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Normalize Vs Volume increase
tinpanalley
post Jun 29 2011, 23:08
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I'm having trouble figuring out which of the two is better for me to create a vinyl recording at the highest volume without clipping.

I capture a record via my preamp into Audacity, and I get what seem to be relatively low levels even though I make sure the levels are right when I record (Peak: -6.4db, RMS -24.6db). Am I doing something wrong? Or are those levels right? These recordings don't seem as loud as mastered CDs.

Anyway, to get the most accurate sound possible, should I use normalize or just increase the volume? If normalizing makes everything sound the same at a peak level, doesn't that completely screw with the dynamic range of the music?

Thanks!
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DVDdoug
post Jul 7 2011, 20:36
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QUOTE
but is there any series of processes that are typically run on all record captures as a base to "clean them up"
This page has lots of helpful information.

Of course, the main thing is noise reduction. There are3 or 4 types/categories of noise reduction, and these require separate steps.

1. I always try to remove "snap", "crackle", and "pop". (I don't use Sound Forge and I don't know about it's tools.)

2. "Regular" noise reduction, where you feed-in a sample of noise-only (i.e. a "noise fingerprint") can reduce hiss, hum, and other more-or-less constant low-level background noise.

3. A rumble filter will remove subsonic noise. And, a 50/60Hz notch filter can remove line-frequency hum, and in some cases may work better than the regular noise reduction filter.

4. A noise gate will mute the sound completely when the sound level falls below a preset threshold (i.e. between songs). But, it's usually best to do this manually by muting between tracks and/or by adding a short fade-in/fade-out before/after the music starts/stops.

Now... with noise reduction you can get artifacts (side effects), so it takes some trial & error. Sometimes when I've done a massive amount of processing, I'll keep an untouched archive copy with all of the original analog & vinyl defects.

Some clicks might not be removed, some musical sounds might get misinterpreted as clicks and removed, and sometimes the "repair" is worse than the original click.

The same is true with regular noise reduction, especially with quiet-delicate music. You can sometimes get some strange "digital" artifacts.

And, even a noise gate can be distracting if the background noise suddenly goes dead-silent.

You might not want to do this, since you want to preserve the original sound, but a lot of older recordings have rolled-off highs, so I sometimes boost the highs with some EQ.

And as the last step (after making a full album-length WAV file) I normalize.


----------------------
For de-clicking, I use Wave Repair ($30 USD). Wave Repair does an amazing on most "clicks", and in the manual mode it only "touches" the audio where you identify a defect. On the downside, it usually takes me a full weekend to clean up a vinyl transfer. sad.gif The record I'm working on right now is in terrible shape, and it's taking me even longer!!!! And, I believe it only works on 16-bit files.







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- tinpanalley   Normalize Vs Volume increase   Jun 29 2011, 23:08
- - DVDdoug   Audacity's Amplify effect has an option of set...   Jun 30 2011, 00:43
|- - db1989   tinpanalley, your observation matches tracks that ...   Jun 30 2011, 12:31
- - tinpanalley   Thanks so much for the thorough reply. So, 2 quest...   Jun 30 2011, 01:06
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE 1. What do you recommend I do with my settin...   Jun 30 2011, 01:52
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jun 29 2011, 20:52) CDs ...   Jun 30 2011, 02:05
- - AndyH-ha   There is no "need" to amplify or normali...   Jun 30 2011, 02:55
- - tinpanalley   But doesn't normalizing in making all loudness...   Jun 30 2011, 03:09
|- - tropicalfish   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jun 29 2011, 21:09) ...   Jun 30 2011, 05:15
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (tropicalfish @ Jun 30 2011, 00:15)...   Jun 30 2011, 08:31
- - tinpanalley   Well here's what I have... I think this will h...   Jun 30 2011, 17:51
- - tropicalfish   Record with Audacity. Go to Normalize, and check O...   Jun 30 2011, 19:25
|- - db1989   QUOTE (tropicalfish @ Jun 30 2011, 19:25)...   Jun 30 2011, 19:43
|- - tropicalfish   QUOTE (db1989 @ Jun 30 2011, 13:43) QUOTE...   Jun 30 2011, 22:51
|- - db1989   QUOTE (tropicalfish @ Jun 30 2011, 22:51)...   Jul 1 2011, 13:25
- - tinpanalley   Perhaps I should have also stated that the way I r...   Jun 30 2011, 20:31
- - AndyH-ha   A recording made with proper equipment should not ...   Jun 30 2011, 20:51
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jun 30 2011, 20:51...   Jul 1 2011, 18:19
|- - musicollector   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jun 30 2011, 12:51...   Nov 28 2011, 04:30
- - tinpanalley   Ok, how about if I just control that from the phon...   Jun 30 2011, 20:55
- - mixminus1   I'll second AndyH's advice on recording bo...   Jun 30 2011, 21:01
- - tinpanalley   I basically already do what you're suggesting ...   Jun 30 2011, 21:06
- - AndyH-ha   The gain is normally set to leave plenty of headro...   Jun 30 2011, 21:24
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jun 30 2011, 16:24...   Jun 30 2011, 21:30
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE How do I know if my sound card can handle 32...   Jun 30 2011, 21:36
- - mixminus1   Audacity has the option to export to bit depths gr...   Jun 30 2011, 21:40
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Jun 30 2011, 16:40) Of...   Jun 30 2011, 21:43
- - AndyH-ha   Audacity is FREEware. If may also be adequate for...   Jun 30 2011, 22:15
- - tinpanalley   Ok, I'm trying Sound Forge now. Aiming for -6d...   Jun 30 2011, 22:16
|- - mixminus1   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jun 30 2011, 14:16) ...   Jun 30 2011, 22:36
- - AndyH-ha   It may be true that most editors work in floating ...   Jun 30 2011, 22:25
- - tinpanalley   No, just that when I choose 32-bit (IEEE float) it...   Jun 30 2011, 22:39
- - tinpanalley   You see, that's what I thought.   Jun 30 2011, 23:05
- - tropicalfish   There are no 32-bit devices, so why use it? You mi...   Jun 30 2011, 23:22
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (tropicalfish @ Jun 30 2011, 18:22)...   Jun 30 2011, 23:52
- - tropicalfish   So you want to record in floating point, and then ...   Jul 1 2011, 01:15
- - tinpanalley   I don't really care how I record. I just wanna...   Jul 1 2011, 01:28
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE 1. What do you recommend I do with my settin...   Jul 1 2011, 01:53
- - tinpanalley   All the 24 and 32 bit stuff still has me really co...   Jul 1 2011, 04:08
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jul 1 2011, 04:08) I...   Jul 1 2011, 18:25
|- - tinpanalley   Thanks for the wonderful feedback. Just wanted to ...   Jul 1 2011, 19:51
- - AndyH-ha   There exist a continuously varying analogue signal...   Jul 1 2011, 06:06
- - AndyH-ha   QUOTE Come on Andy - think that one through proper...   Jul 1 2011, 20:36
|- - DVDdoug   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jul 1 2011, 12:36)...   Jul 1 2011, 22:12
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jul 1 2011, 22:12) We...   Jul 4 2011, 12:34
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE It's the bits I don't get.OK, I...   Jul 1 2011, 21:46
- - AndyH-ha   My experience is based on CoolEdit Statistics repo...   Jul 4 2011, 20:32
|- - 2Bdecided   I think you may think I might be being clever than...   Jul 4 2011, 23:34
- - AndyH-ha   Perhaps I am just too ignorant of what is involved...   Jul 5 2011, 08:38
- - 2Bdecided   Vinyl is an intrinsically AC-coupled format. It ha...   Jul 5 2011, 14:08
- - pdq   Think of it this way. If there is a DC offset in t...   Jul 5 2011, 16:14
- - tinpanalley   Hey all, I've been absorbing everything you g...   Jul 6 2011, 22:37
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE - 32-bit IEEE Float? - 32-bit PCM? Floating ...   Jul 7 2011, 01:34
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jul 6 2011, 20:34) [b]Do...   Jul 7 2011, 05:06
|- - AndyH-ha   I'm curious about this inability to record in ...   Jul 7 2011, 09:31
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jul 7 2011, 04:31)...   Jul 7 2011, 17:56
- - tinpanalley   This is probably like asking if there is one way t...   Jul 7 2011, 18:37
- - AndyH-ha   There are many descriptions of the process publish...   Jul 7 2011, 19:20
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jul 7 2011, 19:20)...   Jul 8 2011, 12:01
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 8 2011, 07:01) The...   Jul 8 2011, 15:49
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE but is there any series of processes that ar...   Jul 7 2011, 20:36
- - tinpanalley   Here's a comparison of the 32-bit, higher gain...   Jul 7 2011, 21:04
- - tinpanalley   This sounds great to me as I'm hearing it even...   Jul 7 2011, 22:16
- - greynol   No you're not crazy, just know that 32 bits fo...   Jul 7 2011, 22:34
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE And normalising... if I get good levels on t...   Jul 7 2011, 23:38
|- - tinpanalley   Couple of things: QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jul 7 201...   Jul 7 2011, 23:48
- - greynol   No, they aren't contradictory at all. DVDdoug...   Jul 8 2011, 00:03
- - tinpanalley   Ok, my bad. I misunderstood. I have some people te...   Jul 8 2011, 00:08
|- - greynol   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jul 7 2011, 16:08) I...   Jul 8 2011, 00:55
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE Then what is the difference to just doing a ...   Jul 8 2011, 00:39
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jul 7 2011, 19:39) But a...   Jul 8 2011, 01:57
- - AndyH-ha   The Sonic Foundry Noise Reduction plugin 2.0 has b...   Jul 8 2011, 02:46
- - greynol   I simply wanted to let you know that I respect tha...   Jul 8 2011, 02:53
- - AndyH-ha   I made an inquiry elsewhere. I got back that your ...   Jul 8 2011, 03:04
- - tinpanalley   Ohhh!!! Well, why didn't someone j...   Jul 8 2011, 07:34
- - AndyH-ha   Because Sound Forge has such an unusual approach (...   Jul 8 2011, 08:19
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jul 8 2011, 03:19)...   Jul 8 2011, 15:45
- - tinpanalley   This is the info from a download from the site (wh...   Jul 8 2011, 16:08
- - 2Bdecided   Nothing automatic there, just "manual click r...   Jul 8 2011, 20:30
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE Is Audacity totally a lame program? Vinyl ca...   Jul 8 2011, 20:32
- - AndyH-ha   I 've paid no attention to Audacity for some y...   Jul 8 2011, 20:36
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jul 8 2011, 15:36)...   Jul 8 2011, 21:09
|- - greynol   Um, no, The Beatles were recorded to tape and the ...   Jul 8 2011, 21:16
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 8 2011, 16:16) Um, n...   Jul 8 2011, 22:46
||- - greynol   Denying that vinyl was the most common medium back...   Jul 9 2011, 00:07
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 8 2011, 21:16) Um, n...   Jul 9 2011, 12:30
- - Juha   Couple questions: Would normalization be more sec...   Jul 9 2011, 09:31
- - AndyH-ha   What one gets by normalization is independent of t...   Jul 9 2011, 09:40
- - tinpanalley   If I'm going through a recording process with ...   Nov 12 2011, 23:24
|- - mjb2006   Why did you bump this thread? Your question has no...   Nov 13 2011, 00:20
||- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Nov 12 2011, 19:20) Why ...   Nov 13 2011, 05:09
|- - botface   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Nov 12 2011, 23:24) ...   Nov 13 2011, 10:24
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (botface @ Nov 13 2011, 05:24) by s...   Nov 13 2011, 22:24
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Nov 13 2011, 22:24) ...   Nov 15 2011, 11:23
- - AndyH-ha   It also depends on the channel balance. Some cartr...   Nov 15 2011, 11:36
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Nov 15 2011, 11:36...   Nov 16 2011, 13:43
- - botface   Yes, I wasn't suggesting recording in mono as ...   Nov 15 2011, 17:27


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