How to fix loudness across music library?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Shivetya, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    I am not concerned with playback with iTunes or CD, I need to balance sets to each other so that when copied to SD/USB that playback is consistent.

    With 40gb of song I am not looking to do the library as a whole, but if i can get broad groups that would be good.

    So suggestions for App from store or elsewhere that is OS/X compatible?
  2. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    Not meant to be offensive (and of course of no help too) but this is a perfect example of why we have the "loudness wars". Most people now expect ever song and ever sound to be at the exact same sound level. So called balance = (more) compression.
  3. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    I understand the compression, loss of headroom, that many tracks produced today have. What I am trying to do is get a set at one level, even it means lowering them all to reach a good value.

    Never ceases to amaze me how many players don't do it natively
  4. MiesVanDerRobot macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2012
    Are you working with lossy files (MP3, M4A) or lossless (AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, WAV)?

    If it's the former, then in the process of normalizing the track volume you are also going to lose audio quality when re-encoding it with lossy compression. In this case, you are better off simply finding a player/DJ app that will let you set volume adjustments in the track metadata (and will respect that metadata) without actually renormalizing the audio data.

    If you do want to renormalize the files (because you have lossless files, or tin ears :D), Audacity will do that for free.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    iTunes does this if you let it. When you import the song it figures out the loudness then makes a setting in the track's header. Most all players will following the setting that is made in the header. In iTunes you can turn this on and off.

    iTunes uses "Sound Check" this is very close to this: ReplayGain
    They both simply set a constant in the header
  6. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    There is no way to do this without further compromising the sound quality. I hear where you're coming from. I used to wonder the same thing years back, but the best advice I can give you is buy good masterings and good recordings. It requires you to pay more attention to labels and the like, and it might not be anything you want to get into.

    The only way to level out the volume to a common level will end up taking away the 2-3 db difference you're hearing in most mass market recordings.

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