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Old 14th October 2010, 20:01   #46
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Anything similar for Mac users ?
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Old 25th March 2011, 17:19   #47
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Default Re: GUIDE : How to Normalize / Equalize the volume of your entire song collection

Guys,

A simple solution:

1. Open your browser, google for audacity
2. While on audacity homepage, check out LAME MP3 encoder

Audacity comes as a standalone and may or maynot install with the LAME encoder. Without the LAME encoder, you can't open/save mp3 files.

3.Install both these files that you downloaded in step2 on your computer/laptop.

4. Open the file of your choice...

a. Press Ctrl + A
b. Go to Effects - > Normalize.
c.Save the file.

That's all. Simple and everyone's happy. This is the most simplest

Normalizing a process wherein the audio is boosted such that it lies well within the clipping range. This is normally indicated by meters (on all softwares). In Audacity too you have meters to show you the amplitude of the waveform. If these meters hit RED, then you know you've clipped.
Remember though, certian mp3,wma may never get normalized as the maximum amplitude floor would have already been touched.


There's also another simpler way, and you don't need to use any separate software too. But the only downside to this is that you'll end up making a CD. This option is found in Nero Audio CD tab. You get an option in the Filters category where you can have EQ,Normalize,Effects,Gain etc added to these files before they're written to a CD.

Always, as a good measure don't clip signals. It's bad for the amps/speakers and our ears.

Regards,
VJ
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Old 15th November 2011, 15:39   #48
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Default Re: GUIDE : How to Normalize / Equalize the volume of your entire song collection

guys any suggestions on how to normalize songs in itunes on a macbook. i have tried searching but cant seem to find a way. i intend to play back the normalised song through a usb drive on to the HU. pls help. cheers
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Old 16th November 2011, 10:48   #49
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Default Re: GUIDE : How to Normalize / Equalize the volume of your entire song collection

iTunes does automatically IF you have checked that setting. Does it in the background, so you have keep iTunes running till it runs through all the songs.

Last edited by DerAlte : 16th November 2011 at 10:50.
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Old 16th November 2011, 11:55   #50
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Default Re: GUIDE : How to Normalize / Equalize the volume of your entire song collection

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
iTunes does automatically IF you have checked that setting. Does it in the background, so you have keep iTunes running till it runs through all the songs.
thanks DerAlte. u mean i have to run the entire library (which will take around 6 days!) for the normalisation to happen on all the tracks? then again will this apply to the songs that i copy from the itunes library onto the usb for further playback in my car? i am sure there will be an easier way to render the effect with out the full run through. pls help.
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Old 16th November 2011, 14:03   #51
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Default Re: GUIDE : How to Normalize / Equalize the volume of your entire song collection

I am not sure of the time taken by, or rather the songs/hour rate of, iTunes, but usually I have seen it finish in a day. If you shut down the machine, it restarts wherever it left off.

I also don't think it modifies the song files - it must be maintaining auxiliary information in its library against each item. It definitely executes normalization incrementally on the songs added to its library. But, if it is doing normalization like that (easy to experiment and check), the songs on the USB will be the originals, since you are not playing back through iTunes. Unless you install iTunes on a CarPC - not seen that being done, since packages like Centrafuse dominate in that world.

Anyhow, it is better to use the method described in this thread, even if it sounds like, well, some amount of work.
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Old 15th December 2011, 20:18   #52
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Default Re: GUIDE : How to Normalize / Equalize the volume of your entire song collection

Hi,

I used the procedure described by GTO but when I click on iGain I get a comment - Fatal error. Please restart iTunes and try again. File.\ITunesAPI.cpp,Line66,result-2147319779'

Any thoughts on what am I doing wrong?

Rgds
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Old 25th December 2011, 16:20   #53
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Default Re: GUIDE : How to Normalize / Equalize the volume of your entire song collection

This is a great thread! It's great to see that I'm not the only one picky about normalizing the volume in my music collection. I use mp3Gain. Everytime I rip something or get it from friends, I have a 3-step process before adding it to my music collection:
  • Normalise the volume
  • Check the filetags, i.e. Album name, Artist Name, Track name, etc.
  • Rename the files into the appropriate folders; my template is <MUSIC DIR>/Artist/Album - Year/##. Title of track

There's an added benefit to normalising your volume. Some of you may have noticed (especially in rock/metal tracks) that when the volume goes high, the track starts clipping, i.e. it makes a harsher sound and it sounds muddy. The best way to describe it is that it sounds "muddy", maybe. This is due to overamplification of sound in MP3.

There are a couple of points to consider while using mp3Gain, from my experience:
  • In MP3Gain, you can set the dB level to which you want to normalise your albums/tracks. The default is 89, but that's too low. In my experience, I've found that 92 or 93 is a good volume to set it to. At this volume, >95% of tracks don't clip, and it's not too soft.
  • Be careful while applying this to albums. A lot of albums have fillers (1-minute interludes, etc) which lead into the next song. These fillers/interludes are generally at a lower volume than the rest of the songs, and they may just have a couple of notes to hit which are high-volume. MP3Gain will fail to recognise this and use the average volume to apply the gain.
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Old 4th April 2012, 00:13   #54
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I'm on a Mac and tried iVolume first. Lovely clean interface that gets the job done really easily. Problem was the trial version has a nag screen every 1 minute and is limited to 1000 songs. I was about to pay Rs 1500 for the full version, but the tags written by iVolume are only supported on Apple devices.

I then used Mac Mp3gain. The UI is nowhere compared to iVolume but it does a good job, and is free! Best of all, the normalization can be read by any mp3 device and is reversible. But definitely make a point of backing up your music before using this software.
I found 89db too low especially when hooking my iPod to the car stereo. 92db worked out well for me. It's a real pleasure hearing the music without over amplification and volume variations! No real clipping issues so far.
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Old 5th April 2012, 23:45   #55
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Default Re: GUIDE : How to Normalize / Equalize the volume of your entire song collection

Edit: After a few more hours of listening to various songs from different sources, I've settled for 90db. While 91 is almost perfect, it does clip around 5% of the time, and 92db gets outright shrill with a lot of low frequencies taking up too much of the song spectrum.

At 90db I can turn the sound all the way up and enjoy crystal clear sound!
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Old 15th September 2012, 14:53   #56
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Default Re: GUIDE : How to Normalize / Equalize the volume of your entire song collection

Guys,

Now if I normalise the library in my itunes and then connect the ipod and sync - normally only the newer songs in the library are added to the ipod.

Does this mean that I will have to empty the ipod and re-sync after normalisation ?
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Old 26th March 2016, 12:46   #57
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Default Re: GUIDE : How to Normalize / Equalize the volume of your entire song collection

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
OVERVIEW

Admittedly, I'm very surprised NOT to find an existing guide on this subject in the ICE section. Normalizing the volume of your entire song collection is key to a satisfying car audio experience, more so for those of us using iPods / other MP3 players. This procedure is imperative if you've gotten yourself a high-end car audio installation; you'll never be able to enjoy your new ICE without it.

Background : Ever since I got the Civic's ICE upgraded, I faced a peculiar problem. I'd set the sound exactly the way I like it for a particular track, but when the iPod moved on to the next song, I'd inevitably have to reach for the volume knob to make adjustments. Frankly, this was terribly annoying as I'd be moving the volume up & down several times on my drive to work. Everyday! I complained to Bass & Trouble, who replied that this problem has nothing to do with my ICE setup. Rather...

Reason : My song collection (2,800 and counting) is a cocktail of ripping cds, downloading MP3s from several websites, gifts from friends etc. The file type, bit rate and default volume levels, understandably, fluctuate from song to song. When I ran an analysis on my collection, I saw songs ranging from 85 dB to 99 dB! Just think of the fluctuations over regular playback. This is precisely why we have to reach out for the volume knob; each song has a varying dB (volume) level. Yes, I do know that my iPod has the "soundcheck" functionality, yet can confidently tell you that it is useless for a playlist that includes various genres of music (e.g. dance + hip-hop + electronica combined).

Solution :
OR
Note that either solution requires iTunes to be installed on your computer. I've been an iTunes user since 4 years and simply love the software. If you don't use iTunes to manage your music, simply run MP3gain (alone) or download any music management software that comes with an inbuilt volume normalization feature. Plenty available, here is an example of winamp + the replaygain plugin.
GTO,

I use Audacity and or Reaper (both free) to normalize the tracks, however the thumb rule in anytthin audio is to get the source right, fix the source before anything, I would not go downloading a track if it is not 320kbps if mp3 or only would download lossless formats.

Now the above only takes care of the quality, volumes of tracks are generally determined by its genre, some songs are maximized some not so much.

By maximized I mean a track when hits the 0db mark, is at its peak of clipping, so these tracks are lowered to -3 to -5db, and a max ceiling is applied, that pushes the track to get louder but still stay below -3db so as to not clip.

Adding gain to a track may help resolve "reaching out for the volume control" issue, however will distort a lot of frequencies and will not sound as intended. If you really like to have all track volume levels to be even across albums, use the limiter plugins in Reaper, I use the limiter 6 with great results.

I have a little home studio, I score background music in short films and cut my own tracks, and these help a lot.

You need to let your track breathe so your high end stereo gets the frequencies at the right levels and projects them in a pleasant way through the speakers, adding gain only adds more of everything and kills the track in my opinion.
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