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Applying Gain to 16-bit Recordings
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.)

The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.
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post Jul 18 2012, 15:30
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Please note that some in that thread appear to be quite confused. Examples: Right from the outset, it is stated authoritatively that destructive normalisation is lossless, which it is not: any alteration to data is lossy, irrespective of the probability that it will be audible and of some people wanting to play redefinition by claiming that something can be effectively lossless.* Then later, someone implies that RG cannot normalise an album while maintaining dynamic differences among tracks, despite numerous posts immediately prior discussing Album Gain, which exists for precisely that purpose.

There are probably others, but I got put off quickly by (what I saw as) the concentration of misguided/ing information and the general lack of direction.

* Nick.C appreciates this and accordingly is honest with words, as shown by lossyWAV et al.
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