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Windows 7: Loudness Equalization returning odd results...

20 Jun 2010   #1
vpwin7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Loudness Equalization returning odd results...

Under playback deviced, (right clicking default speakers) properties, then Enhancements tab.

By enabling this it would seem that my Windows volume is drastically increased, which is what I want. However, with certain applications volume is decreased, or not altered at all. iTunes for example is louder with this feature disabled, but Window sounds are quiter with it disabled.

I'm really confused as to why this is happening. If anyone has some insight that would be great.


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21 Jun 2010   #2
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

What enhancements did you check? Many of these are things such as reverb, echo, chorus, etc and you probably do not want those on all playback. Actually, most that have these, disable enhancements except for special applications as these have been known to cause other audio problems.

The "loudness" of the particular song can vary from song to song or, for example how it was ripped from a CD. Can you use one song, whether an MP3 or a wav and play it in WMP and then play the same in ITunes with the same volume control settings to compare? iTunes also has it's own volume control (on top to the right of the play controls) and if that is set higher then it could play songs louder than other media players.
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21 Jun 2010   #3
vpwin7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I tested all of those before posting. I only checked "Loudness Equalization." I can literally open iTunes, play a song, and while that song is playing disable Loudness Equalization and it will become noticeably louder; and quieter when I enable it again. The weird part is I could of sworn at one time it was boosting iTunes and not decreasing the volume.

Edit: I also have Sound Check within iTunes disabled; sound Check is known to limit the loudness of sound.
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23 Jun 2010   #4
Aphelion

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vpwin7 View Post
I tested all of those before posting. I only checked "Loudness Equalization." I can literally open iTunes, play a song, and while that song is playing disable Loudness Equalization and it will become noticeably louder; and quieter when I enable it again. The weird part is I could of sworn at one time it was boosting iTunes and not decreasing the volume.

Edit: I also have Sound Check within iTunes disabled; sound Check is known to limit the loudness of sound.
Loudness Equalization is a form of compression, raising soft audio input (DVD audio) and lowering the output of your b@lls to the wall heavy metal or bass heavy hip-hop audio.

The idea is to keep audio at a somewhat constant level.

If you set iTunes output to full you might notice a decrease depending on the program material, on the other hand, if you set iTunes output to 50% or lower you may hear an increase in volume. It depends on the media output as to how much Loudness Equalization compresses or expands the sound.

Microsoft has licensed an expensive piece of technology (Waves DSP) to perform these functions, they should give the user more control over the compressor parameters.

Ap
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01 Jul 2010   #5
vpwin7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Aphelion View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vpwin7 View Post
I tested all of those before posting. I only checked "Loudness Equalization." I can literally open iTunes, play a song, and while that song is playing disable Loudness Equalization and it will become noticeably louder; and quieter when I enable it again. The weird part is I could of sworn at one time it was boosting iTunes and not decreasing the volume.

Edit: I also have Sound Check within iTunes disabled; sound Check is known to limit the loudness of sound.
Loudness Equalization is a form of compression, raising soft audio input (DVD audio) and lowering the output of your b@lls to the wall heavy metal or bass heavy hip-hop audio.

The idea is to keep audio at a somewhat constant level.

If you set iTunes output to full you might notice a decrease depending on the program material, on the other hand, if you set iTunes output to 50% or lower you may hear an increase in volume. It depends on the media output as to how much Loudness Equalization compresses or expands the sound.

Microsoft has licensed an expensive piece of technology (Waves DSP) to perform these functions, they should give the user more control over the compressor parameters.

Ap

Seems you are right. With the volume lower on iTunes Loudness Equalization makes it sound louder. With the volume higher Loudness Equalization makes it sound quieter. This seems to only apply to certain media players though, as loudness equalization makes the majority of my computer louder; which is great for movies with a lot of quiet scenes. What a great feature Thank you for the help.
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01 Jul 2010   #6
Aphelion

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vpwin7 View Post
Seems you are right. With the volume lower on iTunes Loudness Equalization makes it sound louder. With the volume higher Loudness Equalization makes it sound quieter. This seems to only apply to certain media players though, as loudness equalization makes the majority of my computer louder; which is great for movies with a lot of quiet scenes. What a great feature Thank you for the help.
I've also found it really helps with DVD, one of the positives of DVD audio is it's huge dynamic range, commercial DVD's aren't compressed all to hell like commercial CD's are. When played over a decent home theatre system DVD's will range from a whisper to thunderous.. .however, it doesn't seem to translate quite as well for users running an occasional DVD off their laptop or in a noisy listening environment, the loudness equalization definitely helps.

L.E. tries to keep the audio constant... when running iTunes at a lower volume level, you expect quieter... when it doesn't do that, it may seem noticeably louder, however, it's not that much different than the loud passage that's lowered.

Ap
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01 Jul 2010   #7
vpwin7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Yeah it makes sense now. I do have a nice 7.1 home theater system, unfortunately I also have new neighbors that complain about everything. While it is great having those sudden loud moments that add the suspense you are looking for, without the equalization I have to turn the volume up high enough to be able to hear light talking; which in result converts to walls shaking on explosions, which results to angry neighbors and calls to the landlord.
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23 Jun 2016   #8
UFQ

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I realize this is bringing up an old thread but I think it is still relevant.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vpwin7 View Post
The weird part is I could of sworn at one time it was boosting iTunes and not decreasing the volume.
I too believe I have experienced this same inconsistency with Youtube. Seems to me the setting has reversed itself. I had to keep it on, now I have to keep it off. I think I one time rebooted and that fixed it, I will have to check this again.

Also I notice that sometimes when Loudness Equalization is checked on (there's a check box for it in the Realtek HD Audio Manager, Speaker Configuration, next nearby tab called 'Sound Effects') it doesn't sound very clear, almost like a raspy sounding distortion within it, like just generally poor quality sound. However there are sometimes I am impressed with the sound when it is set right and working right.

I often see a lot of complaints by people about low sound on Youtube, unfortunately people who are not careful or concerned with the quality of audio or interested in checking their settings I would imagine are completely unaware about having to deal with this little check box. Personally I find the feature to be a constant nuisance while having to always double check what it is doing when I go between Youtube, mp3s, video files, and movies. I wish the sound would just work on one setting period. I some times forget what I have it set to, and it matters a whole lot depending on what I'm going to be doing, and if I suddenly switch from a audio file or movie to Youtube or back, then I always have to go check it and usually check it, listen, check it and listen again. And if you're a person with any tendency to OCD then you really can go nuts with it. I don't know if the problem with this feature is a just a poor design or an outright design flaw.

From an audio level perspective I understand what Loudness Equalization does or what the purpose is in having it, but to bury a little check box in the audio manager and control panel is just plain ridiculous! If this feature was really need, I would wish for some automatic switcher to determine what is best. On second thought, we know how those kind of things usually go! I just don't understand why the audio cannot be better regulated on its default setting.
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23 Jun 2016   #9
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

I do not use Loudness or any sound enhancement. Some of the problems you describe are a function of the application and you are just (trying) compensating for the application problem with the Loudness or whatever enhancement. If the application handled (processed) sound correctly there would be no need for any type of extra sound correction.

However, I even see varying sound levels on commercial audio CD's. Even varying levels between songs on a CD. I have a recording studio and when I burn CD's for clients they are at "0 db" level and each song is the same level.
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13 Jul 2016   #10
UFQ

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
I do not use Loudness or any sound enhancement.
Well if you haven't used it, maybe you don't know what I'm talking about. Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my original post, I'm saying that something is wrong about this feature--if one can call it a feature. There is a volume inconsistency with it, it is not a normal sound enhancement.

Quote:
Some of the problems you describe are a function of the application and you are just (trying) compensating for the application problem with the Loudness or whatever enhancement.
I understand what you're saying but that still doesn't explain its inconsistency of the same application.

Quote:
If the application handled (processed) sound correctly there would be no need for any type of extra sound correction.
I'm not using any application anyone else isn't using. I mean these are common things nobody complains about. I use Firefox and Flash for Youtube and VLC player for video and mp3 (not all the time, I've used other players, the effect is with the setting not with the programs). If it were I would think there'd be more complaints, but maybe there are complaints and people would just rather not deal with this issue out of being too busy or even laziness, whatever the reason, but there are little to no complaints, period. I also happen to find that completely ridiculous considering the intensive focus on digital technology over only the last three decades.

Quote:
However, I even see varying sound levels on commercial audio CD's. Even varying levels between songs on a CD. I have a recording studio and when I burn CD's for clients they are at "0 db" level and each song is the same level.
There is no rule that says all songs have to be maximized to 100% volume either. I think that's just how someone wanted it, and it is not a problem as long as you don't have to sit on the volume control or max out your sound just to be able to hear something as it was intended at a reasonable volume level and with appropriate well-rounded sound.
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