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Attempting To Normalize My Collection Using Mp3Gain, Sounds Ran Throug
praeix
post Nov 15 2012, 19:41
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Hey all,

Just a disclaimer - I'm new to using Mp3Gain and trying to learn more, so please bear with me if I'm misunderstanding the technical aspects of it...

My Mp3 collection is mostly Rock and Metal with some Classical and Electronica mixed in, so there are some major discrepancies in song volume between the genres. I read some stuff on Mp3Gain and it sounded like the least intrusive and overall best way of normalizing the volume. I then ran track analysis (and later album analysis) on all of the songs and I figured that 92db would be a pretty good level to compromise. So when I applied that level of gain to the collection (using Track Gain) and began listening, a lot of songs sound like they're ran through a compressor. In other words, let's say that the song starts out with an electric guitar riff, no other instruments playing and the volume level sounds like it's at 92db, when the rest of the band kicks in, it sounds as if it "sucks" the volume down to a lower level, similar to how a compressor behaves. If in the song, it goes to a single instrument again, then it seems to get louder and then sucks it back down when the band kicks in again.

Now I'm sure there's a better technical description of what's going on here, perhaps it's applying gain to the "valleys" in the volume to make it more equal throughout the song (although that's definitely NOT what I want), but I'm kind of in the dark on this and haven't been able to Google anything to help me find an answer. I just want to know what I'm doing wrong when applying the gain.

Another caveat to this, when I undid all of the gain changes in Mp3Gain and looked at the tag data, I saw that the APE and ID3v2 tags still had the Track and Album gain values in there. I also noticed that after undoing the gain, they still sound like they're compressed. Do I need to completely delete all of the ReplayGain and Mp3Gain values out of the tags and then delete the tag itself for it to return to normal?

Thanks in advance for any help that you're willing to throw my way and explain to this newbie what's going on.

praeix
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DVDdoug
post Nov 15 2012, 22:25
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Since MP3Gain applies the same gain-change to the whole file... Most likely, you are just perceiving the volume reduction as compression. Sometimes when compression is used to make the song "louder", people will describe it as "more dynamic", when of-course the dynamics have actually been reduced and it's just louder.

But actually, if you don't have "Don't clip" selected... You can get clipping, and clipping is a bad-kind of distorted-compression. I kind-of doubt that's what's going on.

If you are not allowing clipping, MP3Gain won't "touch" files that would be clipped if boosted (or at least it will limit the amount of boost).

QUOTE
...I figured that 92db would be a pretty good level to compromise.
The higher your gain setting, the more likely you are to clip (or do nothing). The default setting of 89dB works pretty well for me. I mostly play my songs randomly, and just about every time the volume sounds "wrong", I find that ReplayGain was not applied. (I've been using ReplayGain rather than MP3Gain.)

QUOTE
...so the gain I'm applying is almost always making the songs quieter.
Right. That's normal. Since probably over half of your songs are peak-normalized (volume maximized), how are you going to match the perceived volume? If you don't want clipping/distortion, you can't boost the peak-normalized songs which happen to sound quiet (just or less loud)... You have to reduce the loud-sounding songs to bring them down to "average" (and boost a few quiet songs).

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Nov 15 2012, 22:30
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praeix
post Nov 15 2012, 22:42
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QUOTE
Since MP3Gain applies the same gain-change to the whole file... Most likely, you are just perceiving the volume reduction as compression.

Yes this is what I figured. I just didn't know how else to describe it. Back in the 90's I remember my parents had a Mark VIII with a sound system in it. When I drove it, I remember cranking the stereo and it sounded as if the bass was getting sucked in, instead of hitting. And that was because of the compression on the stereo. That's what it sounds like and perhaps it's just volume reduction interpreted as compression, but I don't understand how it seems to be applied to parts of the track instead of the entire track, which is what MP3Gain is supposed to do...

QUOTE
But actually, if you don't have "Don't clip" selected... You can get clipping, and clipping is a bad-kind of distorted-compression. I kind-of doubt that's what's going on.

I just checked and I don't have the "Don't clip" option selected.

QUOTE
QUOTE
...I figured that 92db would be a pretty good level to compromise.
The higher your gain setting, the more likely you are to clip (or do nothing). The default setting of 89dB works pretty well for me. I mostly play my songs randomly, and just about every time the volume sounds "wrong", I find that ReplayGain was not applied. (I've been using ReplayGain rather than MP3Gain.)

What exactly is the difference between ReplayGain and MP3Gain? I heard ReplayGain mentioned as an algorithm for calculating the gain, but I also read somewhere that MP3Gain *uses* ReplayGain...

This post has been edited by praeix: Nov 15 2012, 22:43
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davelasker
post Nov 15 2012, 22:49
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QUOTE (praeix @ Nov 15 2012, 14:42) *
What exactly is the difference between ReplayGain and MP3Gain? I heard ReplayGain mentioned as an algorithm for calculating the gain, but I also read somewhere that MP3Gain *uses* ReplayGain...

You are correct that ReplayGain is the algorithm. MP3Gain is the name of a program that implements that algorithm.
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Posts in this topic
- praeix   Attempting To Normalize My Collection Using Mp3Gain, Sounds Ran Throug   Nov 15 2012, 19:41
- - [JAZ]   MP3Gain is just that, a gain. It does not apply an...   Nov 15 2012, 19:54
|- - praeix   I generally listen to music in 4 places: my comput...   Nov 15 2012, 20:16
|- - davelasker   QUOTE ([JAZ] @ Nov 15 2012, 11:54...   Nov 15 2012, 21:09
- - halb27   Can you provide a track snippet original and mp3ga...   Nov 15 2012, 20:31
- - DVDdoug   Since MP3Gain applies the same gain-change to the ...   Nov 15 2012, 22:25
|- - praeix   QUOTE Since MP3Gain applies the same gain-change t...   Nov 15 2012, 22:42
|- - davelasker   QUOTE (praeix @ Nov 15 2012, 14:42) What ...   Nov 15 2012, 22:49
- - praeix   I'll try and get a couple of samples together ...   Nov 15 2012, 22:30
- - praeix   OK I was just making 30 second clips of the song (...   Nov 16 2012, 01:22
- - pdq   Mp3gain modifies the data (losslessly) to make the...   Nov 16 2012, 04:01
|- - praeix   QUOTE (pdq @ Nov 15 2012, 21:01) Mp3gain ...   Nov 16 2012, 04:17
- - skamp   No, neither Replaygain or MP3gain alter volume in ...   Nov 16 2012, 09:11
- - Kohlrabi   Properly coded ReplayGain aware players will apply...   Nov 16 2012, 09:22
- - greynol   We shouldn't be giving any credence to the ide...   Nov 16 2012, 17:37
|- - praeix   I don't even know what to make of this respons...   Nov 17 2012, 14:11
|- - skamp   QUOTE (praeix @ Nov 17 2012, 14:11) The ...   Nov 17 2012, 15:04
|- - greynol   QUOTE (praeix @ Nov 17 2012, 05:11) QUOTE...   Nov 17 2012, 18:15
- - Dynamic   It seems unlikely, but Windows 7 at least can perf...   Nov 17 2012, 17:08


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