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:
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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
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NewTrackVol = OldTrackVol - OldAlbumVol NewAlbumVol = +0.0 dB
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...