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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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greynol
post Nov 16 2012, 17:37
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We shouldn't be giving any credence to the idea that something may be broken.

The only true reasons behind the OP's experiences are not comparing before and after at the same volume level (if MP3Gain attenuated a track then the playback volume needs to be reduced by the same amount when the MP3Gain is undone!!!), Fletcher-Munson, specifically the way equal-loudness curves flatten with increasning level, different listening environments and expectation bias.

ReplayGain and MP3Gain do not in any way, shape or form apply compression. While clipping does cause a reduction in dynamic range, this cannot possibly happen if the adjustment being performed is attenuation which is certainly the case with the metal and rock tracks. I suppose another possibility is that a DRC plugin and palyback gain was configured in foobar2000. This would have to have been done by the user as it is absolutely not done by default and/or behind the scenes by the player.

Regarding RG tags coexisting with MP3Gain tags, whether the RG tags are right or wrong depends on when they were calculated. If they were calculated and added before MP3Gain made an adjustment then they will be right when the adjustment is undone. If they were calculated and added after MP3Gain made an adjustment then they are only correct for that particular adjustment. My guess, however, is that separate RG analysis was actually never done and as such RG tags were never written.

The OP should read about RG and MP3Gain from discussions and HA wiki articles before making further bogus claims about DRC or changes to EQ. Providing samples is not necessary. They are not going to support these claims.

This post has been edited by greynol: Nov 16 2012, 18:06


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praeix
post Nov 17 2012, 14:11
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I don't even know what to make of this response.

QUOTE
The only true reasons behind the OP's experiences are not comparing before and after at the same volume level (if MP3Gain attenuated a track then the playback volume needs to be reduced by the same amount when the MP3Gain is undone!!!), Fletcher-Munson, specifically the way equal-loudness curves flatten with increasning level, different listening environments and expectation bias.

The "not comparing before and after at the same volume level" is confusing. If I apply the MP3Gain attenuation, then of course it's at a different volume level. How can you have a "before and after" without any changes in the volume level?

QUOTE
ReplayGain and MP3Gain do not in any way, shape or form apply compression.

I never said that they do. I said that I'm still learning about these programs in trying to achieve my goal. I said that I listen to music generally on 4 devices: my computer at work, my computer at home, my 360, and in my car. 3 of those devices present what appears to me to sound like compression when no compression is present on the playback devices. I'm trying to find out the reason behind this. I'm not trying to make any assumptions as to what is causing it, but just describing what I'm observing (e.g. that when I had foobar2000 remove the ReplayGain data, the volume increased as to be expected and no more compression "suck" - this is the part that baffles me).

QUOTE
I suppose another possibility is that a DRC plugin and palyback gain was configured in foobar2000. This would have to have been done by the user as it is absolutely not done by default and/or behind the scenes by the player.

Quite literally, nothing has been altered in either WinAmp, foobar2000, or MP3Gain. WinAmp and foober2000 were downloaded via Ninite by myself a week ago when I reformatted my computer and remain untouched as far as any playback enhancements. MP3Gain was installed later, but no changes to any of the default setup options were performed by myself.

QUOTE
Regarding RG tags coexisting with MP3Gain tags, whether the RG tags are right or wrong depends on when they were calculated. If they were calculated and added before MP3Gain made an adjustment then they will be right when the adjustment is undone. If they were calculated and added after MP3Gain made an adjustment then they are only correct for that particular adjustment. My guess, however, is that separate RG analysis was actually never done and as such RG tags were never written.

I don't know how MP3Gain works in conjunction with ReplayGain or when in the process, the changes occur. I'm attempting to enjoy learning more about how they work, but am having quite a difficult time with that given your responses. I ran my mp3's through MP3Gain, doing an analysis on the collection. When I do the analysis, it adds ReplayGain data to the tags when I view them in WinAmp. I have NOT ran any gain changes at this point. When I do apply the gain changes, then listen to the tracks, I can observe, again for lack of a better term, compression "suck" in certain areas of the track. When I undo these gain changes, the tracks still sound the same as before. I view the tags in WinAmp and the ReplayGain data and MP3Gain data is still in the APEv2 tag. In foobar2000, I then selected all of the mp3's, right clicked, went into "Tagging -> MP3 tag types..." and deselected the APEv2 tag thinking it would get rid of the tag and all data. I then tested playback, same issue. In WinAmp, the ReplayGain track gain values were still present in the ID3v2 tag. Then I went back into foobar2000 and right clicked, selected "ReplayGain -> Remove ReplayGain information from files", let it run, tested playback again and everything was back to normal, no compression sounding playback. That's the entire process, me fumbling through things, testing it out from start to finish, as best as I can describe it.

QUOTE
The OP should read about RG and MP3Gain from discussions and HA wiki articles before making further bogus claims about DRC or changes to EQ. Providing samples is not necessary. They are not going to support these claims.

You're right in that I should read more about RG and MP3Gain, but I never once said that there's any changes being made to DRC or EQ! I said it sounds like it's being run through a compressor. This could be a matter of interpretation, completely relative to how my own ears are hearing this or maybe it's because there's something in MP3Gain that I'm unaware of or maybe it's the playback equipment or maybe it's WinAmp. I don't know why this is the case, but I know what I'm hearing. I'm simply saying this is what it appears to be doing and I'm asking for help if anybody has experienced this before. I would expect a statement like this from a troll, but not a moderator.

I've described this issue as best I can. I haven't had time to make the samples yet. I got sidetracked the other night and now I'm swamped at work. I'll make the samples, even if greynol says it's pointless.
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greynol
post Nov 17 2012, 18:15
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QUOTE (praeix @ Nov 17 2012, 05:11) *
QUOTE
ReplayGain and MP3Gain do not in any way, shape or form apply compression.

I never said that they do.

You certainly put forth the notion that they might.

This was taken from your first post:
QUOTE (praeix @ Nov 15 2012, 10:41) *
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.

Whether or not you're claiming MP3Gain or ReplayGain actually apply compression is irrelevant; we are telling you they do not.

QUOTE (praeix @ Nov 17 2012, 05:11) *
I don't know how MP3Gain works in conjunction with ReplayGain or when in the process, the changes occur.

MP3Gain runs ReplayGain analysis but stores the information in APEv2 tags along with additional tags so that the changes it makes can be undone. This RG information stored and maintained by MP3Gain reflects and gain changes applied by the program. If separate ReplayGain analysis is performed by some other program and the data is stored in ID3v2 tags then it may or may not conflict with the tags stored in APEv2 tags depending on whether the analysis was performed before MP3Gain was allowed to make changes. MP3Gain is not aware of what might be stored in ID3v2 tags. How other programs handle reading and writing RG tags will vary, though they may be able to be configured one way or another. In my previous post I incorrectly implied that MP3Gain does not write RG tags. Sorry if that caused any confusion.

QUOTE (praeix @ Nov 17 2012, 05:11) *
I don't know why this is the case, but I know what I'm hearing.

I gave possible reasons but you failed to acknowledge some of them in your unnecessarily defensive response:
QUOTE (greynol @ Nov 16 2012, 08:37) *
Fletcher-Munson, specifically the way equal-loudness curves flatten with increasning level, different listening environments and expectation bias.


This post has been edited by greynol: Nov 17 2012, 18:49


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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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