Can someone explain me the logic of Volume leveling in MM3?

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Can someone explain me the logic of Volume leveling in MM3?

Post by gege »

The background story:
I have always used volume analysis and all my files are analyzed by track AND by album since MM3 entered beta stage.
I do understand the theory involving volume analysis/leveling and the analysis alone is enough for me, 'cause I listen to my music in MM3 or in my iPod (where Soundcheck does the job). Thus I've never used the volume leveling feature.

Enter the wife's complaints:
My wife owns a generic USB device, which doesn't support any type of replay gain, and she have complained a little about the volume variations while she listens to her songs. As the good husband I am, I decided to solve her problem, giving volume leveling a try.

The tests and the doubt:
I started experimenting with a little set of albums and my wife is happy with the results, but I must confess I really couldn't understand the logic used in the leveling process.
Let me show some screenshots to illustrate my doubts.

These are my volume settings:

Now take this album, with volume analyzed:


I assume MM3 does an "Album Based" volume leveling. Thus, in my case where playback and leveling volume settings are the same, I was expecting a result like this in "Track Volume" and "Album Volume" columns:

Code: Select all

OldTrackVol OldAlbumVol   --->  NewTrackVol NewAlbumVol
    -7.6 dB     -9.6 dB             +2.0 dB     +0.0 dB
    -9.5 dB     -9.6 dB             +0.1 dB     +0.0 dB
    -9.4 dB     -9.6 dB             +0.2 dB     +0.0 dB
   -10.6 dB     -9.6 dB             -1.0 dB     +0.0 dB
    -9.3 dB     -9.6 dB             +0.3 dB     +0.0 dB
   -10.1 dB     -9.6 dB             -0.5 dB     +0.0 dB
    -6.4 dB     -9.6 dB             +3.2 dB     +0.0 dB
   -10.4 dB     -9.6 dB             -0.8 dB     +0.0 dB
    -9.4 dB     -9.6 dB             +0.2 dB     +0.0 dB
    -7.1 dB     -9.6 dB             +2.5 dB     +0.0 dB
    -9.2 dB     -9.6 dB             +0.4 dB     +0.0 dB
    -9.3 dB     -9.6 dB             +0.3 dB     +0.0 dB
My guess was based in this formula:

Code: Select all

NewTrackVol = OldTrackVol - OldAlbumVol
NewAlbumVol = +0.0 dB
But after volume leveling, what I got is this:

WTF? Are these the expected results? Was this leveling "track based" or "album based" or what? I was expecting an "album based" leveling, but then shouldn't "Album Volume" column be set to "+0.0 dB" and "Track Volume" column be set to the corresponding volume difference?
Did I misunderstand the logic of volume leveling? Or is this a bug?

Well, after a NEW volume analysis, I got this:

I'd really appreciate some light on this subject. Thanks!
Oh, and sorry for the long post...
Last edited by gege on Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 5537
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:01 pm

Post by Teknojnky »

Target Volume Levels
- Level Playback Volume --->>>>> PER TRACK (not per album)
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:43 pm

Post by fellow »


the second screenshot doesn't work but I guess what you want to do is go from the replaygain based playback you currently have to a conversion-based playback for your wife's USB stick.

Looking at your numbers I see that the difference to the expected result is not that great: -0.2dB for Album volume and up to 0.5dB for Track. My guess is therefore that the algorithms for the two methods (replaygain vs. conversion) use a different energy function and therefore give different results.

As the previous poster noted, conversion has no concept of album gain, which if you do the calculation, makes the difference even smaller. So keeping that in mind, I don't think it can be noticed while listening to the tracks.
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