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View Full Version : Low volume on albums; should I amplify?




Prodo123
Jul 24, 2012, 07:29 PM
I have ripped a lot of my collection to FLAC/ALAC (lossless, 16 bit and 44.1Khz) but I've noticed that some of my albums (like Tool's Lateralus) is a bit soft. I've set out to tweak the rips a bit.

On Audacity I can amplify a good amount without clipping. However, as rudimentary as Audacity is, I'm fearing a loss of audio quality and artifacts being left behind by the amplification process.

Should the file be fine after the amplification?



Prodo123
Jul 24, 2012, 07:55 PM
What worries me is the varying amount of amplification necessary for each file; one song needs 12.4dB while some need 6dB. Consecutive, transitioning tracks seem to end up with the same overall volume though, which confused me...

Update: After amplification, the bitrate (which used to be around 1500Kbps average) has roughly halved on all the files.
And they sound a lot more comfortable.
No artifacts or distortion yet. Although I'll have to do more careful listening to tell :)
The album in question was Tool's Lateralus.

Destroysall
Jul 24, 2012, 08:40 PM
Just turn up the volume knob. I wouldn't do it any other way. ;)

musio
Jul 25, 2012, 02:12 AM
No. It was mastered that way for you to listen and enjoy without clipping things. Things like this are the crux of the loudness war. Reach for the volume knob! :)

Prodo123
Jul 25, 2012, 12:54 PM
No. It was mastered that way for you to listen and enjoy without clipping things. Things like this are the crux of the loudness war. Reach for the volume knob! :)

It was mastered using the HDCD process which might have caused some issues and this is by no means related to compression.
I am not compressing music nor amplifying a compressed album. The volume ceiling was set to 0.5 and I am simply reexpanding it to 1.
It's very strange that a 16 bit/44.1Khz file had a 1510Kbps bitrate when the maximum bitrate is supposed to be 1411Kbps. The amplification resolved this issue without introducing clipping.