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How To Use Mp3 Gain ?, 3 guides - normalization - maximizing
user
post Sep 1 2002, 20:56
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Thanks to westgroveg, we have a brief summary of today's possibilities:



QUOTE (westgroveg @ Aug 16 2004, 12:28 AM)
This thread is always coming backup so here a few extra hints for users
  • Album analyses  calculates track/album values so performing an album analyses is all you need to do.





  • MP3Gain now supports writing changes to ID3 tag so it is 100% lossless, ie. completely reversible.





  • As of LAME 3.96 (track) replaygain values are automatically written to the lame tag,





  • Unlike MP3Gain, values stored in the lame tag need to be applied during playback which requires more CPU processing & the decoder to be aware.





  • Foobar can automatically scan & adjust replaygain values without any need for MP3Gain but of course some of us don’t like this audio player.




  • One more thing, make sure, you tag before using replaygain or instead of your replaygain values being hidden they appear in the comment field for some reason which can be annoying.

*


This post has been edited by user: Aug 20 2004, 11:33


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user
post Sep 1 2002, 21:31
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Here is a very short and simple description

How to Stopping Clipping in Mp3 Files for Newbies

written by westgroveG




This has been answered by Snelg/User (see post above) but I think this will simplify it for beginners.


"Clipping" is when the music hits max volume and gets distorted.

To permanently remove clipping and keep volume differences between each track on an album you will need Mp3Gain:

http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~djmrob/mp3g...FULLinstall.zip

Open MP3 Gain, adjust:

Options\Each Folder Is Album (tick)

Options\Advanced\Enable Maximizing Features (tick)

Then do an Album/Radio Analyze,
If Any Mp3 file in Mp3gain has a "Y" (yes) under the clipping bar then, Go to the "modify gain" menu, "Apply max no clip gain for album".

If you only want to modify files with clipping and don't care about keeping volume differences between each track on an album you "Apply max no clip gain for each file" instead of "Apply max no clip gain for album".

And that’s it, now your files have no clipping distortion.






What do you do if you want all your MP3's to have the same volume irrespective of the source album?

auldyin


PS.

This would complete the instruction. (I am at work at present and cannot recollect what to do.......its almost automatic now and I'll be damned if I can remember what I did)






Answer by westgroveG


To get all your files to have the same loudness,

Do a Radio Analysis,

In the, Target “Normal” Volume Field choose the Volume all your selected files will have (default 89dB is recommended),

Then do a Radio gain.


If you would like your Mp3 files to be as close to your Target “Normal” Volume as possible while maintaining volume differences between each file on an album you simply
Do a Album Analysis instead of a Radio Analysis & a Album gain instead of a Radio Gain.

And if any file still has clipping you should lower the Target “Normal” Volume value.

B.TW This is Basically answered in the Mp3Gain Help file. If you are unsure of anything else you should probably refer to it first.


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user
post Sep 1 2002, 21:38
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MP3-CD album-based MP3Gain adjustment for newbies

written by Shadow RD
« on: January 30, 2002, 03:44:40 PM »

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I made this list up for myself (yeah I'm a bit lame!) and I thought it may lessen questions to Snelg and help others in the process if I posted it:

------------------------------------------------------------
How To Perform Optimised Album-based MP3 Gain Adjustment For Multiple Albums of MP3s for putting onto MP3-CDs
------------------------------------------------------------


(1) Put MP3 files in sub-folders sorted by album

(2) Open MP3 Gain, adjust:
Options\Each Folder Is Album (tick)
Options\Add Subfolders (tick)
Options\Show Path\File (tick)
Options\Advanced\Performance (tick both boxes)
Options\Advanced\Enable Maximising Features (tick)

(3) Set Target "Normal" Volume to 89 dB (if not already)
- Using 89 dB for the target volume will probably ensure
that no clipping will happen even for older albums
with greater dynamic range
- if clipping does occur with 89 dB you will have to reduce
the value

(4) File\Add Folder - choose folder containing all the album
subfolders

(5) Analysis\Album Analysis - does MP3 Gain Analysis album
by album

(6) Modify Gain\Album Gain - normalizes the MP3 Gain of all
albums relative to each other and as close as possible
to 89 dB

(7) Order files by Max Noclip Gain column (first do Radio
Analysis if Replay Gain information is not there
anymore) and note smallest value in the column

(8) Modify Gain\Apply Constant Gain - select value noted in
(7) to increase files gain by (if this is 0.0 then do
not adjust volume)

------------------------------------------------------------
This should ensure that the MP3s of each album are of comparable loudness and that the overall volume level is optimised.

------------------------------------------------------------


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Vincent Kargatis
post Sep 17 2002, 17:39
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Is there a way to have mp3gain automatically pick the lowest target volume between the chosen target and max no-clip? I have plenty of really dynamic music, where the peak is normalized, but the average volume is a lot lower than the target.

I know the "real" answer is to set the target to the "lowest maximized volume" in my collection, but I just don't want to set the gain of my whole collection to such a low value (which would be ~70). I'd rather just occasionally adjust the volume for these outlier cuts.

But in the meantime, when I'm doing large folder-based radio gain adjustment, I'm wondering whether I must manually unselect these files so they're not pushed into the clipping range. It's not *that* hard (sorting by radio gain, and deselecting most of the positive ones - those that have low average volumes), but it's still inconvenient. Just wondering if I'm missing an option...
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Vincent Kargatis
post Sep 20 2002, 10:01
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Well, no answer, so I assume no. Anyway, here's what I'm doing, as I mp3gain my collection (taking a while, since there's about 15,000 to do, though I'm doing them by genre folder, so it's not all at once).

- radio-gain-analyze the folder

- sort by radio gain

- select all negatives (-1.5 down)

- manually additionally select the positive radio gains with max-no-clip-gain greater or equal to the radio [clip(Radio) will not be Y for these]

- apply radio gain

- then manually select all positive radio gain left with 0 < max-no-clip < radio gain

- apply max-no-clip-gain to those

Then I'm done. Since I'm using 89 as a target, I have a few left over that are dynamic tracks already peak-maximized but lower avg volume, but these I'll live with and adjust manually when listening as desired. I have some experimental electronica tracks that have peak-maxed avg volumes in the 50s...

The effort's worthwhile - I have noticed a difference while shuffle listening, among the ones done - better volume balance during the listening period. Thanks, mp3gain authors!
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westgroveg
post Sep 29 2002, 07:16
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QUOTE (user @ Sep 2 2002 - 08:31 AM)
Here is a very short and simple description

How to           Stopping Clipping in Mp3 Files for Newbies    

written by westgroveG

Thanks user, about time someone past that MP3Gain stuff over here.
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High Speed Dubbi...
post Oct 10 2002, 23:27
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Thanx for the tutorial, been looking for help for ages
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holkie
post Oct 23 2002, 12:19
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QUOTE
(7) Order files by Max Noclip Gain column (first do Radio
Analysis if Replay Gain information is not there
anymore) and note smallest value in the column

(8) Modify Gain\Apply Constant Gain - select value noted in
(7) to increase files gain by (if this is 0.0 then do
not adjust volume)


Are steps 7 and 8 required/recommended???
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user
post Oct 26 2002, 09:59
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I sort never manually songs.

The first 2 posts say all. (The first one from me with content of me and Snelg, and the second one by westgroveG)


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floyd
post Oct 28 2002, 07:53
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ok.. what about the best settings for mp3 portables? I have a creative nomad IIc and I'm assuming it doesn't support mp3gain (do any portables?).. whats the best way to avoid clipping with it? use wavgain before encoding to mp3? any help would be appreciated biggrin.gif thanks.

edit: Apparently the Nomad IIc *does* support mp3gain! I'm surprised, to say the least.
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user
post Oct 28 2002, 10:20
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mp3gain:
Hardware support is NOT required...

mp3gain makes changes of volume losslessly in the mp3 file.
So every player plays adjusted volume.


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gfly3
post Oct 29 2002, 04:03
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i have searched for the answer for this but could not find a clear answer , can i use mp3gain on my mp3's then convert to wave and burn to cd. i guess my question is,if i use mp3gain on some mp3's is it carried over to the wave when i convert it ? or does this only apply to mp3 players. please forgive if this has already been posted. thanks gfly3
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Snelg
post Oct 29 2002, 14:59
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QUOTE (gfly3 @ Oct 28 2002 - 09:03 PM)
i have searched for the answer for this but could not find a clear answer; can i  use mp3gain on my mp3's then convert to wave and burn to cd?

YES

Clear enough for ya wink.gif ?
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gfly3
post Oct 29 2002, 21:53
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clear enough ! biggrin.gif and a great app. thanks a million.
gfly3
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AreteOne
post Nov 19 2002, 05:42
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This looks like just what I need for MP3 discs. Many thanks to all those involved as well as help here.

Now.... does anyone know of a similar program for .wav files? I hope so, because rolling the adjustments by hand is a PITA....

TIA.
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Jan S.
post Nov 19 2002, 08:03
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WAVgain: http://www.answermonkey.net/App_WAVGain.htm
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illdie4u
post Nov 19 2002, 09:03
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Hello,

how fast does mp3gain work? How long would it take me to adjust about 500 files on a PII 350MHz? Am I able to adjust the mp3's directly on an iPod (will try it this evening, think it should work but may be slow)?

Thanks for helping!

bye

illdie4u
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Jan S.
post Nov 19 2002, 14:48
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It's the analyse that takes the time, not really the gain change.

Anyway, I imagine that it will take a very long time for you to mp3gain all your files... I believe one album takes about ˝-1 hour on my 266 k6...
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CiTay
post Nov 19 2002, 17:36
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Time to apply AlbumGain on 12 MP3 files (PIII 1.13 GHz with Seagata Barraccuda IV hard disk):

1 minutes 17 seconds
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AreteOne
post Nov 20 2002, 13:06
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Now that I've played with MP3Gain, I've got a couple questions......

I've taken a .wav file (loud rock) and normalized its peak to 98. Then I ran it thru LAME v3.91 --ap-s -V1. Then I looked at the MP3Gain track analysis, and it said the average volume was 100.4 and that there was clipping, which makes sense if the average is over 100.

1) First off, when we talk about "peak to 98", just what does 98 measure? I've always assumed it was 98% of some sort of maximum, which is why you can't go above 100.

2) How did a file that had been peaked to 98 wind up with a higher average? Is this function of the MP3 format only being able to express "volume" (what's the correct term here, amplitude?) in increments of 1.5db? Does this limitation mean that we get "rounding" errors because it can't express 98 whatever precisely, just the nearest value, and that value can be driven above 100?

3) What's the highest peak value for a .wav file that won't round to above 100?

TIA.

BTW - very interesting stuff here.
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AreteOne
post Nov 21 2002, 14:32
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Providing the thread with some more information after doing some reading on various web pages....

It's clear that the process of encoding may introduce clipping to the MP3 even if the source .wav had no clipping itself. This is particulary a problem with CDs that are recorded at near peak volume and heavily compressed (the entire track is loud).

I had done some comparative analysis with a CD of songs that varied greatly in style and compression to take a look at the effect the --alt-presets had on bit rates and files sizes and still had the MP3 files on my hard drive. These MP3s were created by ripping the CD to .wav files using EAC, and then after they had been written to the drive, running RazorLame on them with LAME v3.90.2 and v3.91 (which produced exactly the same results, so I'm using 3.91 right now) without any mods whatsoever.

I went back and used MP3Gain to do a track analysis on these MP3s and almost every one has clipping, while CEP reports that none of their source .wav files have clipping. As a side note, I noticed that a couple tracks that clipped with aps and aps-V1 didn't clip with aps-V0, but that's hardly justification for the increased file sizes. Anyways....

This was pretty eye-opening. I hardly want to be spending the time creating MP3s and using a process that lends itself to clipping. To compensate for this, I've gone back and, using CEP, normalized the .wavs by -2db, and then recreated the MP3s. Now MP3Gain reports that they come in with average volumes nicely in 90s without clipping, and all but one reported that no more gain could be added without clipping.

Some random comments...

o MP3Gain is now part of my creation process simply to check for clipping, and when possible, to increase to the max volume without clipping. My MP3s are still loud enough to be played without having the crank the speakers up to max and I know there's no clipping. A very nice tool.

o I was blown away by how many clipped MP3s I have, both of my own doing and from others. I wonder how much this contributes to people complaining about the format. Maybe my ears suck, but I'm using Sony Digital Headphones and a TB Santa Cruz, and I'm hard-pressed to hear the spots where the music has been compromised; occasionally I can find it (maybe the crispness of a cymbal is a tad lacking), but the other 99.99% of the time it's spot on.

o I tried using WaveGain on a collection of tracks I'm about to master and burn for a Christmas CD. After using MP3Gain, it was a huge letdown. The resulting files were heavily reduced in volume across the board, and made them sound muffled. And, some of the tracks were way off, especially softer music that was left disproportinately louder than it should have been. I guess it's back to doing it by hand.

o I'm just amazed at how poor a job a number of tracks being released on CDs are. I mean, if a rank amature at this like me can figure out in a few minutes how to eliminate the hiss at the end of a track and hide the adjustment so you can't tell where it starts, and make it sound 1000xs better than the source, why can't the professional who mastered it do this? Now it's on to learning how to get rid of the stray noises in the middle. I'll listen to an MP3 and think I've finally found a sample that's produced whooshing or an artifact, only to discover the garbage is on the source, both listening to the CD and to the EAC-ripped .wav. Maybe I'm just too picky, but, really, isn't this the kind of stuff the mastering pro is supposed to catch and eliminate before production?


Bottom line.... MP3 creation procedure is now...

1) Rip with EAC.
2) Trim silence, kill hiss, and smooth fade-outs when necessary.
3) Normalize peak to -2db.
4) Encode with LAME v3.91 --a-ps -V1.
5) Check for clipping in MP3Gain and increase volume if possible.
6) Listen.
7) Tag.
8) Enjoy! B)
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CiTay
post Nov 21 2002, 14:43
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I don't agree with 2), 3) and 5) (the latter part!).
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AreteOne
post Nov 21 2002, 15:17
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QUOTE (CiTay @ Nov 21 2002 - 05:43 AM)
I don't agree with 2), 3) and 5) (the latter part!).


I'd be interested in reading why you disagree. It would help me and anyone else reading to make a better decision.

Re #2: I'm aware that some hold to the position that the MP3 should be an exact reproduction of the source, warts and all. Since I don't like extended silence, hiss, or fade-outs that drop off the edge of the table, and have the tools to remove them, I choose to. If the source is good, I leave it alone. I look at MP3s like the 45s I used to buy when I was a kid. If I want to listen to the CD, I'll just play that; it's not my intention to create the CD in another format, but rather to have a jukebox-like collection of tunes for future entertainment. And if I'm making an audio CD, I pull the tracks from the source if I have them rather than decode the MP3 and work with that, for the obvious loss-of-quality issue.

Re #3: If I don't normalize, my MP3's will clip, as I've just discovered. I'm aware that this most likely will introduce rounding errors to the samples, which, at least theoretically, means the MP3 doesn't match the source. I'm more concerned about the effect clipping may have on my listening enjoyment than what are likely to be rounding errors that are imperceptable. And, I'm not sure why one would object to normalizing a .wav file well within an acceptable range when the process of encoding it to MP3 makes a far greater change to the original source. Do you feel there's a better value than -2db that would let me achieve the goal of not clipping and, at the same time, minimize or eliminate the rounding errors? BTW - I should note that if peak is less than -2db, I wouldn't normalize the .wav, but rather boost the volume with MP3Gain.

Re #5: Why don't you like increasing the volume of an MP3 if it won't introduce clipping? Does this introduce rounding errors also? I was under the impression that one can increase and decrease the gain repeatedly without any loss of information because of the way gain is handled in the format - that's what makes it lossless. If rounding errors are introduced, then this wouldn't be true.
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CiTay
post Nov 21 2002, 16:42
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Why i disagree...

with 2): For the very reason you mentioned: I want an exact reproduction, in terms of silences and even hiss (it can add that special flavor, think old jazz records). Silence is encoded at 32 kbps, in MPC even lower, so there's no problem.

with 3): You obviously strive to boost the volume as much as possible (without clipping), however, the perceived loudness doesn't depend on the peak volume (compare dynamically compressed music with classical music). While peak normalizing usually adds some 3 dB noise, the loudness gain is maybe <1 dB with today's music productions. And don't forget that the music has already been peak-normalized in the studio.

Don't get me wrong, your goal is honorable. It's sometimes a good idea to lower the volume *before* encoding, because too loud music can indeed cause problems occasionally. But i would do this with WaveGain. It doesn't draw it's conclusions just from the peak values. If you use it right, it's better than normalizing. Try these switches: "--album --log --gain 3 --dither 3 --apply". With --gain, you can raise the reference volume, if it is too quiet for you. Dithering is also a good idea, it pushes the noise to the HF region, where it doesn't interfere. And of course, AlbumGain, to preserve the volume differences (again, the "exact reproduction" thing).

with 5): Why do you always want to increase volume? Many playback systems start to have problems at -3 dB below FS already. The reference volume in ReplayGain was introduced to have a safe, uniform volume level across the board. You put this ad absurdum. But i'm sure, one day you'll discover the great benefit of ReplayGain... smile.gif
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user
post Nov 21 2002, 17:11
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Not the best way:

Bottom line.... MP3 creation procedure is now...

1) Rip with EAC
2) Trim silence, kill hiss, and smooth fade-outs when necessary.
3) Normalize peak to -2db.
4) Encode with LAME v3.91 --a-ps -V1.
5) Check for clipping in MP3Gain and increase volume if possible.
6) Listen.
7) Tag.
8) Enjoy!


My better suggestion:

1) Rip with EAC & tag directly to mp3 / mpc, if you want, you can save in same step the original waves, but quite unnecessary, as you could create high quality mp3s / mpcs .....
2) for original reproduction, leave it out, but for purpose, you can do what you prefer...
3) no, no, no (this is my opinion, if mp3 is your goal, as you have written).
4) umm, --alt-preset standard with addition -V1 is nowhere recommended. There are no test sessions made with this. In fact, the alt-preset was optimized as it is, so you do only cause trouble by adding NOT RECOMMENDED SWITCHES. For higher or lower quality or filesize, choose recommended presets from list !!
5) check for clipping (yes, here, not earlier like in 2, normalizing the mp3 is lossless by mp3gain, so it is better, and otherwise you would have double work, here in mp3gain you can adjust volumes much better than in step 2.)
6) due to step 1, you save work, just configure eac once.
7) Listen & enjoy !


IMHO, you should try to use programs at their best, so you avoid unnecessary work.

My way for mp3:
1. EAC: rip & encode to mp3/mpc & name & tag ; all in one step !!!
2. mp3gain: analysis -> either max. noclip gain for album, or adjusting album gain to 89db, or similar, all depends on music, album, purpose.
3. Listen & enjoy

I don't need 8 steps...

This post has been edited by user: Nov 21 2002, 17:19


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