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Applying Gain to 16-bit Recordings
post Jul 18 2012, 11:07
Post #1

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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.)

The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.
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post Jul 18 2012, 14:34
Post #2

ReplayGain developer

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Your question is thoroughly discussed and answered in this thread...


The short answer is that while some people will claim it can make an audible difference (such people who claim anything makes an audible difference, but wouldn't dream of trying an ABX test to verify the claim), the change is at about -90dB FS and therefore completely inaudible in vinyl rips. (Completely inaudible in anything unless it has quiet passages where you choose to increase the volume).

Hope this helps.


P.S. ReplayGain is not destructive (except WaveGain - and that's no more destructive than any other change of gain), but it's not particularly useful or relevant if your aim is to peak normalise (or -1dB FS normalise) a CD-R.
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