Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Ubeturass, Aug 11, 2018 at 5:40 AM.
Normalize audio files or not?
Just in the playback software. JRIVER does a fantastic job of it
Depends. For example, if one is making MP3 file versions for use in the car or on the go, normalising can be a sensible choice - while I'd rather not normalise in case of making quality rips/copies for archival purposes.
Whether I'd normalise in case of making files for comparative purposes would depend on the case, but in general I'd rather not normalise.
Greetings from Munich!
Manfred / lini
I keep my archival rips as they came off the CD, but I'm perfectly willing to tinker with ( normalize ) the MP3's that I use for listening in the Car / Portables / On-the-Go. If I get dissatisfied with the results, well it's easy to recreate the MP3 and start over.
There's normalizing and there's normalizing. It depends on what you are doing it for. If you are making a CD, or tape for that matter, from various artists for use as background music in a business, for instance....you virtually HAVE to normalize. But then you have to be careful, because most normalizing programs set the levels from peaks in the music. You need to normalize from the average levels, while keeping an eye on the peaks of each song. I use DC Art Forensics 8, and even with that I have to manually check every track when making a critical recording.
Another thing. When I am seriously listening to music, (not just something in the background, for instance) I like it loud. When I am playing selections from different sources, I am constantly turning the volume up, then down, depending on the individual tracks. And, as all of us digitizers out here know, you better keep a close eye on your volume settings when you go from one un-normalized digital track to another....because that next track might break the windows since it's coming out of a dead silent background.
It also helps to normalize music for playing in a vehicle that is not heavily soundproofed.
Normalizing can and does create distortions. I wouldn't do it.
If you are in any doubt, try 'normalizing' a -20dB sine wave to say -3dB and measure the THD (FFT) before and after.
Of course you will introduce (hopefully minor) unwanted noise, artifacts, etc. anytime you apply filters to sound files. But don't attempt to make various artist recordings without some filtering for a restaurant like I do. Crowds of people, and people riding in older more or less noisy vehicles are totally unconcerned and will not notice the change in THD. But they do want to be able to hear every song without some of them blasting them out of their chairs. And you can't fully trust the computer.....I have to go over the whole recording (sometimes 6 to 8 hours of music for a USB player) before turning it over to my friend. He owns 3 restaurants, and I make the music for all three. And each of the three have somewhat different customer age makeup, so all three are different.
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