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Author Topic: To nomalize or not?  (Read 17633 times)

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Offline cgresq192

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To nomalize or not?
« on: November 12, 2005, 11:00:56 AM »
I was wondering if normalizing is a good or bad thing. Usually my recordings will be on the low side and peak out around -18- in sound forge. However when I normalize -16RMS,the standard "music" setting in SF, the entire mix sounds much better. Any help or ideas is much appreciated.
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2005, 11:03:59 AM »
Any help or ideas is much appreciated.

If your peaks are that low, then yeah - it's probably a good idea to bump your levels up in post.  Just keep in mind it'll bump up any noise as well.  Not a huge deal for AUD recording of a PA, but why do it if you don't have to?  Your levels shouldn't, don't need to be, that low.  Get your peaks approaching -0dB at the time of recording so you don't need to normalize in post.
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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2005, 08:31:12 AM »
Yes, always normalize.

Offline Genghis Cougar Mellen Khan

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2005, 08:47:20 AM »
Yes, always normalize.

If you're peaking at near 0db, I don't see the point in normalizing. 

When using normailize make sure you're not OVER-normalizing, you can kill the dynamics of the recording.
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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2005, 10:38:42 AM »
Yes, always normalize.

If you're peaking at near 0db, I don't see the point in normalizing. 

When using normailize make sure you're not OVER-normalizing, you can kill the dynamics of the recording.

If you're peaking near 0db, there's no point.  I should have said always normalize if your signal is low, which I thought was self-evident.

You can't "overnormalize" and kill dynamics.  You're thinking of compression.  Normalization does not alter the dynamics, it makes everything proportionately hotter (at least if it's properly implemented in your software).

Offline Genghis Cougar Mellen Khan

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2005, 10:48:15 AM »
Yes, always normalize.

If you're peaking at near 0db, I don't see the point in normalizing. 

When using normailize make sure you're not OVER-normalizing, you can kill the dynamics of the recording.

If you're peaking near 0db, there's no point.  I should have said always normalize if your signal is low, which I thought was self-evident.

You can't "overnormalize" and kill dynamics.  You're thinking of compression.  Normalization does not alter the dynamics, it makes everything proportionately hotter (at least if it's properly implemented in your software).

They mentioned uding SF, in SF's normalizaze box you can select "Average RMS Power" which does contain compression.  While normalizing it is also applying compression.
Maybe a couple of small scratches, but thats because these mics are chick magnets.
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Offline Chuck

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2005, 01:33:19 PM »
I don't understand why you would record with peaks averaging -18 db.
To me, part of the fun and definately part of the skill in taping is getting your levels close to 0 db without going "over."

In the beginning I normalized many of my recordings, but now, I never do.
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Offline Genghis Cougar Mellen Khan

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2005, 01:52:17 PM »
I don't understand why you would record with peaks averaging -18 db.
To me, part of the fun and definately part of the skill in taping is getting your levels close to 0 db without going "over."

In the beginning I normalized many of my recordings, but now, I never do.


Could be running stealth and whatever gear they're running doesn't have the easiest levels adjustment.  jb3/md etc...
Maybe a couple of small scratches, but thats because these mics are chick magnets.
Girls always up on Andy tryin to grab these mics, the scratches are from their wedding rings.

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zowie

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2005, 04:47:21 PM »
Normalizing means "just adding gain" but apparently SF and perhaps other software have expanded the definition a bit.

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2005, 05:09:07 PM »
I 'JUST' add gain in wavelab 4.0/5.0 rather than normalize YMMV tho
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Offline cgresq192

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2005, 05:55:06 PM »
exactly, I'm using a JB3 in stealth with a SPSB6 battery box with bass roll off, no level controls at all. What is the best way to properly normalize or bring up the overall levels of the recording if I'm average peaking at -18. Thanks again!
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Offline Genghis Cougar Mellen Khan

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2005, 06:29:45 PM »
exactly, I'm using a JB3 in stealth with a SPSB6 battery box with bass roll off, no level controls at all. What is the best way to properly normalize or bring up the overall levels of the recording if I'm average peaking at -18. Thanks again!

The long way, but you kind of get an idea of what SF is doing.

Go to the View tab select Play Meters and make sure it's checked.

Fo to Tools select Find select Find Largest Peak (maximum value)

After you find the largest peak, play, starting a few seconds before the peak and play through it.  The meter on the left at the top will show you the value of the largest peak.

Once you know that value take the smallest value (if L is -16.2 R is 15.9 go with the 15.9).  Go to Process tab and select Volume, increase the volume of the entire recording 15.9db. 

The quick and easy way...

Process tab > Normalize Normalize using 0.00db on the slider at the left and make sure Peak Level is the button selected.

picture below:



Maybe a couple of small scratches, but thats because these mics are chick magnets.
Girls always up on Andy tryin to grab these mics, the scratches are from their wedding rings.

CMC641 / DPA4022 / DPA4062>mod MPS6030
V3 / PMD671 / field ready DV-RA1000 / Oade W-mod PMD661 / PCM-M10

Offline Genghis Cougar Mellen Khan

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2005, 06:33:49 PM »
Yes, always normalize.

If you're peaking at near 0db, I don't see the point in normalizing. 

When using normailize make sure you're not OVER-normalizing, you can kill the dynamics of the recording.

If you're peaking near 0db, there's no point.  I should have said always normalize if your signal is low, which I thought was self-evident.

You can't "overnormalize" and kill dynamics.  You're thinking of compression.  Normalization does not alter the dynamics, it makes everything proportionately hotter (at least if it's properly implemented in your software).

Yes you are correct, simply normalizing shouldn't.  In SF there are additional options one could confuse with normalizing IN the normalizing tab.
Maybe a couple of small scratches, but thats because these mics are chick magnets.
Girls always up on Andy tryin to grab these mics, the scratches are from their wedding rings.

CMC641 / DPA4022 / DPA4062>mod MPS6030
V3 / PMD671 / field ready DV-RA1000 / Oade W-mod PMD661 / PCM-M10

Offline cgresq192

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2005, 06:40:25 PM »
Thanks
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Offline newblue

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Re: To nomalize or not?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2005, 11:26:14 AM »
I'm not sure that this was explained entirely correctly....

To normalize a waveform is to take the highest peak in the waveform and increase it's height to a set value and then the normalize function increases amplitude of the remainder of the waveform that amount (normalize the waveform according to the amplitude adjustment to the highest peak).  Same as gain but there is a little more protection from pushing past ceiling zero in post since you can set the ceiling.

The crappy thing about normalizing (imo) is that when there is a peak that is much higher than the rest of the waveform normalizing willl cause the amplitude of rest of the waveform to be increased only slightly since the high peak limits the room to ceiling zero.  Therefore if you see a situation like this you can sacirfice this peak for the rest of the wave (i.e. normalize to 1.5 dB, or over zero).

Avoid compression, for the most part.  I run a Mini me and I have used the SLC only once, not bad results either.
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