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How do I create a cue sheet based on the track lengths of separate MP3
dmehling
post May 1 2012, 19:37
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I have an album of separate MP3 files. I want to join the files in order to edit audio levels for the entire album. After making changes I want to be able to split the track into separate MP3 files once again. I know that a single track can be cut using a cue sheet. I would like to know if I can create a cue sheet based on the track lengths of the individual MP3 files before I join them?
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alondon
post May 1 2012, 21:06
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MP3Gain will edit the audio levels of individual MP3 files logically as if they are an entire album.
http://mp3gain.sourceforge.net/
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DVDdoug
post May 1 2012, 22:17
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QUOTE
I want to join the files in order to edit audio levels for the entire album. After making changes I want to be able to split the track into separate MP3 files once again.
FYI - You can apply the same gain to all files without combining them first. For example, combining all of the files into a single file and boosting the gain by 2dB and re-splitting will give you the exact-same results as applying a 2dB gain to each individual file .

If you increase the volume, you have to be careful to avoid clipping (distortion). There is no issue with reducing volumes. Most digital albums are already normalized/maximized for 0dB (or near 0dB) peaks, even though some albums sound louder than others. And, some quiet-sounding songs have 0dB peaks.


If I wanted to normalize (maximize) an album with individual files, here's how I'd approach it:

Load the files into my audio editor* (I happen to use GoldWave), and scan to find the track with the highest peak.

That peak tells me how much I can increase the gain without clipping. If the highest peak on all files is -4dB, I can safely boost all files by 4dB (or less if I wish). If there is a 0dB peak, I can't increase the level on all files without clipping.


* MP3 is lossy compression, so it's best to use a special-purpose non-distructive editor when you're doing something simple like a volume change, which can be done non-distructively. MP3Gain is also non-destructive. But all "regular" audio editors (GoldWave, Audacity, Audition, etc.) decompress the file before editing, and that means a 2nd lossy compression step if you re-save as MP3.

Also, the MP3 format itself doesn't have the 0dB limit like (integer WAV files), but clipping can happen depending on how its encoded & decoded, so it's generally good practice to keep the peaks below 0dB.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: May 1 2012, 22:25
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mjb2006
post May 2 2012, 07:51
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+2 dB isn't the best example; if making the adjustment via the global gain field (like with MP3Gain), then you're restricted to 1.5 dB increments. smile.gif

MP3Gain has a -k switch and equivalent in the GUI to prevent clipping, so you shouldn't need to do the pre-scan with GoldWave.
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