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pc4ever1
2006-11-07, 12:51
Are there alternatives to using the "Track Gain", "Album Gain", "Smart Gain" controls to make the volume the same level between different artists, albums etc.? I haven't found the current offerings in Slimserver to be effective. I know there are normalizing programs for MP3 files, but most of my files are FLAC and I don't want to edit them in any manner.

Is there another way to do this, are there hardware solutions? I was thinking about TV commercials and the hardware used there to reduce the volume. Is there something similar on the market for FLAC / MP3 files ?

ezkcdude
2006-11-07, 13:09
There's really no good way to do what you want without a) screwing up your source files or b) screwing up the sound.

John Stimson
2006-11-07, 13:37
The hardware that you are thinking of is called a compressor. It compresses the dynamics of audio by having higher gain for small signals than for large signals. That makes quiet things louder and loud things quieter.

It's possible that the DSP inside the Squeezebox could perform that operation, since I believe it is able to perform equalization. I would rather stick with replaygain than remove the dynamics from all my music.

fuzzyT
2006-11-07, 13:46
pc4ever1 wrote:
> I know there are normalizing programs for
> MP3 files, but most of my files are FLAC and I don't want to edit them
> in any manner.

The "Track Gain", "Album Gain" and "SmartGain" controls in SlimServer
will only work if you have tagged your audio files with gain information.

I'll assume that by above that you mean that you don't want to alter the
pristine state of the lossless audio data contained within. If that's
true, and you don't mind adding some normalization values to these files
metadata tags, then you have a solution.

Just get yourself a program that will calculate and store ReplayGain
tags in the FLAC file metadata rather than applying the normalization to
the audio data. I believe Foobar2000 will do either.

--rt

pc4ever1
2006-11-10, 16:55
The "Track Gain", "Album Gain" and "SmartGain" controls in SlimServer will only work if you have tagged your audio files with gain information.--rt

Thanks for the suggestion to use Foobar2000. I have started to add tags for "Album Gain" in my files. I choose to use "Album Gain" because from what I read on Wiki that Album Tags will include both Individual Track and Album Gain information to the file.

With the tracks that I have already processed I have noticed a volume difference between artists and tracks within artists / albums :(

As for my system, in slimserver I have set using "Smart Gain". Is there something I'm doing or not doing to equalize the volume between artists, albums and individual tracks? Like I mentioned above I have noticed volume differences when playing an entire album or individual tracks from different artists and albums. One last thing, this unbalanced volume doesn't apply to all tracks just some. Any helpful suggestions will be appreciated.

TIA

badbob
2006-11-11, 05:39
I've re-ripped encoded my entire collection, tried a couple. Here is what I've done.

1) EAC ripping to flac 8, normalized disabled
2) Foobar, scan all files with album mode
3) Enable Replaygain in SS, set to smart mode

DO NOT NORMALIZE TRACKS, if you do make sure it's in album mode (whole album has a set gain for all tracks), and not individual track normalization

There is no level differences in in live or unplugged cd's. I forgot to disable normalize, with it enabled it caused level differences (even with Replaygain)

"With the tracks that I have already processed I have noticed a volume difference between artists and tracks within artists / albums"

Strange- if you just rescan files with foobar, and overwrite "track" with "album" replaygain it should work fine. Did you normalize the tracks during the ripping process?

sheridan
2006-11-22, 11:47
Can I use Replaygain with MP3 files?

Siduhe
2006-11-22, 12:00
Very much so:

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?AutomaticVolumeAdjustment

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?RGFoobar

Personally, I like MP3Gain but Foobar does a good job too.

jonheal
2006-11-22, 12:12
Thanks for the suggestion to use Foobar2000. I have started to add tags for "Album Gain" in my files. I choose to use "Album Gain" because from what I read on Wiki that Album Tags will include both Individual Track and Album Gain information to the file.

With the tracks that I have already processed I have noticed a volume difference between artists and tracks within artists / albums :(

As for my system, in slimserver I have set using "Smart Gain". Is there something I'm doing or not doing to equalize the volume between artists, albums and individual tracks? Like I mentioned above I have noticed volume differences when playing an entire album or individual tracks from different artists and albums. One last thing, this unbalanced volume doesn't apply to all tracks just some. Any helpful suggestions will be appreciated.

TIA

From my experience, ReplayGain doesn't completely level volume differences, but it does make a difference. It's lowering (or raising) overall gain based on peaks, so a recording that is more compressed when it's mastered is still going to "sound" louder than a less compressed recording, because although gain in relation to their respective peaks is reduced (or raised) to the same level, the compressed recording will have many more peaks.

ReplayGain may also make the analog VU meters look more choppy and less responsive, which is unfortunate.

Mark Lanctot
2006-11-22, 12:29
From my experience, ReplayGain doesn't completely level volume differences, but it does make a difference. It's lowering (or raising) overall gain based on peaks, so a recording that is more compressed when it's mastered is still going to "sound" louder than a less compressed recording, because although gain in relation to their respective peaks is reduced (or raised) to the same level, the compressed recording will have many more peaks.

I agree, RG seems to have a real problem with bassy material. It does not attenuate as much as it should with this sort of material. This is probably due to the perceived loudness phenomena.

For some reason, material from The Smashing Pumpkins seems to be especially problematic? I think their bass guitar is recorded hotter than average.


ReplayGain may also make the analog VU meters look more choppy and less responsive, which is unfortunate.

This is also true for the spectrum analyzer, where it's worse for FLACs.

SteveA
2007-01-27, 15:58
I've re-ripped encoded my entire collection, tried a couple. Here is what I've done.

1) EAC ripping to flac 8, normalized disabled
2) Foobar, scan all files with album mode
3) Enable Replaygain in SS, set to smart mode

DO NOT NORMALIZE TRACKS, if you do make sure it's in album mode (whole album has a set gain for all tracks), and not individual track normalization

There is no level differences in in live or unplugged cd's. I forgot to disable normalize, with it enabled it caused level differences (even with Replaygain)

"With the tracks that I have already processed I have noticed a volume difference between artists and tracks within artists / albums"

Strange- if you just rescan files with foobar, and overwrite "track" with "album" replaygain it should work fine. Did you normalize the tracks during the ripping process?

Having bought and iPod and a Squeezebox, I ripped all my CD's using Apple Lossless. I was unaware that the recording level varied as much as it does and would like to even out the playback.

I could follow the three steps above and accomplish my mission (I don't want to compromise the lossless encoding in addition to the gain adjustments)I suppose.

My question is, do I need to re-rip to implement Replaygain or can I use the Apple Lossless files (which would seem to be implementing steps 2&3 above)?

Thanks,
SteveA
I have 500+ CD's done so reripping would be a PITA