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Attempting To Normalize My Collection Using Mp3Gain, Sounds Ran Throug
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.

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post Nov 15 2012, 19:54
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MP3Gain is just that, a gain. It does not apply any type of sound compression to do so. What you are hearing either is present on the mp3 or the player or hardware that you use to listen to it is doing so.

Said that, since you're playing it at a lower volume, the sensation of the sound being compressed might be stronger.

About mp3gain and replaygain.

Replaygain is an algorithm and a tag format.
As an algorithm, tries to determine the loudness of a song so that a player can adjust the volume to make it similarly loud to others.
As a tag format, it is four tags that determine the song's loudness, the album loudness, and the amplitude peak of the song (used to prevent clipping).

MP3Gain is a program that uses the replaygain algorithm, modifies the MP3 data, and stores information on which gain it applied to allow restoring its value.

Undoing MP3Gain should restore the mp3 data to its original gain. Yet, if you have also replaygain tags, those are probably calculated from the mp3gained data, and so, be incorrect once undoed the Gain.

You could try either remove the repalygain tags, or recalculate them (You can use foobar2000 to do so. I think winamp can also calculate replaygain tags).

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post Nov 15 2012, 20:16
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I generally listen to music in 4 places: my computer at work, my computer at home, my Xbox 360, and my car. This compressor "suck" issue seems to be present on all of them, but less so on my work computer (I use earbuds to listen to music at work). On all of my computers I use WinAmp for playback with no audio enhancements like SRS or EQ. I wouldn't think WinAmp would be responsible for this and over the 360 it does the same thing...

So if it's in the song itself, is it just that the compressor "suck" is imperceptible at it's original volume level without the gain applied? Most of the volume levels of my songs are in the low 100's/high 90's, so the gain I'm applying is almost always making the songs quieter. There's only a couple hundred songs in my collection that are below 92db.

It's just such a stark contrast. It seems like it's taken all of the low volume areas in a given song and brought them up to match the peaks. Everything I've read says Mp3Gain by nature, doesn't do anything like that, but that's just what it sounds like...
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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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