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Limiting/Normalizing dynamic range in already-encoded mp4 or avi
post Jan 21 2013, 04:06
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Hi all, first post to Hydrogenaudio. Thanks in advance for reading.

I have several movies that I have previously ripped from my DVD collection to digital files, usually either MP4 or AVI container, with either AAC or MP3 audio tracks. My current setup for playback- I use various devices in different locations to playback files off external hard drives. (Currently, XBOX360 and Roku. Maybe primitive, but very convenient. I don't have capability yet to stream throughout, in which case something like XBMC may solve my problem down the road.) In the meantime, I've found that many of the files I play have ranges of volume much too wide. (Loud parts way too loud and soft parts too soft.) First, there is some confusion over the appropriate terminology- limiting vs normalizing, so I apologize if I use the wrong one. Clarification there may help. Also, I generally use Xmedia Recode for various recoding tasks but there is no limiter for audio, only a lowpass filter which wouldn't help me here. Foobar2000 has two limiters, the Advanced limiter and the Hard -6db limiter, and can load a video file and convert/extract (demux) the audio track in one step to create a new audio track with selected limits applied, which I can then remux as necessary. However, it is finicky and doesn't allow any specific settings, just whatever is preset with the 'advanced limiter' filter. I am looking for a program that can take a video file and apply whatever kind of filter may be needed to limit volume range in the audio track by scanning track for peaks and converting or re-encoding as necessary, to then be remuxed with video into a new file. Any suggestions?

Thanks again.

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post Jan 21 2013, 21:20
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With both AAC and MP3 it OUGHT to be possible with frame-by-frame global gain (as used by mp3directcut) but I don't think anyone has implemented DRC this way (which doesn't involve transcoding)

MP4Box seems to be highly regarded in the video encoding community and I've come across a few forum posts using Google on doom9 and video-forums or something like that, giving scripts or commandlines to separate a stream into a video.mp4 and an audio.mp4 file (and AVIdemux commands, IIRC, to do it with AVI also)

People had then been using mp3gain to adjust volume (but not DRC) and using MP4Box etc to remux the A/V streams into a single MP4.
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