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Author Topic: A couple of hot spots during a recording got 0.0 db can it be saved  (Read 6157 times)

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Offline beatkilla

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Re: A couple of hot spots during a recording got 0.0 db can it be saved
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2008, 10:41:34 AM »
Music is all about dynamics,why would anyone use the Normalize function.

Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: A couple of hot spots during a recording got 0.0 db can it be saved
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2008, 12:41:19 PM »
Music is all about dynamics,why would anyone use the Normalize function.

While RMS normalization may reduce dynamic range, peak normalization doesn't.  Most apps I've used - including Audacity - employ peak normalization.

There's a fairly strong bias on TS against reduction of dynamic range.  Reducing dynamic range isn't always a bad thing.  For example, if one only has a couple (or a whole slew) of very high peaks from a particularly loud "whoop" or clap by the crowd, then reducing the peaks (whether with compression or volume envelope) doesn't take away from the dynamics of the music itself.  Or if one's running on stage and there's an especially loud drum kit hit (or multiple hits scattered throughout the recording) that spikes levels, bringing it down in line with the rest of the recording doesn't really take away from the general dynamic range of the performance since those spikes are outliers, to so speak.  Or if one's primary listening device or environment isn't suitable for full dynamic range, reducing the dynamic range can make for easier / better listening with that device or in that environment.  Etc.
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Offline bluntforcetrauma

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Re: A couple of hot spots during a recording got 0.0 db can it be saved
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2008, 12:49:11 AM »
Music is all about dynamics,why would anyone use the Normalize function.

While RMS normalization may reduce dynamic range, peak normalization doesn't.  Most apps I've used - including Audacity - employ peak normalization.

There's a fairly strong bias on TS against reduction of dynamic range.  Reducing dynamic range isn't always a bad thing.  For example, if one only has a couple (or a whole slew) of very high peaks from a particularly loud "whoop" or clap by the crowd, then reducing the peaks (whether with compression or volume envelope) doesn't take away from the dynamics of the music itself.  Or if one's running on stage and there's an especially loud drum kit hit (or multiple hits scattered throughout the recording) that spikes levels, bringing it down in line with the rest of the recording doesn't really take away from the general dynamic range of the performance since those spikes are outliers, to so speak.  Or if one's primary listening device or environment isn't suitable for full dynamic range, reducing the dynamic range can make for easier / better listening with that device or in that environment.  Etc.

so is there a chance that i should try NOT to normalize, but still use something like L3 ultramaximizer to shape the sound?

yes sometimes its just a couple of peaks, hot spots, so i did not normalize that particular set, but did put it through the L3--it came out very well.

I thought i should always normalize to bring up the rest of the music, i thought it gave a kind of boost without losing any dynamics

I am medium at this ( not new) so any more info on normalizing would be helpful.


I know if i were to normalize, that is done first in the process. I usually normalize to 97% to leave a little headroom

what do others feel about normalizing.

And yes i do try to get the highest recording levels as possible during a show, but even so it does seem overall a distant recording without being able to at a plug in like L3 ultramaximzer.

sorry for the randomness of thoughts

please advise

Offline anr

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Re: A couple of hot spots during a recording got 0.0 db can it be saved
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2008, 02:59:43 AM »
I'd go with Brian's advice.  It's simple, concise, makes sense and is a no-brainer. 

Offline JWard

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Re: A couple of hot spots during a recording got 0.0 db can it be saved
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2008, 12:53:00 PM »
I'm with Brian, too.

Here's my philosophy:
With a perfect mix in the room, perfectly placed and perfectly configured microphones, and perfectly set levels on your microphone preamplifier, no EQ, compression, normalization, etc will be needed (or at least very very little).  However, this is almost never the case...  Although we can set up our microphones and make a recording of exactly what it sounds like where those mics are sitting, that recording may not be a great representation of the music that was played.  The microphones may be placed in a location where the sound isn't great (at the back), where there are vast differences between the sound levels of different instruments (drums and keys at the stage lip), where there is something being recorded in addition to the music (drunk loudmouths, loud clappers, loud talkers, A/C vent, fans), or where the sound and mix is simply different than what you are hearing (sound engineers create the mix in the room to be listened to at head level, not 15 feet in the air...the lack of all those heads disrupting, diffusing, and absorbing certain frequencies means the mix and sound is different 15 feet up than it is at head level...sometimes better, sometimes worse, but almost always different in some way).

A recording made in the live environment may be a great, or even perfect representation of what it sounded like in the location that the recording was made, but that may or may not make for a great representation of the music was played and how it should be heard.  And this is where we often find ourselves wondering how much post-production we should do to a recording.  This is a personal choice, and I don't think you should do anything where the result is overly noticeable, but I'll accept some post-production on a recording if it improves the listening experience without killing the music.  That's the trick.  I don't see this as being that far from mixing AUD and SBD, or multitracking....nowhere in the room did a live show sound like the results of an AUD+SBD mix, but we make such recordings all the time and when done well we like the results because of the improved listening experience, without killing the live feeling of the recording.
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Offline Ben Turnbull

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Re: A couple of hot spots during a recording got 0.0 db can it be saved
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2008, 05:30:55 PM »
One thing that I don't seem to have seen in this discussion of "hot spots" is the concept of clipping.  In Audition/CEP, as I'm sure in other apps, there are clip repair tools.  When my dynamics range from -45db to < 0, and if it's drum related (almost always setting up 6' from the kit :P ) I've had good luck with this method:

1. Mark / the offending section

2. Set the clip tool to -2 to -9 db attenuation with 1% head room.  This may take some experimentation/experience to determine the least amount to attenuate for a given clip event.  (One thing you'll see immediately is where the worst offending clips are located.)

3. Next apply the hard limit tool by setting the boost level by the opposite sign of the attenuation used to repair the clip.  Set a limit of -0.6db if you feel like maximizing the head room available.
   (This will raise the whole selection back up to where it was but will keep the "hot spots/clipped points from exceeding the limit.)

If for some reason there is mass clipping and the need to salvage the work is critical, as opposed to F'k it, I'll do better next time... Convert the file to 32bit before doing any major clip repair.

One comment was to not worry about it if they are small "overs" and this is prolly good advice.  I seriously doubt that a small spike from a drum shot that exceeds 0db could be detected by the ear from one that had similar wave characteristics save for not going over.  The thing about clipping is the duration of the gap or that flat 0db run.  That can be heard.  I've not delved deep enough into it to know what that time gap is in practice, but perhaps someone could add that bit of insight... it might save me a lot of anal editing in the future! :P

This works for me...



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