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Author Topic: aplying gain vs. normalizing  (Read 6350 times)

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Offline scb

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2006, 09:53:07 AM »
Normalizing takes the average sound level and brings it up, it does this by looking at the peeks and looking at the valleys and using RMS root mean square or other algorithm, it comes up with a maximum level in can bring the recording up to before distortion.

He means RMS Normalizing.


Peak Normalizing just finds the loudest point (say it's -2) and brings everything up by 0 - that number (in this case 2db)

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2006, 10:07:55 AM »
You must take songs and do them one at a time. I even go as far as to normalize quiet sections and loud sections separately, and then I normalize the whole song again just to smooth out the transition. I always keep a safety copy of the file as a back up.

I understand doing this for, say, compilations and whatnot, but wouldn't this create jarring changes between songs and completely ruin the dynamic range of a live concert? I've always been told to normalize the entire waveform for a given concert/set, THEN split it. Am I wrong?
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Offline Church-Audio

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2006, 10:44:53 AM »
Sorry I missed one really importaint step :) hehehe Normalize the whole thing again once your done, It will not end up adding anything, but it will actually make the transition your talking about smoother :) opps :) I feel kind of dumb for not adding that step in my post. Thanks for pointing it out!

Chris Church


You must take songs and do them one at a time. I even go as far as to normalize quiet sections and loud sections separately, and then I normalize the whole song again just to smooth out the transition. I always keep a safety copy of the file as a back up.

I understand doing this for, say, compilations and whatnot, but wouldn't this create jarring changes between songs and completely ruin the dynamic range of a live concert? I've always been told to normalize the entire waveform for a given concert/set, THEN split it. Am I wrong?
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Offline Church-Audio

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2006, 11:24:11 AM »


The best way I can explain what is going on is this.
Normalization takes the highest peek of audio and brings it up to about 1 db before absolute zero. So if we have an audio track and it is 10 db below zero the program will use rms to measure, the overall level changes and apply +9 db to the over all mix, to get it up to -1db. The rms part is only used to scan the audio track and determine max and min levels, so it knows 100% for sure how much gain it can add to the track before distortion.

The problem most people get into is when they try and get +30 db of gain out of a track via normalization. That is a job for gain, Gain can be added say +15 db depending on noise floor of the recording, and then normalizing can be done to the rest of the recording.

The only problem with normalizing is overuse, and no all programs do it the same way and with the same quality. I do not know what algorithm's are used per say, but I know there is a huge difference between say Nuendo and say early versions of Sound forge. The better the programs software the better the normalization is.

Real mastering studios do not use normalization very often on the tracks they work on, they use gain via a really nice recording consoles, and very good quality compression to pump things up. And we are not talking plugins here they also use EQ and play around with the Fletcher Munson curve until the audio screams. Well hopefully screams, Sometimes even mastering engineers go too far squashing the shit out of audio for the sake of a few more db and maybe be better noticed on the radio. I think a less is better approach is the best way to go.


 
Hey Chris.

I'm still confused!  Does the RMS method apply a uniform gain over the whole sample or does it vary it over time?  OK, if it varies the gain, do you know what algorithm is used?

Thanks,
   Richard

[/quote]
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RebelRebel

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2006, 11:51:11 AM »
Chris, to quote someone just type

(without the spaces)

[q u o t e author=Chris Church] I love digital audio![/quote] there is a space between quote and author..



The best way I can explain what is going on is this.
Normalization takes the highest peek of audio and brings it up to about 1 db before absolute zero. So if we have an audio track and it is 10 db below zero the program will use rms to measure, the overall level changes and apply +9 db to the over all mix, to get it up to -1db. The rms part is only used to scan the audio track and determine max and min levels, so it knows 100% for sure how much gain it can add to the track before distortion.

The problem most people get into is when they try and get +30 db of gain out of a track via normalization. That is a job for gain, Gain can be added say +15 db depending on noise floor of the recording, and then normalizing can be done to the rest of the recording.

The only problem with normalizing is overuse, and no all programs do it the same way and with the same quality. I do not know what algorithm's are used per say, but I know there is a huge difference between say Nuendo and say early versions of Sound forge. The better the programs software the better the normalization is.

Real mastering studios do not use normalization very often on the tracks they work on, they use gain via a really nice recording consoles, and very good quality compression to pump things up. And we are not talking plugins here they also use EQ and play around with the Fletcher Munson curve until the audio screams. Well hopefully screams, Sometimes even mastering engineers go too far squashing the shit out of audio for the sake of a few more db and maybe be better noticed on the radio. I think a less is better approach is the best way to go.


 
Hey Chris.

I'm still confused!  Does the RMS method apply a uniform gain over the whole sample or does it vary it over time?  OK, if it varies the gain, do you know what algorithm is used?

Thanks,
   Richard


Offline Church-Audio

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2006, 11:58:34 AM »
Thanks


Chris, to quote someone just type

(without the spaces)

[q u o t e author=Chris Church] I love digital audio!
there is a space between quote and author..



The best way I can explain what is going on is this.
Normalization takes the highest peek of audio and brings it up to about 1 db before absolute zero. So if we have an audio track and it is 10 db below zero the program will use rms to measure, the overall level changes and apply +9 db to the over all mix, to get it up to -1db. The rms part is only used to scan the audio track and determine max and min levels, so it knows 100% for sure how much gain it can add to the track before distortion.

The problem most people get into is when they try and get +30 db of gain out of a track via normalization. That is a job for gain, Gain can be added say +15 db depending on noise floor of the recording, and then normalizing can be done to the rest of the recording.

The only problem with normalizing is overuse, and no all programs do it the same way and with the same quality. I do not know what algorithm's are used per say, but I know there is a huge difference between say Nuendo and say early versions of Sound forge. The better the programs software the better the normalization is.

Real mastering studios do not use normalization very often on the tracks they work on, they use gain via a really nice recording consoles, and very good quality compression to pump things up. And we are not talking plugins here they also use EQ and play around with the Fletcher Munson curve until the audio screams. Well hopefully screams, Sometimes even mastering engineers go too far squashing the shit out of audio for the sake of a few more db and maybe be better noticed on the radio. I think a less is better approach is the best way to go.


 
Hey Chris.

I'm still confused!  Does the RMS method apply a uniform gain over the whole sample or does it vary it over time?  OK, if it varies the gain, do you know what algorithm is used?

Thanks,
   Richard


[/quote]
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Offline greenone

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2006, 12:14:29 PM »
Sorry I missed one really importaint step :) hehehe Normalize the whole thing again once your done, It will not end up adding anything, but it will actually make the transition your talking about smoother :) opps :) I feel kind of dumb for not adding that step in my post. Thanks for pointing it out!

Chris Church


You must take songs and do them one at a time. I even go as far as to normalize quiet sections and loud sections separately, and then I normalize the whole song again just to smooth out the transition. I always keep a safety copy of the file as a back up.

I understand doing this for, say, compilations and whatnot, but wouldn't this create jarring changes between songs and completely ruin the dynamic range of a live concert? I've always been told to normalize the entire waveform for a given concert/set, THEN split it. Am I wrong?

This still doesn't make sense to me...let me see if I can illustrate it with numbers. Let's say unedited track "AB" contains two songs has an overall peak level of -2dB. You split AB into two tracks, track "A" and track "B". Track "A" is the louder track, with the -2dB peak. Track "B", however, is a quiet song that has a peak level of -10dB. You normalize track "A" and everything is raised by 2dB. You normalize track "B" and everything is raised by 10dB.

Then you're saying to normalize everything again once you're done...but how? You've already normalized to 0dB; where is the waveform going to go? And won't the crowd/background noise sound tremendously louder at the beginning of track B compared to the end of track A?
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Offline Church-Audio

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2006, 01:47:13 PM »
The one thing you have to remember is there is no simple fix all approach. I do things this way and it works for me. You might try it and say I am nuts. Every case is different there is no fix all for tracks that are uneven. I would say if you have a 10 db difference between tracks in a stereo recording you have more problems then just getting things to work with normalization.

Chris Church


Sorry I missed one really importaint step :) hehehe Normalize the whole thing again once your done, It will not end up adding anything, but it will actually make the transition your talking about smoother :) opps :) I feel kind of dumb for not adding that step in my post. Thanks for pointing it out!

Chris Church


You must take songs and do them one at a time. I even go as far as to normalize quiet sections and loud sections separately, and then I normalize the whole song again just to smooth out the transition. I always keep a safety copy of the file as a back up.

I understand doing this for, say, compilations and whatnot, but wouldn't this create jarring changes between songs and completely ruin the dynamic range of a live concert? I've always been told to normalize the entire waveform for a given concert/set, THEN split it. Am I wrong?

This still doesn't make sense to me...let me see if I can illustrate it with numbers. Let's say unedited track "AB" contains two songs has an overall peak level of -2dB. You split AB into two tracks, track "A" and track "B". Track "A" is the louder track, with the -2dB peak. Track "B", however, is a quiet song that has a peak level of -10dB. You normalize track "A" and everything is raised by 2dB. You normalize track "B" and everything is raised by 10dB.

Then you're saying to normalize everything again once you're done...but how? You've already normalized to 0dB; where is the waveform going to go? And won't the crowd/background noise sound tremendously louder at the beginning of track B compared to the end of track A?
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2006, 01:54:14 PM »
The one thing you have to remember is there is no simple fix all approach. I do things this way and it works for me. You might try it and say I am nuts. Every case is different there is no fix all for tracks that are uneven. I would say if you have a 10 db difference between tracks in a stereo recording you have more problems then just getting things to work with normalization.

I think the 10 dB difference mentioned is a function of different dynamics from one track to the next.  Not sure how recording something with dynamic range > 10 dB is a problem.  ???

While there is no simple fix, there are certain actions that will change the dynamic range of the recording, or even change the dynamic range from track to track, something many of us do not like to do.  Normalizing each track independently -will- alter the original dynamic range of the recording.  Peak normalizing the entire recording as a single file will not.
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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2006, 02:10:40 PM »
He was talking from left to right not a overall -10 level

The one thing you have to remember is there is no simple fix all approach. I do things this way and it works for me. You might try it and say I am nuts. Every case is different there is no fix all for tracks that are uneven. I would say if you have a 10 db difference between tracks in a stereo recording you have more problems then just getting things to work with normalization.

I think the 10 dB difference mentioned is a function of different dynamics from one track to the next.  Not sure how recording something with dynamic range > 10 dB is a problem.  ???

While there is no simple fix, there are certain actions that will change the dynamic range of the recording, or even change the dynamic range from track to track, something many of us do not like to do.  Normalizing each track independently -will- alter the original dynamic range of the recording.  Peak normalizing the entire recording as a single file will not.
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2006, 02:14:58 PM »
He was talking from left to right not a overall -10 level

Re-read the post.  I don't believe he's talking L/R.
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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2006, 02:34:40 PM »
thanks I thought for some reason he was talking left right.


He was talking from left to right not a overall -10 level

Re-read the post.  I don't believe he's talking L/R.

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2006, 02:44:26 PM »
OK let me say it like this if you take a group of songs and you normalize them one at a time it will get the most level out of each song. Then if you normalize them as a group it will then average the levels out, and give the tracks more continuity. Try it I use this trick in the studio all the time. On tracks and it always works. But not for everything :) Good luck have fun with this I don't go crazy with the normalizing thing but from time to time it comes in handy. The important thing to remember about normalizing is it takes the average mean level and boosts it up to 1- below zero now I if I take a song that has a few peeks at -2 the normalizing will not go to far to bring that level up. Now once I combine all the other tracks it will bring take a larger sample from all the tracks and average it out. This gives you the continuity and allows you to get the most volume from each track at the same time. Doing the whole group first, does not give you the loudest levels because it’s averaging out thru a whole series of songs. That is why you do all the tracks last. I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

Chris Church


Sorry I missed one really importaint step :) hehehe Normalize the whole thing again once your done, It will not end up adding anything, but it will actually make the transition your talking about smoother :) opps :) I feel kind of dumb for not adding that step in my post. Thanks for pointing it out!

Chris Church


You must take songs and do them one at a time. I even go as far as to normalize quiet sections and loud sections separately, and then I normalize the whole song again just to smooth out the transition. I always keep a safety copy of the file as a back up.

I understand doing this for, say, compilations and whatnot, but wouldn't this create jarring changes between songs and completely ruin the dynamic range of a live concert? I've always been told to normalize the entire waveform for a given concert/set, THEN split it. Am I wrong?

This still doesn't make sense to me...let me see if I can illustrate it with numbers. Let's say unedited track "AB" contains two songs has an overall peak level of -2dB. You split AB into two tracks, track "A" and track "B". Track "A" is the louder track, with the -2dB peak. Track "B", however, is a quiet song that has a peak level of -10dB. You normalize track "A" and everything is raised by 2dB. You normalize track "B" and everything is raised by 10dB.

Then you're saying to normalize everything again once you're done...but how? You've already normalized to 0dB; where is the waveform going to go? And won't the crowd/background noise sound tremendously louder at the beginning of track B compared to the end of track A?
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Offline greenone

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2006, 03:03:28 PM »
I think I understand where the communication gap is now...I'm talking about peak normalizing and you're talking about RMS normalizing. Sorry I wasn't specific; I think that's where we got confused.
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Offline Church-Audio

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Re: aplying gain vs. normalizing
« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2006, 03:04:58 PM »
Hehehe shit happens :)  8)

I think I understand where the communication gap is now...I'm talking about peak normalizing and you're talking about RMS normalizing. Sorry I wasn't specific; I think that's where we got confused.
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