about whether to bring up this aspect of the issue. In fact, I just use iVolume to deal with AAC's that are destined for my iDevices. I haven't tried it with my Redbook-and-better library, but on principle, I don't mess with gain adjustment in that arena. (Still, might be better to just answer the OP's question and leave the controversy for another time.)

 

--David

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wbeyea   

The idea here is to maintain the dynamic range of the material without introducing clipping. Since most music broadcast today on radio is digital, either the source material is set to a standard level or the console does this as the file is played. While there are standards out there that audio masters are "supposed" to follow, many engineers/producers stray from them to allow for dynamic range and other considerations.

 

I am aware that compression is applied to a lot of broadcasts to flatten the sound to produce a uniform sound. Back when I worked top 40 radio (mid 70's), the levels were monitored when the carts were recorded and then you had the op watching the levels during playback. Thanks to studio compressors and other technologies, it's easier to maintain a constant level.

 

I just thought of this; since the source material of most downloaded music is from CDs and they have a dynamic range and levels which are constrained by the digitizing process, would upsampling the files allow for more room to normalize them? I know that any manipulation of the file data will introduce abnormalities, but would it be noticeable to the point where it would be detrimental? It may be that I don't have a good enough grasp of digital music reproduction that this may be laughable, but would it work?

 

Thanks to those who have responded. I may be on the wrong track, but I like to hear why or why not stuff is possible. The only way to find out is to ask...

 

Wayne

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Skeptic   

JRiver's implementation does what you're looking for.

The files are analyzed to calculate the average loudness (per R128 spec) and normalized without clipping or affecting the dynamic range.

 

When files are normalized to the same level, differences in dynamic range start to become more obvious, and less dynamic tracks do stand out. Perhaps this is what people mean when they say that there is less "life" in the music - but all you would have to do is turn the volume back up.

 

I suspect the comparisons were not level-matched and playback was louder before leveling was applied.

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