CD volume

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by Ken Bouchard, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. Ken Bouchard

    Ken Bouchard Guest

    how does one go about making all the songs one burns onto a CD-R the same
    volume on playback? I sometimes use the "amplify" feature of Cool Edit to
    get the amplitude of waveforms up around 0 dB
    but after those songs are burned, there sometimes is a noticeable difference
    in playback volume. Is this phenomenon just something you have to live with
    because of the "non-linear" nature of human hearing? I've noticed that of
    two songs recorded on CD at the same amplitude, the one with only piano at
    the beginning, comes out on playback as lots louder.

    thanks, ken
    --
    1st Class Restoration
    "Put your old music on CD"
    www.dvbaudiorestoration.com
  2. CJT

    CJT Guest

    Ken Bouchard wrote:

    > how does one go about making all the songs one burns onto a CD-R the same
    > volume on playback? I sometimes use the "amplify" feature of Cool Edit to
    > get the amplitude of waveforms up around 0 dB
    > but after those songs are burned, there sometimes is a noticeable difference
    > in playback volume. Is this phenomenon just something you have to live with
    > because of the "non-linear" nature of human hearing? I've noticed that of
    > two songs recorded on CD at the same amplitude, the one with only piano at
    > the beginning, comes out on playback as lots louder.
    >
    > thanks, ken
    > --
    > 1st Class Restoration
    > "Put your old music on CD"
    > www.dvbaudiorestoration.com
    >
    >
    >
    >

    I've used "normalize" functions to do that. Whether your particular
    software has such a thing is something you'll need to discover on your
    own. There still can be apparent variations because of non-linearities
    to which you refer, but I'm not that fussy as long as the levels aren't
    too out of line.
  3. M. Smith

    M. Smith Guest

    "Ken Bouchard" <kbouchard@adelphia.net> wrote in message
    news:M4u%a.11126$2Y6.3030295@news2.news.adelphia.net...
    > how does one go about making all the songs one burns onto a CD-R the same
    > volume on playback? I sometimes use the "amplify" feature of Cool Edit to
    > get the amplitude of waveforms up around 0 dB
    > but after those songs are burned, there sometimes is a noticeable

    difference
    > in playback volume. Is this phenomenon just something you have to live

    with
    > because of the "non-linear" nature of human hearing? I've noticed that of
    > two songs recorded on CD at the same amplitude, the one with only piano at
    > the beginning, comes out on playback as lots louder.
    >


    Probably no really easy way. You are at the mercy of how the individual
    songs were mixed in the first place. The catch is they can appear to have
    the same maximum volume in a program like Cool Edit but if one song is more
    highly compressed than another it'll sound louder. The frequency
    distribution and other factors will also impact the apparent loudness of a
    recording.

    So when you are mixing songs from various sources onto a single CDR you are
    going to inevitably have some volume differences from cut to cut. It is
    possible to edit and adjust, but I've never found it worth the trouble.
  4. Girth

    Girth Guest

    "Ken Bouchard" <kbouchard@adelphia.net> wrote:

    >how does one go about making all the songs one burns onto a CD-R the same
    >volume on playback? I sometimes use the "amplify" feature of Cool Edit to
    >get the amplitude of waveforms up around 0 dB
    >but after those songs are burned, there sometimes is a noticeable difference
    >in playback volume. Is this phenomenon just something you have to live with
    >because of the "non-linear" nature of human hearing? I've noticed that of
    >two songs recorded on CD at the same amplitude, the one with only piano at
    >the beginning, comes out on playback as lots louder.


    Do it by ear. Sequence your tracks, then drop into each track at a
    random position for a listen. Adjust level if necessary, repeat until
    you are happy. Balance each track against each other, but use one
    selected track for reference.


    --
    S i g n a l @ l i n e o n e . n e t
  5. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Ken Bouchard <kbouchard@adelphia.net> wrote:
    >how does one go about making all the songs one burns onto a CD-R the same
    >volume on playback?


    You adjust them by hand.

    I sometimes use the "amplify" feature of Cool Edit to
    >get the amplitude of waveforms up around 0 dB
    >but after those songs are burned, there sometimes is a noticeable difference
    >in playback volume.


    Perceived volume has nothing to do with peak level. A VU meter (rather than
    a peak meter) will tend to give you some notion of perceived volume level.
    It stll won't be perfect, but it will give you some idea how much to drop
    the level on various tracks so that they match.

    Is this phenomenon just something you have to live with
    >because of the "non-linear" nature of human hearing? I've noticed that of
    >two songs recorded on CD at the same amplitude, the one with only piano at
    >the beginning, comes out on playback as lots louder.


    Yup, because it has a much higher average-to-peak ratio.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  6. Sparky

    Sparky Guest

    Since no one has said the "m" word yet - I will.
    It's part of the Mastering process. A good mastering engineer will get the
    levels of all your tunes to the appropriate level. He/she will use a
    combination of eq, compression, limiting & whatever other tricks he/she like
    s to use to achieve the final result.

    Good Luck,

    Sparky
    "CJT" <cheljuba@prodigy.net> wrote in message
    news:3F3EA8CE.5030504@prodigy.net...
    > Ken Bouchard wrote:
    >
    > > how does one go about making all the songs one burns onto a CD-R the

    same
    > > volume on playback? I sometimes use the "amplify" feature of Cool Edit

    to
    > > get the amplitude of waveforms up around 0 dB
    > > but after those songs are burned, there sometimes is a noticeable

    difference
    > > in playback volume. Is this phenomenon just something you have to live

    with
    > > because of the "non-linear" nature of human hearing? I've noticed that

    of
    > > two songs recorded on CD at the same amplitude, the one with only piano

    at
    > > the beginning, comes out on playback as lots louder.
    > >
    > > thanks, ken
    > > --
    > > 1st Class Restoration
    > > "Put your old music on CD"
    > > www.dvbaudiorestoration.com




    > > Since no one has said the "m" word yet - I will.

    It's part of the Mastering process. A good mastering engineer will get the
    levels of all your tunes to the appropriate level. He/she will use a
    combination of eq, compression, limiting & whatever other tricks he/she
    likes to use to achieve the final result.

    Good Luck,

    Sparky

    >
  7. Geoff Wood

    Geoff Wood Guest

    "Ken Bouchard" <kbouchard@adelphia.net> wrote in message
    news:M4u%a.11126$2Y6.3030295@news2.news.adelphia.net...
    > how does one go about making all the songs one burns onto a CD-R the same
    > volume on playback? I sometimes use the "amplify" feature of Cool Edit to
    > get the amplitude of waveforms up around 0 dB


    Vanilla (peak) normalisation will bring the loudest pount of any track (if
    done on a per-track basis) to the same loudness. However different sytles
    of music have very different distributions of energy, and may sound very
    different in apparent level.

    Using RMS normalisation to a given value 9say, -14dB) will make everything
    sound pretty much as loud as everything else, but you need to watch for
    clipping if your nrmalise tool doesn't check in advance and scale the whole
    thing. A loudnes maximiser plugin (like Waves L1,2 or Sonic Foundry
    WaveHammer, and others) pretty much does the whole caboodle.

    However there are artistc reasons why all music shouldn't be 'blanded' to
    the same average level, which may not concern you ....

    geoff
  8. area242

    area242 Guest

    Everyone's making good points, but you're all addressing the volume of it
    while it's in the digital realm. When audio is played through a sound
    system and you're hearing it through speakers there will still be a
    perceived volume change per song. You can test this theory by taking a few
    songs that are all normalized to 0dB and transer them to a cassette tape.
    Set the record level on the cassette tape as hot as you can get it, using
    the parts of the file that are hitting 0dB. Now, hit record and transfer
    all songs without adjusting the record volume on the cassette tape. You
    will have areas that record louder than you set it it. Some of this is
    because certain frequencies are perceived lounder than others. Bass
    frequencies move more air. So, songs with more bass register as "louder" to
    the computer and the song will be normalized accordingly. If you have a
    song with no bass and normalize it, it will seem much louder then the one
    with heavy bass.

    "Geoff Wood" <geoff@paf.co.nz-nospam> wrote in message
    news:y%Y%a.12148$9f7.1398713@news02.tsnz.net...
    >
    > "Ken Bouchard" <kbouchard@adelphia.net> wrote in message
    > news:M4u%a.11126$2Y6.3030295@news2.news.adelphia.net...
    > > how does one go about making all the songs one burns onto a CD-R the

    same
    > > volume on playback? I sometimes use the "amplify" feature of Cool Edit

    to
    > > get the amplitude of waveforms up around 0 dB

    >
    > Vanilla (peak) normalisation will bring the loudest pount of any track (if
    > done on a per-track basis) to the same loudness. However different sytles
    > of music have very different distributions of energy, and may sound very
    > different in apparent level.
    >
    > Using RMS normalisation to a given value 9say, -14dB) will make everything
    > sound pretty much as loud as everything else, but you need to watch for
    > clipping if your nrmalise tool doesn't check in advance and scale the

    whole
    > thing. A loudnes maximiser plugin (like Waves L1,2 or Sonic Foundry
    > WaveHammer, and others) pretty much does the whole caboodle.
    >
    > However there are artistc reasons why all music shouldn't be 'blanded' to
    > the same average level, which may not concern you ....
    >
    > geoff
    >
    >
  9. Andy Eng

    Andy Eng Guest

    On Sat, 16 Aug 2003 17:45:16 GMT, "Ken Bouchard"
    <kbouchard@adelphia.net> wrote:

    >how does one go about making all the songs one burns onto a CD-R the same
    >volume on playback? I sometimes use the "amplify" feature of Cool Edit to
    >get the amplitude of waveforms up around 0 dB
    >but after those songs are burned, there sometimes is a noticeable difference
    >in playback volume. Is this phenomenon just something you have to live with
    >because of the "non-linear" nature of human hearing? I've noticed that of
    >two songs recorded on CD at the same amplitude, the one with only piano at
    >the beginning, comes out on playback as lots louder.
    >
    >thanks, ken


    Ken,

    I cheat and use Volume Balancer:

    http://www.delback.co.uk/volbal/

    It doesn't go by the peaks but assesses the sound energy (?) of the
    piece. What I like about it is that it will process batches of files
    (nice time to take a break) and creates new normalized files (doesn't
    overwrite the source WAV).

    Best,
    Andy

    >1st Class Restoration
    >"Put your old music on CD"
    >www.dvbaudiorestoration.com
    >
    >
    >
    >
  10. P Stamler

    P Stamler Guest

    The best way is to use your ears. Go through and figure out what the highest
    peak is on each track. Pick a track that's your reference, hopefully similar to
    many of the others, then adjust each track to match it, by ear, when you play
    them back. CoolEdit does this very nicely. Save each track as a new file, so
    you have the original still available.

    You check the peaks at the beginning to make sure ahead of time that you won't
    boost a track 4.5dB when the highest peak is -3dBFS.

    Peace,
    Paul

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