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Thread: Not enough volume

  1. #1

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    Not enough volume

    Hi guys, have been ripping cds using Colin Bale's method and created an archive, flac and aiff libraries. Mainly using the apple library which is uploaded to all devices which is converted to 128kbps. The problem is though on playback there is not enough volume. On my classe pre amp normal cd playback volume is between -32 to -36 with ripped tracks it's about -23, a huge difference.
    I'm thinking it's my replay gain settings. Can someone please advise. Can I do also batch convert to fix. Cheers

  2. #2
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    Re: Not enough volume

    What settings do you have for Replaygain?

  3. #3

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    Re: Not enough volume

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    What settings do you have for Replaygain?
    EBU R128 -23..................is there an easy way to export settings config file?

  4. #4
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    Re: Not enough volume

    Not in a human readable form.

    Generally Replaygain will lower the volume, it creates extra headroom so all types of music can be matched. You can confirm this by looking at a files replay gain values in a tag editor, and remove it as a test.

  5. #5
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    Re: Not enough volume

    -23 will play back with very low level on a consumer system, that setting was intended for professional systems which always incorporated more "headroom" than consumers. Others here recommended setting to -18, which I felt was conservative, but allows for extra dynamic range beyond most consumer product. I now read recently that one of the standards organizations recommends -14 for consumer use, a little louder than -18, but a little less dynamic range. Setting the number too high (-23 instead of -18 or -14) in consumer equipment will often leave you unable to play it at a reasonable listening level, even with the "volume" turned up all the way. You will also get "blasted" if you change the source to the CD or DVD player or a radio station.

  6. #6
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    Re: Not enough volume

    Quote Originally Posted by schmidj View Post
    -23 will play back with very low level on a consumer system, that setting was intended for professional systems which always incorporated more "headroom" than consumers. Others here recommended setting to -18, which I felt was conservative, but allows for extra dynamic range beyond most consumer product. I now read recently that one of the standards organizations recommends -14 for consumer use, a little louder than -18, but a little less dynamic range. Setting the number too high (-23 instead of -18 or -14) in consumer equipment will often leave you unable to play it at a reasonable listening level, even with the "volume" turned up all the way. You will also get "blasted" if you change the source to the CD or DVD player or a radio station.
    Agree. I use -18.

  7. #7
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    Re: Not enough volume

    I know I'm a little late to this thread but I have related questions. I've ripped a lot of CD's without Replay Gain because I always thought it would change the quality of audio playback. After reading into the details of it (in Spoon's Guides and elsewhere on the this forum) I realize, and wanted to confirm, that the DSP effect Replay Gain (not the "apply" option) only ads ID tag data for players to use and does not change the lossless aspects of a FLAC or ALAC file. Also, I'm assuming that an audio player would have to be set to utilize these tags or do players, as an example Sonos, automatically use these tags to normalize volume?

    I'm using Ref 15.2, Re: Settings for Replay Gain, I have selected "Write = Track, Album Gain & iTunes Normalization", and under the Advanced Options tag "Albums Identified By: Album ID Tag, Gain Calculation is EBU R 128, -18 LUFS Target Volume. Disable Clip-Prevention is unchecked - what does this feature do? Finally, in the DSP tab of CD ripper the line reads: -albummode="0" -itunnorm="1", -r128lufs="-18".

    Two questions regarding the above settings, does anyone know if these settings would produce adequate volume range for playback through a Sonos audio (or similar) system and, do the Replay Gain settings need to be adjusted if I'm ripping CD's to lossless FLAC instead of ALAC.? I read in one of the guides that the EBU R128 optimizes for playback with iTunes/Apple devices or put another way, does the LUFS Target Volume setting apply to both ALAC and FLAC file playback on a player that can use the Replay Gain tags?

    Thank you for your assistance.

  8. #8
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    Re: Not enough volume

    The format being used does not matter, I am not sure that sonos make use of replaygain tags though.

  9. #9
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    Re: Not enough volume

    I'm playing back ALAC files from my NAS drive and running through my Mac Mini > Decibel player 1.3.2 >High Resolution Technologies Music Streamer II USB DAC > Onkyo stereo receiver. Just to see how replay gain works and how it might affect sound quality (and possibly output level), I did some testing using the RG settings I mentioned above (-18 LUFS) and with Replay Gain enabled then disabled in Decibel. I left the volume on the Onkyo unchanged from what I would consider a reasonable listening volume (knob was at about 10 o'clock). With RG enabled in Decibel there was a significant decrease in output volume. The Decibel player has a digital volume slider that has "Linear" and "dBFS" readings. With RG disabled these readings were 0.117 and -18.636 respectively. With replay gain enabled I had to increase the digital volume slider in Decibel to 0.337 and -9.447 respectively to get the same comfortable listening level as with RG disabled. I was doing this to see if sound quality was affected and my point is that after roughly matching volume levels I couldn't notice an appreciable difference in sound quality with RG enabled or disabled which is good. I had plenty of volume range, I didn't have to max out any volume control to hear sound but, as schmidj mentioned, I could see the different source volume levels being an issue for some when switching to/from sources using RG to those that do not. I often rip client CD collections to NAS for use with house audio systems or computer based audio so I will probably continue to rip the RG tags in case they want to use the feature. I'm just wondering if the volume level variable depends on the player being used. Anyway, just throwing out thoughts, LOVE dBpoweramp. Thanks for your efforts.

  10. #10
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    Re: Not enough volume

    Doing some ripping now and almost every CD so far is giving me Information windows at the end indicating that Normalization gain would have resulted in clipping, and that the gain has been reduced to prevent clipping. Again, I'm assuming the reduction in gain is only a tag for those particular tracks that would be applied if Replay Gain were used during playback and that this is not actually reducing the gain of that track for the purposes of the rip. I need CD's to be ripped unaltered.

  11. #11
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    Re: Not enough volume

    Quote Originally Posted by sjc View Post
    After reading into the details of it (in Spoon's Guides and elsewhere on the this forum) I realize, and wanted to confirm, that the DSP effect Replay Gain (not the "apply" option) only ads ID tag data for players to use and does not change the lossless aspects of a FLAC or ALAC file.
    Correct, the Replay Gain DSP is non-destructive and only adds metadata tags to the audio files.

    The Replay Gain (Apply) DSP is destructive, that is, it changes the digital audio.

  12. #12
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    Re: Not enough volume

    Quote Originally Posted by mville View Post
    Correct, the Replay Gain DSP is non-destructive and only adds metadata tags to the audio files.

    The Replay Gain (Apply) DSP is destructive, that is, it changes the digital audio.
    Thanks, it is interesting to see how many tracks come up with that message that the normalizing process would create clipping. I'm also using the HDCD DSP as I have about a dozen or so HDCD's but it has also indicated that it found HDCD tracks on discs that are otherwise not marked as being HDCD encoded.

  13. #13
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    Re: Not enough volume

    Quote Originally Posted by sjc View Post
    Thanks, it is interesting to see how many tracks come up with that message that the normalizing process would create clipping.
    Yes, I too get many tracks with the warning. If I recall, Spoon has suggested this is normal and of no concern, as media players will adjust levels with no audible issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjc View Post
    I'm also using the HDCD DSP as I have about a dozen or so HDCD's but it has also indicated that it found HDCD tracks on discs that are otherwise not marked as being HDCD encoded.
    HDCD ripping is a pain. There is a (very complicated) in-depth guide to ripping HDCDs on these forums.

    I have a few compilation CDs with 1 or 2 HDCD flagged tracks.

    My approach to HDCD CDs is to rip (to flac) without the HDCD DSP. For playback I am using foobar2000 with the HDCD decoder.

  14. #14
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    Re: Not enough volume

    I'll try that with HDCD's. I use Foobar2000 on my PC that I built for ripping. Thanks,

  15. #15
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    Re: Not enough volume

    Quote Originally Posted by sjc View Post
    I often rip client CD collections to NAS for use with house audio systems or computer based audio so I will probably continue to rip the RG tags in case they want to use the feature. I'm just wondering if the volume level variable depends on the player being used. Anyway, just throwing out thoughts, LOVE dBpoweramp. Thanks for your efforts.
    Going back a bit to this part of the discussion, because it's pretty important....

    Yes, it's very much player-dependent. Players may or may not support volume normalization, and the ones that do may support one or more of the common approaches....Windows Media Player's "volume leveling," iTunes' iTunNORM, and/or ReplayGain tags. Further, player support may be limited to only certain file types (codecs), or a subset of the available tags.

    For example: You've referred to Sonos, and both FLAC and ALAC files a few times in your posts. Sonos will use RG tags for FLAC only, and iTunNorm tags for AIFF, mp3, and AAC, but not ALAC. Dealing with this annoying variability means either trying to add all the normalization tags you can, in the hope that any potential playback devices can use one of them, or customizing every library (codec and normalization selection) for the expected player environment.


    (Yes, I agree......you'd think all this stuff would have been standardized a long time ago. Such is life in the digital music universe.)
    Last edited by BrodyBoy; 05-16-2015 at 04:28 AM.

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