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Boosting FLAC Volume Threshold?
binar
post Sep 1 2012, 16:40
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Can anyone out there please help me solve the following mystery. I can't understand why albums I ripped years ago using EAC as MP3, 320kbps, LAME files sound a lot louder (at the same Windows Media Player volume setting) than the same album I'm ripping today using Foobar2000. The MP3 files sound louder, richer and robust. In contrast the FLAC files at the same volume setting are hard to hear and sound dull. In short the FLAC files sound wimpy in regards to volume.

What am I doing wrong with Foobar2000? Does it require I apply Foobar2000 DSPs? My setting for the Commandline Encoder Settings - Editing Preset is set to the value of 5. Other than that I have not changed any other settings.

In addition, I've been Googling "Foobar Low FLAC volume" in the hopes of solving my low volume FLAC files problem. Is ReplayGain the reason why my FLAC files have a low volume threshold? When ripping an album to FLAC does ReplayGain need to be disabled? How does one do this?

My goal is to find the optimum Foobar2000 setting in regards to volume threshold.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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[JAZ]
post Sep 1 2012, 19:09
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First: Yes, replaygain would be an explanation of what you're describing. ***

Next: Possible solutions with *playing in* foobar2000 are going to the File->Preferences menu, select Playback option and change the sliders that say "With RG info" and "Without RG info". See the following point to understand how.



Replaygain :

ReplayGain is the name of a technique invented to achieve the same perceived playback loudness of audio files. The analysis calculates the song loudness, and increases or reduces its volume to reach predefined target loudness.
In practice, it *usually* reduces the volume (Exception would be classical music, where it can increase it).
(Note: Replaygain itself just stores this in a tag. Implementations like MP3gain and wavegain do modify the file).


The target loudness, compared to music released since year 2000 onwards, is notoriously lower (read about loudness war ).
As such, you would usually want to *reduce* the volume of files that are not replaygained. (To prevent the possibility of audio clipping ).
In practice, a middle solution can be satisfactory too, which means increase a bit the replaygained ones, and reduce a bit the non replaygained ones. (I use +3dB for RG and -4dB for nonRG).


Windows Media player and non-replaygain aware players:
If you just use replaygain, non-replaygain aware players will play just as if there wasn't replaygain. So that would not change anything.
Making them play the songs as if they did know about replaygain implies using programs like mp3gain, aacgain or wavegain. As such, the audio would get modified and played at the correct volume. Rescanning with replaygain so that the replaygain values are still valid would mean the ability to use replaygain specific things like choosing track or audio gain, etc.
Anyway, this is just a preference, so others might suggest on a different path.



*** Since i don't use the FLAC directshow filter (the one that allows playing files with Windows Media Player), i don't know if it is able to apply replaygain to flac files. If it can, then my explanation has sense. Else, it would seem as if the mp3 volume had been increased in some way.
Also, i am unsure if windows media player is able to apply its effects (equalizer, wow, etc..) to FLAC playback, which would also cause difference.

This post has been edited by [JAZ]: Sep 1 2012, 19:28
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