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Thread: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

  1. #1

    Question Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    A group of us who are considering purchasing had a question regarding how the Volume Normalize DSP operates in addition to some confusion regarding documentation or stated operation.

    A friend who previously purchased the software stated that when selecting either the EBU R128 setting or the Adaptive (EBU R128) setting is suppose to have a default setting of -18 dB. I don't know which platform he's operating on but neither his version nor is the latest version in demo mode on MacOS behaves according to this, instead defaulting to 0 dB. Is this expected operation or is there an error in documentation?

    I also perused both Windows and MacOS version of the help pages and I could not find any explanations for differences in operation for the EBU R128 or Adaptive (EBU R128) settings - is this something that's missing or is it covered somewhere else in help?

    Between the R128 loudness control in addition for the software being able to traverse nested directories makes this a desirable purchase, but I want to test this prior to purchase and need clarification of these functions. In my quest to re-encode WAV files with R128 compatible loudness I already wasted money on the Bute normaliser which can only deal with a single directory at a time and my collection of ripped CDs is a number of terabytes.

    It's somewhat inconvenient to have to join a forum for a pre-sales inquiry, but I hope it will be worth it in the long run, especially since I'll be publishing a review of the software in the near future.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    Maybe your friend talked about ReplayGain, not Volume Normalize?


    Dat Ei

  3. #3

    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by Dat Ei View Post
    Maybe your friend talked about ReplayGain, not Volume Normalize?
    I don't believe so, as the recommendation came in a broadcast radio forum where I mentioned my displeasure with the shortcomings with the Bute normaliser. He did mention specifically the R128 standard as that what I need for my application. I did notice only one of the ReplyGain settings default to -18dB but since I need the actual audio to be adjusted in all my WAV files this doesn't matter to me.

    The big question for me (still) is what is the difference between EBU R128 and Adaptive (EBU R128) settings. If this was well documented I'd probably be buying this already, but I need to understand how this works so I can test it before plunking down some cash.

  4. #4
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    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    You have read this?

    - EBU R128: a newer standard of ReplayGain, the average loudness is calculated and thevolume is adjusted. This method adjusts the audio. Internally the audio is calculated to a -18LUFS level, it can be adjusted with the dB scale on the right.

    - Adaptive: the bestway to describe adaptive, is like having your hand on the volumeknob, constantly adjusting it up and down (a window is used todetect loudness) to compensate for quiet parts, ideal for creating atrack to play in a noisy environment (such as car). Adaptive isoffered for EBU and Peak to Peak volume calculation.


    Dat Ei

  5. #5

    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by Dat Ei View Post
    You have read this?

    - EBU R128: a newer standard of ReplayGain, the average loudness is calculated and thevolume is adjusted. This method adjusts the audio. Internally the audio is calculated to a -18LUFS level, it can be adjusted with the dB scale on the right.
    The problem is that it's contradictory to the slider control that's presented in the volume normalize DSP, where is comes up with a default for the "Desired Volume" parameter of 0dB. Also, unlike ReplayGain, the R128 standard should actually adjust the audio level and not simply be a tag to tell the player how to play the audio. The application would be with broadcast automation software that's incapable of utilizing the tags, which is why I was looking at competing products like Bute and Auphonic. If all this software does it write tags it won't be of any use to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dat Ei View Post
    - Adaptive: the bestway to describe adaptive, is like having your hand on the volumeknob, constantly adjusting it up and down (a window is used todetect loudness) to compensate for quiet parts, ideal for creating atrack to play in a noisy environment (such as car). Adaptive isoffered for EBU and Peak to Peak volume calculation.
    Same thing as far as desired loudness, target volume and (tags or not). Bute and Auphonic are quite clear with their functions but I haven't come across the same evidence for dBpoweramp.

  6. #6
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    I hope you read the help file, a clip of which is here:

    Volume Normalize



    There are 6 different ways of adjusting the volume of an audio track. Note volume normalize is actually applied to the audio and is a non-reversible proces, as such it should be done on a copy of a lossless library, keeping the originals safe:

    Peak to Peak: simplest volume normalize, the peak (or maximum) value is found and the whole track volume is adjusted so that peak touches the desired volume,

    ReplayGain: a more advanced normalization, the average loudness is calculated and the volume is adjusted. This method does not use ID Tags to store ReplayGain values, rather the audio is adjusted. If a Replay Gained track is played next to a non-Replay Gained track, it will sound quieter, as Replay Gain requires head-room to prevent clipping.

    EBU R128: a newer standard of ReplayGain, the average loudness is calculated and the volume is adjusted. This method adjusts the audio. Internally the audio is calculated to a -18LUFS level, it can be adjusted with the dB scale on the right.

    Adaptive: the best way to describe adaptive, is like having your hand on the volume knob, constantly adjusting it up and down (a window is used to detect loudness) to compensate for quiet parts, ideal for creating a track to play in a noisy environment (such as car). Adaptive is offered for EBU and Peak to Peak volume calculation.

    Fixed Amplification: Amplifies the audio by a fixed amount, +6 dB is x2, where -6 dB is divide by 2, be careful not to clip audio (go over the maximum).

    Maximum Amplification sets a limit on the amount of amplification applied (set too high, on adaptive and silence will become noise).

    Desired Volume can be set higher than 0 dB (which is maximum), setting 12 dB is 4x the maximum, use with care otherwise the signal will clip.

    This effect is non-live.


    Looks pretty clear to me, and I'm Chief Engineer of a radio station which uses automation which, as you say, doesn't respond to replay gain tags. (although, since I don't get involved in production there, my experience with dBpoweramp is from some years of personal use with my 60,000 plus tracks.) I'd suggest you get the free trial and try it, play with it. If it works for you, buy it. It won't exactly destroy your budget. I find it a lot of value. But as with most software, you can read the documentation and it won't really help you until you actually use the software.
    Last edited by schmidj; 08-08-2019 at 06:08 PM.

  7. #7

    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    @schmidj: I'm on the Mac platform and there's no help file, it only links to the online help which is pretty paltry, to put it kind. The only way I was able to find the text you quoted was by doing a site-specific Google search and placing a portion of the help text into quotes. Not exactly the best first impression as far as I'm concerned.

    I've wasted money with software vendors who've representation of their products left a lot to be desired, which is why I'm doing my due diligence before throwing more good money after bad. I have no problem buying dBpoweramp (and even going for the family pack) but the last thing I want to do is make (yet) another commitment to a piece of software that doesn't do what I need it to do. It's took a long time for me to rip 5 terabytes of personal audio CDs and even though I have plenty of backups I don't wish to spend time running a conversion session only to discover it was another wasted exercise.

    BTW: I just (re)discovered the link for DSP help on the website, thanks to Google site search. Having a local help file bundled with the app would have been much more intuitive, especially since the help pages linked in the Mac version help menu never lead me to that particular text.

    I suppose the only concern (gripe?) left is regarding the text for EBU R128: "... a newer standard of ReplayGain, the average loudness is calculated and the volume is adjusted. This method adjusts the audio. Internally the audio is calculated to a -18LUFS level, it can be adjusted with the dB scale on the right." The slider's default value of 0 dB in spite of the help text stating that audio is calculated to -18LUFS is confusing, especially after using both the Bute Loudness Normaliser and the Auphonic Desktop Batch Converter. With this in mine the slider and this text contradict each other or, at the very least, make this convoluted and/or confusing.

  8. #8
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    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    The help ? buttons in the program lead to here:

    https://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmchelposx/

    and on this page is 'DSP Effects transform audio or process actions, please note that not all DSP effects are available for OS X dBpoweramp, DSP effect help' and the link to the dsp help:

    https://www.dbpoweramp.com/Help/dMC/dsp.htm

  9. #9
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    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    There are two separate levels in Volume Normalize, the default 0dB means that it tries to achieve maximum volume normalization using any of the methods selected, if EBR128 is selected then it is based on the internal value of -18LUFS. If you wanted -23LUFS you would change the Desired Volume to -5dB

  10. #10

    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    I'd really like to thank the forum admin for removing my post that I replied to schmidj. I guess they want to lose a sale. No problem, I plan on bashing the shit out of this software on my forum and social media now. When you have to join a forum to make pre-sales inquiries and then your post is removed then you really find out what kind of company you're dealing with.

    If I deal with professional software that was as convoluted in its settings as this I'd never recommend it to anyone.

  11. #11
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    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    This kind of behaviour and wording is no surprise at all. You've been up to no good right from the start. Just my impression as an ordinary user of this forum...


    DaT Ei

  12. #12
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    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    Your reply was not removed, it went into a moderation queue because you had an '@' in the post (the anti spam settings of the forum do this).

    It is above.

  13. #13
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    Re: Volume Normaize Settings Clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyD203 View Post
    I've wasted money with software vendors who've representation of their products left a lot to be desired, which is why I'm doing my due diligence before throwing more good money after bad. I have no problem buying dBpoweramp (and even going for the family pack) but the last thing I want to do is make (yet) another commitment to a piece of software that doesn't do what I need it to do.
    That is why schmidj suggested you get the free trial and try it.

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