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MP3 Volume Levelling...

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by jellybeard999, 15 Jun 2006.

  1. jellybeard999


    Joined: 7 Feb 2004

    Posts: 7,784

    Location: NE

    I think thats what its called :o

    Basically, my MP3 tracks are all at different volumes, so i can be playing one song at a reasonable volume, and the next one could be quiet, or it could be too loud :(

    Is there any software that can set them all to the same volume, that doesnt massively decrease sound quality etc :confused:
  2. TooNice


    Joined: 7 Mar 2006

    Posts: 545

    Look up ReplayGain. I think most popular players supports it (Foobar for one anyway). You don't want to re-encode the files, and ReplayGain enables you to avoid doing that: it'll just change some tags which can be undone.
  3. squiffy


    Joined: 17 Mar 2006

    Posts: 9,155

    Mp3 Gain.
  4. Codmate

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Nov 2002

    Posts: 1,575

    Location: Cardiff | UK

    When recorded music is prepared for public consumption it goes through a process known as mastering. This almost always includes use of a device called a limiter or compressor. In simple terms, this device squashes down peaks in the music, so that the level can be made louder overall.

    Obviously, dynamics (loud and quiet) are a core element of what makes music interesting. If everything is at the same volume musical expression is greatly diminished. It takes a very skilled mastering engineer to preserve the musical integrity of the piece, whilest reaping the (debatably dubious) benefits of limiting/compression.

    As time has gone by, limiters have become a tool used by record companies to make their records sound louder on the radio and in public places (bars, clubs etc) than those of other record companies. This has resulted in modern music often being overly limited and sounding much less musical as a result and partly explains the problem you are having.

    The solution offered by Windows Media Player and various other media players and plug-ins, is to introduce more compression in an attempt to level out the music. This is also done by radio stations. In-fact one of my band's songs was played on Radio Wales recently and sounded far more compressed than the version we gave them!

    It does work to an extent - and the setting in Windows Media Player can be found as 'Quiet Mode' under View:Enhancements:Quiet Mode.

    I don't think it's a particularly harsh compression - so see what you think.
    If this doesn't work for you try some others. Compression is very very hard to get right though, so don't be surprised if some things sound OK and others sound awful, of if you can barely tell the difference!
  5. jellybeard999


    Joined: 7 Feb 2004

    Posts: 7,784

    Location: NE

    ok then, its for MCE, so any plugins are out :/

    i guess i'll have to re-encode the particularly loud albums... Appetite For Destruction is about twice the volume of Van Halen :rolleyes:

    or anyone else recommend anything MCE specific ?