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How do I normalize an album?
sancco
post Jul 17 2013, 07:05
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Not as easy as you think! Greetings esteemed audio enthusiasts. I require your help!

I don't want to just normalize a bunch of tracks to 0dB - I want to permanently amplify an entire album by the same amount, so the highest peak of that album is 0db, yet ambient filler tracks and such are amplified to the same level so it all melds together smoothly.

Anyone know a simple and easy way to do this?

Mucho gracias! tongue.gif
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hlloyge
post Jul 17 2013, 08:05
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Simplest for me is to rip the whole album as one wav file + cue files, apply normalization and/or compression as preferred, and afterwards do with it whatever you want.
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2Bdecided
post Jul 17 2013, 09:27
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QUOTE (hlloyge @ Jul 17 2013, 08:05) *
Simplest for me is to rip the whole album as one wav file + cue files, apply normalization and/or compression as preferred, and afterwards do with it whatever you want.
That is the easiest.

As mjb2006 said, if you have the tracks ripped already, find the highest peak across all of them and apply the required gain to make this 0dBFS to all of them.


The vast majority of CDs already peak so near to 0dB FS that there's no point changing them - you will not hear a difference - you're just wasting your time. Very old or oddball CDs that don't peak near 0dB FS can be raised, but the number of CDs where this causes a significant increase in loudness must be tiny. Even when peak normalised, really old CDs will still sound much quieter than most modern CDs, due to lack of compression.

What I'm trying to say is: why bother?

The only time I do anything like this is for music I've recorded myself, where I aim to have one sample across the entire disc peaking at -0.1dBFS. Obviously for home recordings levels, compression, EQ etc must be fixed for individual tracks and across the disc - setting the disc peak is just the last stage. For commercial content, I don't see the point.

Of course for proper loudness matching, there's ReplayGain wink.gif . In a situation where I was creating many compilation discs at home, and they all had to be loudness matched because they would be swapped and mixed in regular and DJ CD players, I didn't use peak normalisation at all: I just used ReplayGain for the whole lot with no post adjustment. The peaks on some tracks and on some discs were way down, but it didn't matter. They weren't going to be played against commercial releases, and loudness was consistent across the whole lot.

Cheers,
David.

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Jul 17 2013, 09:31
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