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Windows 7: Sound level equalization on recordings


20 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
Sound level equalization on recordings

When burning a cd for my car or a social get together,
my habit is to take songs from various cd's, put them into a folder, then burn a cd of the favorites

More often than I would like, I spend a lot of time adjusting the volume on the stereo to equalize the sound output

Is there some way to do this while recording, without spending a fortune on new and difficult to operate software?

Free would be awesome.
In the past, I have had limited success with utilities like Soundforge

Any help is appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Nov 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

I can only speak for using MusicMatch in the day and now totally happy with MediaMonkey both allowed you to level the music tracks volume for these gross differences. But it will effect the original file and therefore I don't use it but instead ride the volume. What are you using for your manager?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2010   #3

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

you want to 'normalize' all your tracks. this boosts the volume levels, so the peaks sit at 100% for each track - with no negative unwanted effects.

what software do you use to burn? does it have a normalize button/option? most of them do...

if your burning software can't do it, then you can batch normalize a bunch of files using free software like audacity, before sending them to the burner. no need to buy a new soundforge.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Nov 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

-1 on the negative effects. No way you can do this and not alter the original balance. For car, Mp3 (is that music?) and the like sure it's perfect. But for any sort of critical listening.....no way jose' !
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2010   #5

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

what negative effect are you going to get from normalizing? you're just making it louder - imagine raising a fader on a mixing desk, or twisting a volume control - so long as you don't clip the signal, you aren't affecting the quality at all.

dynamic range and signal to noise ratio remain the same as the original mix.

all you are doing is consistently shifting the level of each sample, so that the peaks = x dB, where x can be whatever you want it to be (within reason, usually about -16dB for music). no way will you hear any unwanted effect - it just makes it louder - with no clipping, zero distortion, flanging, chorusing or whatever.

as far as i understand it, the op has got a bunch of different files, ripped from different albums, so they will be at different volume levels. normalization brings the volumes of the tracks closer together, so one track isn't five times louder than the others, for exaggerated example.

maybe you're confusing normalization with compression? not the same thing at all.

*edit* in simple terms, normalization transparently raises the volume of each and every sample by a fixed percentage value, whereas compression will usually trim the peaks and boost the valleys, affecting the nature of the sound quite a bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

I "normalize" or in another term set the volume level to a reference level for all of my audio. I have a home recording studio, using Sonar, and the final step, after I export (mixdown) to a standard wav file is to use Goldwave (an audio editor) and set the level of each song file to "90%".

I probably can do it in Sonar, just my way of doing it before I burn with Nero. I think Nero has an option to "normalize" the levels.

Another option is to use a CD Ripping program that will normalize as it rips. I use "Audiograbber" and it has the option to normalize.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2010   #7

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

any negative effects, fireberd?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2010   #8

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

None that I know of. I can't hear any difference in the music files before or after "normalization" on my studio monitor speakers other than the overall sound level.

When I mixdown and export to a standard wav file from Sonar, I use the built in Sonar "mastering" project which includes Boost 11 compressor.

As it's already compressed (but not terribly compressed like some song files I've seen) normalizing is just changing the overall volume level.

But there are some on the Sonar forum that say "never" normalize. There is also a normalize function available in Sonar. I could do everything in Sonar but it's easier to do it in Goldwave.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2010   #9

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

thought so - thanks for the confirmation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2010   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Normalize for the car, normalize for the mp3 player(is mp3 even music?), normalize for my dedicated music server on my home system...not a chance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Sound level equalization on recordings




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