Adjusting dynamic range

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capncappie

Adjusting dynamic range

Post by capncappie »

I'm hoping somebody can point me in the right direction here ... I've done some searching without much luck - possibly because I'm not even sure I've got the terminology correct.

What's the best way to reduce the dynamic range of an mp3?

I'd like to take a classical Cd I've ripped to FLAC and create an mp3 copy with greatly reduced dynamic range for listening in a noisy environment - something akin to the processing radio stations do ...

thanks
steve_c
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Post by steve_c »

The term for this in the audio world was always compression. Now that the digital age also uses the term for reducing file sizes, it's become rather difficult to google accurately, but there are some interesting leads with the term "software audio compressor". There's an article here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_level_compression explaining it, with some links to software plugins for popular programs like Winamp.
rovingcowboy
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Post by rovingcowboy »

some audio plugins are free. to use but only work in winamp some work in media monkey but only half way.

some work in media monkey but cause some errors if used too long.

its hard to find any good long term use dynmic plug in

to do what you want would also require you to have the audio mixer called " what you hear " with you sound card mixers. then you can use the dynmic plugin with winamp and play the song then record it to a wav file and get all the settings you want. but then you have to have a wav editor to record the wav file with.
there are free ones to find thats a plus.

but just using the plugin when you play the songs and thinking it will rip to those settings is no good. because it does not rip to those settings. it just plays the songs that way.

which is why you need the mixer and wav editor like i said. 8)


8)
just thought there is one ripper that might do what you want when you use it to convert? just don't know if it supports flac files?

find the cdex on soundforge dot net. see if they support flac format now.

if so you can set up its options to normalize the sound to what percentage you want. raise all the low volumes up to a certian percentage and lower all the high volumes to a lower percentage. as in if < 88 change to 88. if > 98 change to 98 that will help a lot on the songs.

and it will do that when you convert as well as rip. only thing is the flac, if it does not support it then you can't use that for what you want.?

:-?
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capncappie

Post by capncappie »

I'm getting somewhere, thanks.

steve_c's pointer led me to a winamp DSP plugin (Stereo Tool) that has a companion command line version that works on WAV files.

So, theoretically, I should be able to play with the plugin in MM, find compression settings I like, convert a bunch of my FLACs to WAVs, write a batch file to process them with Stereo Tool command line, and convert the resulting WAVs to FLAC or MP3.

Except that I can't get the command line version to work (it crashes).

And I'm wondering if there isn't a slightly simpler way ...

Do any of you know of a program that will easily process (compress dynamic range) audio files in bulk? Preferably, but not necessarily, FLAC and MP3? Preferably, but not necessarily, Windows GUI rather than DOS command line?

Thanks, again
Guest

Post by Guest »

Have you tried the Rock Steady plugin?
http://debian.fmi.uni-sofia.bg/~piettropro/MyPrograms/

This is simply a playback plugin that will compress the dynamic range during playback. Using something like this, you won't have to permanently modify your music files (MP3, FLAC, WAV, etc).
Whatever you play gets compressed real time.

It gives you several preset compression levels from soft to extreme and has customizable parameters. It sounds good, unless (as in all compressors), you apply too much compression, then the sound quality suffers.

I've used this quite a bit with Winamp, especially when I have a party and want my whole house music system to be heard without the party noise masking the softer parts of the music, but have never tried it with Media Monkey.
capncappie

Post by capncappie »

Actually, I am looking to modify files, not just process real time during play.

More accurately, I want to create dynamic range compressed files for use on my ipod in a noisy environment - but keep the 'good' files for home listening.

I suppose ideally would be some way to DSP process & check gain during auto synchronise when mp3s are created to put on the ipod, but I suspect that's asking a bit too much.

I'd be happy with a fairly easy way of creating processed copies of the music I might want to play on my ipod. Then I can deal with keeping the two copies organized ...

Thanks
Dreadlau
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Post by Dreadlau »

I suppose ideally would be some way to DSP process & check gain during auto synchronise when mp3s are created to put on the ipod, but I suspect that's asking a bit too much.
If there could be a compression option in MM when auto synchronising that would be awesome.
That makes a lot of sense to me since when someone synchronize to his portable device, he is likely to listen to it in a noisy environnement.

You should post that in the wishlist.
Guest

Post by Guest »

capncappie wrote:Actually, I am looking to modify files, not just process real time during play.

More accurately, I want to create dynamic range compressed files for use on my ipod in a noisy environment - but keep the 'good' files for home listening.

I suppose ideally would be some way to DSP process & check gain during auto synchronise when mp3s are created to put on the ipod, but I suspect that's asking a bit too much.

I'd be happy with a fairly easy way of creating processed copies of the music I might want to play on my ipod. Then I can deal with keeping the two copies organized ...

Thanks
Ok, I see what you're looking for. Foobar2000 (freeware) (foobar2000.org) can handle that task. The compression plugin (Dynamics Compressor) comes with the initial download of the software. If you don't like the stock plugin, there are others. "Vlevel" (I think) is another compression plugin that works with Foobar2000.

The caveat here is that Foobar2000 has a bit of a learning curve, but it's exceptionally powerful in terms of audio processing.

You'll need to configure the Dynamics Compressor (gain, compression ratio, & peak limit level), then make it active in the DSP Manager.
Once it's set up, you'll just highlight the tracks you want to convert, right click, select convert, then it will batch convert the tracks. Before you do that, make sure in the "convert" settings you have "Use DSP" enabled, so it processes the track through the compressor while converting the track to MP3.
It also uses Replay Gain, which I believe is the same setting Media Monkey uses, so if you have done the Analyze Volume in Media Monkey, Foobar2000 should be able to pick up that value as well.

As I said before, Foobar2000 is very powerful, but not as user friendly as software like Media Monkey. If you have questions, the guys over at the Hydrogen Audio forums are very helpful. Those forums are frequented by people who are heavily into the technical details of digital audio.
Bill
capncappie

Post by capncappie »

@Bill,
OK, sounds like Foobar2000 maybe worth the effort. I looked at it very briefly a couple years ago when I decided it was time to organize my music - it looked too complicated for me (& family) and I found MM - which was almost too good to be true.

Meanwhile I just discovered that dbPoweramp Music Converter has a little DSP built in (who knew? I'd never looked at it that closely even though I have it & use it for conversion ...) It has something called "adaptive volume normalising" which looks like it might act as a rudimentary compressor - so I'll try it and see if I can live with the results - it certainly has the advantage of being easy to use!

thanks
jdh02138

Re: Adjusting dynamic range

Post by jdh02138 »

I have long had the same wish -- to create a set of mp3 files with compressed dynamic range for use in environments where I have had to constantly fiddle with the volume control because the music's volume ranges from the undetectable to the intolerable.

Did you ever find a satisfactory solution?
Peke
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Re: Adjusting dynamic range

Post by Peke »

The best solution for Dynamic gain is hardware base Compressor Limiter. Unfortunately good and cheep ones are analog only.
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