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apply volume normalization to FLAC files
brian
post Mar 8 2008, 13:12
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hi

for my mp3s i use mp3gain to apply track gain which is usually at 92db. for conversion from a format to another i use dbpoweramp. the idea is that i want to apply a similar gain to my flac files. for that dbpoweramp has a dsp effect called volume normalize. if i apply this dsp effect to my flac files do i lose any quality?
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Metanoia
post Mar 8 2008, 16:47
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QUOTE (brian @ Mar 8 2008, 13:12) *
hi

for my mp3s i use mp3gain to apply track gain which is usually at 92db. for conversion from a format to another i use dbpoweramp. the idea is that i want to apply a similar gain to my flac files. for that dbpoweramp has a dsp effect called volume normalize. if i apply this dsp effect to my flac files do i lose any quality?


Replaygain is also supported.
Volume normalize is a destructive way, it changes the audio and it can't be undone, while replaygain is just information in the tag that can be applied by the player. smile.gif
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brian
post Mar 8 2008, 19:04
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QUOTE (Metanoia @ Mar 8 2008, 17:47) *
Replaygain is also supported.
Volume normalize is a destructive way, it changes the audio and it can't be undone, while replaygain is just information in the tag that can be applied by the player. smile.gif


but lets say that a want to play the files in my car (after converting them to WAV of corse - a read on this forum that by converting from flac to wav i don't lose any audio quality), do i lose audio quality by using volume normalize??
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odyssey
post Mar 8 2008, 20:10
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QUOTE (brian @ Mar 8 2008, 19:04) *
but lets say that a want to play the files in my car (after converting them to WAV of corse - a read on this forum that by converting from flac to wav i don't lose any audio quality), do i lose audio quality by using volume normalize??

FLAC/WAV is lossless format. When you normalize any format, you will NOT be able to get back to the original audio data - In theory you lose "quality", but you will not be able to discern the quality loss in this case.

I'd recommend using replaygain, which is just a tag, that tells the player to adjust the volume accordingly. If you want to create CD's with adjusted volume, you can do that, but keep the original FLAC's safe wink.gif


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brian
post Mar 9 2008, 06:59
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QUOTE (odyssey @ Mar 8 2008, 21:10) *
QUOTE (brian @ Mar 8 2008, 19:04) *

but lets say that a want to play the files in my car (after converting them to WAV of corse - a read on this forum that by converting from flac to wav i don't lose any audio quality), do i lose audio quality by using volume normalize??

FLAC/WAV is lossless format. When you normalize any format, you will NOT be able to get back to the original audio data - In theory you lose "quality", but you will not be able to discern the quality loss in this case.

I'd recommend using replaygain, which is just a tag, that tells the player to adjust the volume accordingly. If you want to create CD's with adjusted volume, you can do that, but keep the original FLAC's safe wink.gif


thank you for your help
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Cirs
post Mar 27 2008, 13:01
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Sorry for reviving this thread, I just have a quick query that I want to be clear on. Please forgive my ignorance too as I have relatively little experience with FLAC files!

I recently burned FLAC files to audio CD using Nero Burning Rom (Nero 7). The CD volume during playback seems quite low so I was thinking of re-burning using the volume normalisation option in Nero.

Is it OK to do this? Does it in some way affect the quality or does it cause any distortion/damage (for want of a better word) to the FLAC files?

Cheers
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Cirs
post Apr 1 2008, 09:10
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Anybody willing to help out a newbie??

I've searched the forum for the answer to my question but all I can find is advice on normalisation for ripping to FLAC, and that people recommend using Replay Gain instead of normalising.

I'm not concernced with ripping though, just with burning FLAC files to create Audio CDs.

Thanks
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chromium
post Apr 1 2008, 12:08
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Replaygain is the recommended approach because you then store the audio of the CD unaltered. Only during playback is the volume adjusted so that different tracks have the same perceived loudness.

In order to burn Flac tracks giving them the same perceived volume, there are several options depending on the operating system you use.

* sox (http://sox.sourceforge.net/) is a crossplatform utility that allows you directly to decode flac to a wav with replaygain adjusted volume
[edit]This option requires flac support to be compiled in[/edit]

* equally crosplatform is wavegain that allows you to replaygain wav files after you have created them from any other format (option 1 will be more efficient in speed and disk usage)

[edit]
* As documented here http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....=556199&st=
flac has an undocumented option --apply-replaygain-which-is-not-lossless that supports decoding accounting for replaygain tags. See for more details http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/lofive...php/t17293.html
[/edit]

* Windows users can rely on foobar, where you can convert files accounting for the replay gain tag.

This post has been edited by chromium: Apr 1 2008, 12:50
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MiD30s
post Jun 21 2008, 01:15
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Is it possible to develop a tool like MP3Gain for FLAC? MP3Gain alter the gain of the files mathematically and losslessly, when you do have the UNDO information of the altered audio. Could something like this be developed for FLAC? (Eg. ZIOVA does not support replaygain).
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lvqcl
post Jun 21 2008, 11:27
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QUOTE (MiD30s @ Jun 21 2008, 04:15) *
Is it possible to develop a tool like MP3Gain for FLAC? MP3Gain alter the gain of the files mathematically and losslessly, when you do have the UNDO information of the altered audio. Could something like this be developed for FLAC? (Eg. ZIOVA does not support replaygain).

Just convert FLAC files from 16-bit to 24-bit wink.gif After this it is possible to reduce volume by 20*Log10(N/256), where N=1...255. But this also should result in increased bitrate.
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[JAZ]
post Jun 21 2008, 18:00
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QUOTE (MiD30s @ Jun 21 2008, 01:15) *
Is it possible to develop a tool like MP3Gain for FLAC? MP3Gain alter the gain of the files mathematically and losslessly, when you do have the UNDO information of the altered audio. Could something like this be developed for FLAC? (Eg. ZIOVA does not support replaygain).



First, 3/2 = 1 (since audio is stored in integer), 1*2 != 3.
From this, i want to imply that restoring the gain to the audio data would need a "correction file". In MP3 it can (usually, but not on all cases) be restored, because it is an integer (each frame) that is changed up or down, and not the whole data.


Second, see here and scroll down to "Wavegain":

http://www.rarewares.org/others.php
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bernhold
post Apr 14 2013, 00:30
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I just noticed something interesting. I have two identical songs encoded in FLAC, the only difference is their volume. The louder file is 39 MB, the quieter file is 32 MB. To test if volume really affects file size, I decoded both files to WAV, normalized their volume to the same level, and encoded them back into FLAC. Filesizes were now identical.

The WAV files were both the same size size, no matter their volume. Only the FLAC filesize was affected by volume. Why is a louder FLAC file so much bigger than a quiet one, if they're identical otherwise?

Another question, does normalizing audio degrade sound quality in any way? Let's say I normalize an audio file 100 times with random volume levels, will it lose quality?

Edit: It does. Badly. It adds noise.

This post has been edited by bernhold: Apr 14 2013, 00:48
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Andavari
post Apr 14 2013, 03:16
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Holy thread revival!

I've seen a post on the forum before where someone stated if he had some 1000+ bitrate FLAC he'd lower the volume so they'd be in the 800 bitrate range. It does work to do this with WaveGain to apply replaygain especially with modern stuff that has a very loud level determined by replaygain'ing, but from my understanding WaveGain isn't lossless, i.e.; you've modified the file/volume.


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AndyH-ha
post Apr 14 2013, 04:30
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Virtually any change to digital audio produces quantization errors. Replaygain and other tag entry adjustments to volume do the same. The only difference is that the tag controlled program adjustment does not effect the source data, only the output being sent to the speakers/headphones (or optical disk media, etc.). Doing an amplitude adjustment to the source, and nothing additional at playback, gives identical output in this respect (aside from the fact that the adjustments could be somewhat different when done by different means).

If 100 amplitude adjustments to 16 bit data results in audible noise it is because of the accumulation of quantization errors. Doing the same 100 operations in floating point format will quite likely not add enough noise to be audible because the quantization errors are each markedly smaller. It isn't an interesting enough problem to me for me to spend the time testing it. It isn't something ever likely to have a practical application.
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bernhold
post Apr 14 2013, 15:40
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Thanks for the insight. So, note to myself, never fiddle with the original volume of a song unless you absolutely have to.
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