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Applying Gain to 16-bit Recordings
Engelsstaub
post Jul 18 2012, 11:07
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I have a few questions regarding some 16/44.1 recordings I have that could be a bit louder. I wanted to boost the gain to somewhere around the point where peaks will be around -1dB without clipping. (It seems that typically the peaks are around -3dB and the meat of the recording is around 6dB and often lower.)

The files will first be upsampled to 32-bit(float)/44.1 and edited in iZotope RX2 Advanced. (Editing consists of light declicking, some possible noise removal between tracks, etc. and then resampling/dithering back.) My questions are these:

1. Is there any reason why applying gain would effect the quality of the original recording in the resulting product? (Would it have just been better to get the level set closer in the first place tongue.gif ?) I know that reducing the volume is "losing bit depth," as I've read this from members in older threads while searching earlier. Is there a reduction in bit depth (or perceivable sound quality) when increasing the volume when using a quality program at the upsampled bit rate?

2. Should the gain be applied before or after the editing (or does it even matter) assuming that number one isn't a boneheaded way to approach this with respect to quality?

Basically I believe it would be ideal to make this...



...look about like this. (About 3dB louder.)



(Sorry if these questions are a bit noobish. I've been reading my ass off through the archives and still can't quite get a grasp.)


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The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.
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Engelsstaub
post Jul 18 2012, 13:00
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skamp: of course you're correct in the sense as you've stated it. I know it doesn't destroy the file it's applied to. -But- if I were to use RG and then finalize the recording, rather than specialized tools, it would be imprecise and perhaps destructive to peaks and such. IOW it's not a solution to my particular needs. It's rather a solution for people who want to normalize or boost the volume of music files on their DAPs and the like.

I apologize for not wording things properly.

DonP: so its fine to be imprecise with levels as long as it's not too low and obviously not so loud as to be clipped? IOW: increasing the gain, through the steps I've outlined, is not going to be perceivably destructive or detrimental to the source? (I don't understand the concept of "losing bits" as I've read it here in other threads.)


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