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How to investigate or detect the sound intensity?


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Hello

 

With which program can I detect the sound intensity from my MP3 or Wave files?

Because the old CD's from the early 90's are very quietly.

You should try any sound editing software - Wavelab, Soundforge etc.

 

But what will you do when you've analysed them? In few cases it might be that they weren't using full 16-bit depth resolution, so simple maximisation / normalisation would fix it, but for 95% of cases old music is simply not compressed to the extent we're used to currently. You'd need to EQ and then compress the CDs yourself, kind of re-master it again.

 

Then again, you do realise there is a Volume knob on your stereo / amplifier, right? :P;):D

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for 95% of cases old music is simply not compressed to the extent we're used to currently.

I dont get it man, do u know how low is the dynamic range of a vinyl? U must use compression for vinyl.. And old music was on vinyls.. The reason why old music wasn't so loud is just that, cause of the low dynamic range of vinyl..

 

Anyways Kai, I use RMS buddy but it comes as VST, for standalone application u should try PAZ analyzer..

But I would also recommend just turning the volume up and maybe turning dolby to on..

 

Also if u ripped your music u could do batch conversion and normalize/maximize all the files at the same time..

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I dont get it man, do u know how low is the dynamic range of a vinyl? U must use compression for vinyl.. And old music was on vinyls.. The reason why old music wasn't so loud is just that, cause of the low dynamic range of vinyl..

Now I don't understand what you mean :)

 

The fact that the music was ALSO released on vinyls has nothing to do with it, because the music was separately mastered for CD and vinyl pressings. All I said was that in the past the level of compression applied in general was much lower than it is nowadays, therefore the old-school tracks are not as loud. Which again is not always true - take for example "The Lone Deranger", "IFO" or "Helium" - they're pretty loud even by today's standards.

 

Also if u ripped your music u could do batch conversion and normalize/maximize all the files at the same time..

Again, this will only work for like 5% of the CDs, that were recorded with a buffer below the 16-bit depth. Furthermore, for some CDs you may even make them sound unbalanced - for example Etnica's "Equator" has all the tracks normalized up to -0.2dB, but one of them is at -2dB (or something like that), because it was more compressed (newer :)) than the others, so to make them all sound equally loud they effectively lowered the bit depth. By normalising that CD you'd only make that track louder than the rest.

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Now I don't understand what you mean :)

 

The fact that the music was ALSO released on vinyls has nothing to do with it, because the music was separately mastered for CD and vinyl pressings. All I said was that in the past the level of compression applied in general was much lower than it is nowadays, therefore the old-school tracks are not as loud. Which again is not always true - take for example "The Lone Deranger", "IFO" or "Helium" - they're pretty loud even by today's standards.

 

 

Again, this will only work for like 5% of the CDs, that were recorded with a buffer below the 16-bit depth. Furthermore, for some CDs you may even make them sound unbalanced - for example Etnica's "Equator" has all the tracks normalized up to -0.2dB, but one of them is at -2dB (or something like that), because it was more compressed (newer :)) than the others, so to make them all sound equally loud they effectively lowered the bit depth. By normalising that CD you'd only make that track louder than the rest.

Yeah lone deranger is pretty loud.. Guess it depends from track to track but yeah in general they are quieter.. And it depends on type of music..
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I dont get it man, do u know how low is the dynamic range of a vinyl?

isnt dynamic range either big or small? not low and high? :P

 

the reason indeed as has been said before that old stuff is lower in average volume is because of the difference in mastering. Nowadays everything is compressed to max..

Maybe colin could give us some more info on it. He does this stuff for a living so he should at least know something about it ;)

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isnt dynamic range either big or small? not low and high? :P

 

the reason indeed as has been said before that old stuff is lower in average volume is because of the difference in mastering. Nowadays everything is compressed to max..

Maybe colin could give us some more info on it. He does this stuff for a living so he should at least know something about it ;)

OK I meant small.. Dynamic range on old vinyls is small.. As much as i know.. Before it was also compressed but not in a such away it is today..
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Supergroover and Antic have it IMO. Vinyl isn't my speciality but if you compare the waveforms of a few ripped old-school 12"s with some recent CDs you'll see there's much more compression on the CDs - the dynamic range of the old-school tracks is larger than the dynamic range of the more recent tunes. That's just the different mastering styles though; if you're talking about the actual dynamic range achievable with each medium the situation is reversed. A quick Google search tells me that the dynamic range of vinyl ranges from 50dB up to 80dB depending on vinyl formulation and quality, whilst that of CD starts at 96dB, with the perceived dynamic range increasing with proper dithering and oversampling.

 

Whether or not the full dynamic range of CD is taken advantage of is a different matter altogether, as is whether the amount of mastering I get to do actually qualifies as 'making a living' at it ;)

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Older vinyl, such as records from the 70s, sounds quiet by comparison because at the time they didn't feel the need to make everything as SUPER DUPER LOUD AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE AND THEN SOME!!!!! :wank:

 

It's kind of silly that the Loudness Wars didn't really start until the CD, with its wider dynamic range, became the norm. Compression is necessary with a small dynamic range, but with a larger one its less so. Yet CDs are almost invariably more compressed than vinyl.

 

In my opinion, everyone should do their part to combat the loudness wars, by ensuring that their music is not mastered at insane levels of compression and gain maximizing. Yes, it will be lower in level, but that's why they invented volume knobs. :clapping:

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I found a good program which can analyse your Wave or MP3 file and you can use the result on a other file (which has a low sounding).

Cool Edit Pro 2.1 or Adobe Audition 3, both are the same because Adobe Systems Incorporated acquired the technology assets of Syntrillium Software.

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I'm getting pretty annoyed with this loudness war thing myself. I don't understand it. I mean, we all have volume knobs, no? How does louder equal better? The latest Eat Static, for instance, although a lot of fun, is annoyingly loud.

You have a volume knob, no? Turn it down.

 

;)

 

Bob Katz has a good take on it in his Mastering Audio book; the aim of the mastering engineer is to make the music sound as good as possible on as wide a range of replay equipment as possible. We can see that the optimum playback experience on a 50K Opus rig has different requirements from that for an MP3 player with shitty earbuds being listened to on a crowded train. The first scenario needs very little compression, as the available dynamic range is simply immense, and the rig has more than enough headroom to accurately reproduce the loudest peaks when the volume is such that the quietest passages are nice and loud; unless you have hot-swap eardrums, the second scenario requires relatively heavy compression to ensure that either quieter sections don't get lost in the background noise, or the louder sections don't make your ears bleed when you've got it turned up loud enough to hear the quiet bits.

 

It's the mastering engineer's job, then, to hit the top of the bell-curve of listenability; to provide as good a sound as possible on as many replay systems as possible. This will inevitably involve compromises - there will always be some replay systems unable to make the most of any particular master, and there will always be some replay systems for which the music has been over-squashed - but this is unavoidable when there is only the budget for one distribution format and therefore one mastering per track. The mastering engineer has to be aware that the track will be played on big festival systems and iPods alike... and since tracks are played more often on personal music systems than on 50K Opus rigs, the mastering is inevitably skewed in the direction of more squash.

 

Plus no-one wants their track to be quieter than others when they're being played out. Sometimes when DJing it's not possible to raise the volume of a track past a certain point (for instance if you've been warned twice already by the soundman for clipping the mixer :P ) so if your peak level is fixed, each track needs a similar RMS to sound the same level, which also skews mastering in the direction of matching the louder tracks out there.

 

$0.02

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You have a volume knob, no? Turn it down.

 

;)

I understand. However, my issue is this. On my car stereo I have a volume meter. Almost all the music I listen to is about as loud as I like it at about 4.5. It's predictable, and I don't have to fuss with the volume, just like with a good recording I don't have to fuss with the bass or treble. But with, again, Eat Static's new one, I have to lower the volume to under 4 or it will break my speakers. That's what I mean. It makes me think, whether it's true or not, that thickness of sound is being traded in for loudness, which makes me enjoy that wonderful album less than I would otherwise.
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I understand. However, my issue is this. On my car stereo I have a volume meter. Almost all the music I listen to is about as loud as I like it at about 4.5. It's predictable, and I don't have to fuss with the volume, just like with a good recording I don't have to fuss with the bass or treble. But with, again, Eat Static's new one, I have to lower the volume to under 4 or it will break my speakers. That's what I mean. It makes me think, whether it's true or not, that thickness of sound is being traded in for loudness, which makes me enjoy that wonderful album less than I would otherwise.

I fully understand there can be a tradeoff between perceived level and dynamics, and that there is a degree of subjectivity over what sounds good and what doesn't, but your car stereo is not an audiophile playback system and the bolded phrase above implies that you're letting your eyes trick your ears to some extent. The only real question is "does the album ACTUALLY sound badly mastered?" Don't let yourself be tricked into hearing something you're not actually hearing. When listening at home, at regular levels, do the tracks sound overcompressed? ie., do they seem to get a little quieter when they kick in after a break, or sound grainy and bass-light? The better the basic mix, the more level it's possible to get out of it without negatively impacting the sound for a mastering engineer inclined that way, and Mr. Pepler is getting quite good at this by now.

 

Having said that, I'm looking at the waveforms for Tarantaloid and Sucker Unit now, and with a peak RMS hovering around -4dB they do seem (when considering just the numbers) to be mastered a little past the extreme of what accepted good practise considers 'too loud'. But then again, for all that it's louder than most other albums, it sounds ok...

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I'm getting pretty annoyed with this loudness war thing myself. I don't understand it. I mean, we all have volume knobs, no? How does louder equal better? The latest Eat Static, for instance, although a lot of fun, is annoyingly loud.

I have a volume knob, but if I play MP3 files with different sound intensity, I'm not in the mood to always turn on my volume knob.

That's why I want to detect the sound intensity and to adapt or equalize them.

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I see what you mean. So instead of a loudness war, should one call it an advance in engineering skill? Two out of five CDs in a recent psytrance purchase were this way.

Advances in engineering skill make it possible, but it's human nature that's made it inevitable.
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Here's an interesting article about mp3 and loudness war influence on mixing / mastering:

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/177..._fidelity/print

 

And as for the Eat Static's album, I hear Otto's complaints. It does sound OK (well, maybe with exception of track #4, which seems to be caused by clashing of sinusoidal bass line and thumping, squashed kick), but vary fatiguing for the ears and I can never seem to find the right volume to play it - either it is too loud or too quiet. The sound simply doesn't have enough room to breathe in. You noticed there are almost no breaks on that CD? Why? Because even pads or hats sound extremely loud & sharp! I can't stand it on the eardbuds and the only environment I can enjoy it to some extent is my car (I can't play trance at home), but even then I have to turn it down to 8-10, instead of 12-14 I always play other music at. Such a great CD ruined by poor mastering...

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