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Thread: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

  1. #1

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    Nov 2011
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    Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    I'm a little confused on what options/settings to use in regard to ReplayGain. I'm planning to rip my collection to FLAC, and send to Foobar (or something similar), and also convert to Apple lossless for my iTunes. Do I use Replaygain (Apply), or Replaygain when I rip, or use both? I've read a number of posts/threads on the subject, but it seems to be overloading my brain. :headbang:

  2. #2
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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    You do not need ReplayGain (Apply), which alters the actual volume, rather just ReplayGain which writes the volume levels to tags for a compatible player.

  3. #3

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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    Thanks Spoon.

  4. #4

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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    I just purchased, and want to re-rip my entire collection to FLAC with the primary objective to make files for use with my Archos 7 and my high power panasonic car stereo dual rca rear input. I have always had a problem with various albums having drastically different output levels, many of my cd's are 70's and 80's and have poor output, but I have a fair amount from the last few decades along with many remasters. I purchased a Fiio 11 headphone amp to help with the older tracks, and I would really like to solve the varying volumes problem as well. I am confused as to why ReplayGain shows up both as it's own setting, as well as in one of the 4 selections in the "Volume Normalization" category - are they the same? I first tried Volume Normalization Adaptive first, and it played the instrumental opening to a song (Abba's Lay All Your Love On Me) at normal level, and then greatly reduced the volume for the rest of the track, which over my home theater system sounded a bit jarring. It was also a bit confusing to me, as I do not notice that the opening to the aforementioned song suffers from low volume on the CD audio track, but the Adaptive made some obvious changes. Does anyone out there find the Adaptive setting helpful for a noisy car setting, or do they find it to be erratic? I then tried re-ripping using the Volume Normalization Replay Gain setting, and found it to be somewhat muted compared with the CD audio, but I understand that to be normal, and I would suppose my Headphone Amp will ensure that I can reach a listenable level in my car?? Again, I have a lot of older 70's and 80's cd's of Billy Squier, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult, Nazareth etc. with weak highs and output levels, but many remasters and imports that sound very similar to modern cd's - what should I do - "Peak to Peak"? Adaptive? Replay Gain? What if I select Replay Gain along with Peak To Peak or Adaptive in the Volume Normalization Area? I just hate to go to all the work of ripping and converting if I just make matters worse. Thanks for any advice, Mark.

  5. #5
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    Almost all RG adjustments will LOWER volume as most CDs these days are suffering from the loudness war in mastering. So that is normal. Keep in mind that the basic RG DSP simply adds RG fields to the tags of a file AND DOES NOT CHANGE THE AUDIO CONTENT. In my opinion this is what you want. Otherwise you are modifying the actual audio and your FLAC files are no longer lossless relative to original CD. Many players USE these RG tags to automatically adjust the volume (there are album and track RG tags, you want to add both when ripping).

    Volume Normalization will take the RG info and actually change the audio stream (no longer equivalent to original). This is used when your player can't read the (nondestructive) RG tags. This could be true for your car player. Don't know. But I would never use volume normalize on my primary lossless files. You might want to create an MP3 library from these FLAC files, use volume normalize on these, and then use these in your car. It is fairly rare to be able to ABX a good high bitrate mp3 file from a lossless file in optimum situations. So mp3 files should be more than enough for a car, no matter how good the car system.

    EDIT> if your ARCHOS player can read RG tags, you do NOT want/need volume normilization, simply add the RG tags, and turn on the setting in the Archos to use RG tags.

  6. #6

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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it. I actually have an entire library of WMA lossless for use at home that work fine in WMP, i decided to go ahead and rerip my collection into FLAC for my portable rather than convert the lossless files, as I thought the software had some nice ripping features. So, I am o.k. with having altered audio from the Normalization, in order to get a set of files that I will use specifically in my car, and with my TDK boombox. I realize that 320 mp3 would likely be plenty good enough for the car environment, but I thought since time and storage space are not an issue to me, that I might as well go with FLAC. I really have a problem with the mess I hear on the high end - cymbals etc. with standard 128k sounding very sibilant to me - I like a warm sound, and I thought I would gain some worthwhile improvement to my ears by reripping to FLAC or 320MP3. I do have an entire library currently on the Archos in WMA 192, so I could run volume normalization on those to see what I thought.

    I'm not sure if the Archos 7 can read ReplayGain tags, I did a few searches but couldn't find anything. If it can't read the tags, I am to understand that ripping using ReplayGain would have no effect? The help section says that the ReplayGain option under Volume Normalization does actually alter the files, so I would guess that is the option I would want to select for the files I want to make for my portable, rather than the 2 main RG options up above? As far as Adaptive, I suppose the wise thing might be to rip 10 cds, and then try them out to see if I find the effect to be distracting. Thanks again for the response.
    Last edited by moooog; 02-05-2012 at 01:29 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    And do you understand that you can use dbpa music converter to convert (losslessly) from wma lossless to any other format (FLAC , lame mp3 -V0, etc). And as part of that conversion you can use the volume normalization DSP for the converted files. And artwork, tags, etc. And retain similar directory structure, etc. Much, much easier and faster.

    But maybe you are talking about 40 CDs. I think more in terms of 6,000 CDs. ;-)

  8. #8
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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    If it were me, I would not scan for ReplayGain while ripping. If, for some reason, one or more tracks don't rip correctly and need to be re-ripped, they would have a different Album Gain/Peak value than the others. I use foobar2000 to scan for ReplayGain.

  9. #9

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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    Wow, your tastes are probably a lot more diverse than mine, I own a number of guitars and focus mainly on 1973-1983. I have around 400 cd's + around 100 that I only have the WMA lossless and will have to convert, I was kind of intrigued by the accurate rip feature, although it's likely overkill. I'm a cattle rancher and we are having an extremely easy winter, so I have lots of time to work on my collection.

  10. #10
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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    The accuraterip and metadata features are very nice I agree. I'd rip all 400 CDs to FLAC adding RG tags. Then I'd create a mirror directory of high bit rate mp3 (lame -v0) with volume normalization for use in cars.

    Ps. Most of my collection is rock, folk, country, small bit of jazz, pop. Mostly 1960-1990 but a heck of a lot of 1967-1985. But if I like someone I want every album they released!

  11. #11

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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    That sounds like a good plan, then I can always easily convert/mirror to try out other options, as you indicated that can be done quite quickly. CD's - Most of my new purchases are from the same groups I discovered I liked in my college years (I'm 44), I consider myself fortunate that almost all my favorites are still intact and producing quality albums - but most of them are 60 - 65ish, and I realize nothing is forever )-:

  12. #12
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    Re: Not sure I understand ReplayGain options when ripping.

    That's the key (once you have good LOSSLESS rips, like the FLACs), you can easily (a couple of mouse clicks) create any other type of files (even other FLAC, apple lossless, etc.) with volume normalization, etc. without sacrificing your archive.
    I'm a decade older than you, and my wife and I often note when we see a concert of an old favorite artist that we should do this as often as possible as these folks won't be around that much longer... ;-)

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