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Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2017, 02:09:53 PM »
If I have annoying audience stuff between songs I just cut that couple seconds completely (unless it's to sync w video). Usually you can make it sound seamless.
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Offline hoppedup

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2017, 02:14:18 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I might try to normalize the section after the clip - which is basically the entire show after the first 5 seconds. Been so long since I've tried to do anything like this that I didn't know it was an option. I thought normalizing was an "all or nothing" proposition on a file.

That's what I'd do

One other question: The right channel is a couple db's less than the left. There is a way in audacity to normalize each channel independent from each other.......right?

Thanks again guys

Yup. In the drop down menu next to your file name there is an option to "SPLIT STEREO TRACK"

Depending on the version you are using, there may be a checkbox for "Normalize stereo channels independently" when you use the normalize feature.
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Offline noahbickart

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2017, 03:04:18 PM »
i'd select the entire wav.  compress the entire thing down (really you're just compressing the first five seconds) -6db and go from there.


Compression is what you *don't* want to start with here. Especially since that first five seconds is already going to be somewhat compressed if it's clipping.

Think about it this way: If you could go back in time with the knowledge that the first five seconds was recorded too loud, what would you do? Lower the gain on the first five seconds, right? The best way to simulate that is to reduce the volume on that section — no compression, just a straight volume reduction. It can't undo any clipping that occurred, but it's the best you're going to get.

Once you get there, work on equalization, compression, anything else you like. But I'd strongly recommend against doing any of that until you have a file with even-sounding levels across its whole duration.

I don't get it, if you set the threshold above the music you don't want to affect, you have done no harm. You've only compressed (and "turned down") the first five seconds.

Use metering to see where the highest peak was after your volume change and set that at the threshold. Use a relatively high ratio (8?) and use no make up gain. Then Normalize as usual.

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Offline voltronic

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2017, 07:08:45 PM »
Why not use the channel gain feature in Audacity? The slider on the left above the pan control, when the track is large enough to see it. I do use the amplify effect as a tool to tell me how much it suggests, but then I cancel it, and then I set the channel gain to a bit less than that amount. If you're going to be exporting anyhow, this takes less processing.

Once the non-musical noises are knocked down, my next step is to select the entire recording, then use the Amplify affect to raise the max level to near 0 dBFS.  (I could use Normalize for this which is what I'm really doing, but I like to keep track of exactly how much I'm adjusting the level, and the Normalize effect doesn't allow you to see that.)

Honestly I never thought about doing it that way, which is strange because it's similar to the process I would use when doing this stuff in iZotope RX.  I'll try that way next time - thanks!
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2017, 07:11:21 PM »
If I have annoying audience stuff between songs I just cut that couple seconds completely (unless it's to sync w video). Usually you can make it sound seamless.

For my purposes, I'm usually dealing with loud applause near the mics immediately after the music, and that is the stuff I tend to apply compression or limiting to.  Other things get cut as you suggest.
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Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2017, 08:17:23 PM »

I don't get it, if you set the threshold above the music you don't want to affect, you have done no harm. You've only compressed (and "turned down") the first five seconds.


Compressing is not the same as turning down the volume. Compression changes the volume ratio of the loudest bits to the less loud bits. What you want is to turn down *everything* in those first five seconds, which is going to take volume reduction (different audio editors will call it different things, but none should call it compression).

Offline lsd2525

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2017, 08:42:00 PM »
Yeah, those first 5 seconds were everything. I hit record, the music started, immediately hit the red, turned down quickly and the rest of the show clocked in under -6 db. If I can get the first 5 seconds under -6, then I can normalize the whole shebang.If I try to do it as is, it's going to say i's already at 100% because of the first 5 seconds. I don't really want to chop it because it is part of the music. I'm thinking the fade in is the way to go. I'm currently uploading to google drive. If anyone wants access, PM me your email and I'll send and invite. Im sure I could make public but not sure how. If you like Zappa, check this out. On my playback system, this might  be the best 007 I've pulled. Would love to hear <constructive> comments.

One other thing-exceeded 2 hours so split into two file. Would like to normalize at same rate and the split was in the middle of a song anyway, Can I append the 2nd wav to the first before I do the track splits?

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2017, 08:57:36 PM »

I don't get it, if you set the threshold above the music you don't want to affect, you have done no harm. You've only compressed (and "turned down") the first five seconds.


Compressing is not the same as turning down the volume. Compression changes the volume ratio of the loudest bits to the less loud bits. What you want is to turn down *everything* in those first five seconds, which is going to take volume reduction (different audio editors will call it different things, but none should call it compression).

It brings the volume of everything above the threshold down. Which is the point.
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Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2017, 11:17:34 PM »

Compressing is not the same as turning down the volume. Compression changes the volume ratio of the loudest bits to the less loud bits. What you want is to turn down *everything* in those first five seconds, which is going to take volume reduction (different audio editors will call it different things, but none should call it compression).

It brings the volume of everything above the threshold down. Which is the point.
[/quote]

It doesn't bring the volume of everything down equally, though.

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Offline TheMetalist

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2017, 11:43:28 AM »
Nice recording, mate!

I made an attempt to help you. The first five seconds was very loud. Like 20 seconds in it seems like you lowered the volume a bit more again. I tried to equal that part as well. If you think it's okay I'll send you the full lossless edit.

No normalization or compressor was used. Just a graphic fader.

Here's a lo fi sample of the first minutes:
https://we.tl/irP0xRQztL

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Offline morst

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2017, 02:16:03 PM »
One other question: The right channel is a couple db's less than the left. There is a way in audacity to normalize each channel independent from each other.......right?


Yup. In the drop down menu next to your file name there is an option to "SPLIT STEREO TRACK"

Depending on the version you are using, there may be a checkbox for "Normalize stereo channels independently" when you use the normalize feature.

AAH but once you have split the stereo tracks, you can use their INDIVIDUAL channel gains (as long as the tracks take up enough vertical screen space that the control is visible!) to adjust them. Remember that the Normalize plug-in takes time to run, and renders a new full length file (it does it in little pieces but the space used is the same) which takes up hard drive space in your audacity project folder. Channel gain does not take the time or the disk space.

Quote
Honestly I never thought about doing it that way, which is strange because it's similar to the process I would use when doing this stuff in iZotope RX.  I'll try that way next time - thanks!

I saw your workflow and figured that you would want to know about this.

Why not use the channel gain feature in Audacity? The slider on the left above the pan control, when the track is large enough to see it. I do use the amplify effect as a tool to tell me how much it suggests, but then I cancel it, and then I set the channel gain to a bit less than that amount. If you're going to be exporting anyhow, this takes less processing.

Once the non-musical noises are knocked down, my next step is to select the entire recording, then use the Amplify affect to raise the max level to near 0 dBFS.  (I could use Normalize for this which is what I'm really doing, but I like to keep track of exactly how much I'm adjusting the level, and the Normalize effect doesn't allow you to see that.)
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2017, 05:25:10 PM »
A fade is just a specific type of volume adjustment- one that changes over time.  First pull down the level of the overly loud portions at the start to match the rest of the file.  Then do whatever else you feel needs to be done- fades, normalization, EQ, compression, tracking, and whatever.

Keep in mind that if the peak levels of the left and right channels are different, normalizing them independently will affect the Left/Right stereo balance.  If doing it that way at least give it a listen afterward to be sure the stereo balance is alright.  Instead, I recommend ignoring any imbalance in the numeric RMS or peak levels and just adjusting stereo balance by ear to whatever sounds appropriate, then normalizing the file in the the usual way (as a channel-linked stereo file), which will raise peak levels to whatever you specify while retaining stereo balance.
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Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2017, 07:44:14 PM »
No normalization or compressor was used. Just a graphic fader.

Here's a lo fi sample of the first minutes:
https://we.tl/irP0xRQztL


Nicely done. And yes, nice recording!

Offline morst

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Re: Normalization question - best practices
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2017, 12:20:27 AM »
The more I read this site, the more I think that I want to try to carefully take Gutbucket's advice. This guy has a great perspective.

One thing I can add on the technical side right now, is that normalization affects the level according to peak values, but our ears determine channel balance via something more like AVERAGE level.

Because the average can be computed in a few different ways, GUTBUCKET has a great plan when he suggests to USE YOUR EARS to get it just right.

A fade is just a specific type of volume adjustment- one that changes over time.  First pull down the level of the overly loud portions at the start to match the rest of the file.  Then do whatever else you feel needs to be done- fades, normalization, EQ, compression, tracking, and whatever.

Keep in mind that if the peak levels of the left and right channels are different, normalizing them independently will affect the Left/Right stereo balance.  If doing it that way at least give it a listen afterward to be sure the stereo balance is alright.  Instead, I recommend ignoring any imbalance in the numeric RMS or peak levels and just adjusting stereo balance by ear to whatever sounds appropriate, then normalizing the file in the the usual way (as a channel-linked stereo file), which will raise peak levels to whatever you specify while retaining stereo balance.
*(Bold/Italics mine)

*deaf-guy edit:
I have hearing loss that's not the same in both ears, so i flip my headphones around when I making decisions like this.

here is my process:

step 1: Check balance using headphones in the normal orientation, with left cup on left ear, and right cup on right, and adjust playback levels to best "center" the stereo image
step 2: REVERSE HEADPHONES - Left on right ear, Right on left ear
step 3: Is the stereo image close to the center? Or is it shifted to one side as a result of my hearing loss?
step 4: Adjust playback levels and make a mental note.
step 5: Reverse headphones back around to correct orientation.
step 6: Is the stereo image close to the center, or is it shifted as a result of over-correction for my own personal hearing loss?
step 7: adjust balance to "split the difference"
step 8: go back to step 2 and repeat steps 2-7 until you are satisfied that the only channel imbalance that you can hear is a result of your own personal hearing loss.

note that if your headphones are not symmetrical, this whole thing is not gonna work. Evidently you'll have to check your headphones before you start, with a mono signal, doing the same reverse-maneuver to be sure that your headphones are up to the task.

Damn science!!?!

 >:D
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 12:31:53 AM by morst »
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