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Thread: ReplayGain (Track gain) for dummies (ME!!!)

  1. #1

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    ReplayGain (Track gain) for dummies (ME!!!)

    Hello and please excuse this thread as I am sure this subject has been covered multiple times.
    However, you have not seen the likes of me yet (the for Dummies part!!!)

    Most of you have knowledge of terms, where to put scripts, etc. but I am an idiot!!!
    If I might indulge some kind soul for mercy, is there a step by step method for what I want to do?

    While we are at the end of the CD age, I still send CD's to people and want to do best of playlists
    and burn them to CD's with the volume as close to the same as possible.

    I don't know the benefits of batch converting 300 files in batch converter, vs doing the same thing in just regular convert files in the regular dbpoweramp.

    Based on my learn as I go comments I have tried to pick up here, this is what I have been doing.

    I have chosen 3 DSP's

    Right click convert to wav with bit depth set to 32 bit float (I have read if manipulating volume you have to do this with 32 bit float, although the settings available are 32 bit or 32 bit IEEE float (i have no idea what the IEEE is, but since that is the only option with the float word, that is what I was choosing.

    Then, second DSP is volume normalize using either ReplayGain Track gain set to either -6.6 or -7.5 (I use MediaMonkey and those numbers are what I see when I analyze volume.

    Then the 3rd DSP is bit depth again to take back down to 16 (I have not manually increased bit rate or depth because I was assuming using the 32 bit float does that automatically, so I need to bring it back down, and was told use triangular dither back to 16.

    I'M USING CAPITAL LETTERS NOT TO SCREAM, BUT TO HIGHLIGHT I REALLY APPRECIATE THIS FORUM AND LOVE DBPOWERAMP!!!
    WHEN USERS OFFER ADVICE ETC, AND BECAUSE I AM VERY SLOW TO CATCH ON TO EASY CONCEPTS THAT ARE EASY FOR ALL OF YOU BUT NOT FOR ME,
    THERE ARE USUALLY NO STEP BY STEP GUIDES ON HOW TO DO THIS FOR DUMMIES LIKE ME.

    And also, it might be helpful to say if you choose this function or DSP in the wrong order, it won't work, or if you do, go back and do this or that to fix it or just start again.

    For example, I am taking 300 Beatles tracks and the track "In My Life" has a -4.6 db volume as it appears in my MediaMonkey from the 2009 Rubber Soul album.
    When I run it through the conversion steps above, the volume increases to the -6.6 level or the -7.5 level I have specified, but it also now has some static on the converted track.

    I am trying to determine if I am doing the conversion wrong, in the wrong order or if my PC can't handle converting 300 files at once.
    I am not PC literate; I have a 2 year old Dell XPS and was told it is not too far from a decent gaming PC, even though I do not do gaming.
    I find it hard to believe converting some files takes more horsepower than sophisticated gaming with 3D effects, etc.

    If anyone can offer any advice, or point to either another website or offer their email where I can go through this, I would greatly appreciate it!
    Thank you in advance,
    ED K, Pleasanton, CA. USA
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    Last edited by edkeef; 06-27-2022 at 06:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: ReplayGain (Track gain) for dummies (ME!!!)

    If you want to make all the tracks have approximately the same loudness, I woudn't use a fixed Replay Gain value (-6.6 or -7.5). Instead, I would run all the tracks through ReplayGain and have it produce correct RG values for each track (which could be negative, positive, close to zero, etc.). But these true RG values are trying to make all tracks have a loudness of 89db as a target. Then once each track has its actual RG track value, you can then use batch convert to convert the WAV files to whatever, and use the volume normalize to permanently change the audio to match the RG values.

  3. #3

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    Re: ReplayGain (Track gain) for dummies (ME!!!)

    Thank you Garym for the advice. At least I am smart enough (thanks to advice on here!) to make copies of the tracks and adjust those.
    Is it possible I may have messed up the original ReplayGain values on any of them and do I need to reset them all to zero and recalculate them?
    I don't know if you have Media Monkey or some other program where it analyzes the volume; I don't have a lot of current music but I remember Amy Winehouse's Back to Black was way way louder than most of what I have. I will try and attach a screen shot (thought I could just copy and paste but apparently there is a more complicated procedure to just do that on here. Anyway, since I am a 70's music person, most of my Rolling Stones and Beatles remasters show somewhere between -3.0 to -8.5.
    Since I am slow, when you say it is trying to have a loudness or 89db, I have seen that number many times and recognize it as a target number for many years. However I don't understand how it equates to a song with a -6.2 db value. Is there a chart or a way to tell me where to go to understand where that 89db number and how it equates to the track value(s) of 89db? I have chosen before the track normalization for the EBU R128 Track gain and that seems to be closer than a fixed value, even though the db numbers spread vary more than it sounds like it would, or despite the differences.
    So could you tell me (if I haven't already exhausted your patience! ha) how to "run it through" replay gain? Should I reset all numbers to zero and reanalyze? Do I need to analyze any tracks within the original cd I am taking it from?
    I apologize; I have read to modify volume or other things on an audio track I have to convert it to wav with a 32 bit float, do any processing and then recovert it back to 16 bit with a dither set to triangular. Am I wrong about any of these? Do you know why I have static on some tracks even when I do not have a fixed db value? Am I making something way more complicated than I need to? Do I not really have to do the 32 bit float etc?
    Since many on here know the lingo and can do these things in their sleep, I know it must be painful to have to tell someone like me what and how to do it. Is there a step by step guide somewhere else like on another audio programs site?
    I appreciate your time! Ever since I was a kid making cassettes, getting the volume to match on tracks has been a 40 year nightmare! However thanks to dbpoweramp and you, I am closer than ever! Yay!

  4. #4
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    Re: ReplayGain (Track gain) for dummies (ME!!!)

    1. If a track has a RG value of -6.2db, then it would have a 95.2db loudness. So to get it to a target volume of 89db, you need to reduce the volume by 6.2db. Roughly speaking, that's what the RG track gain value is telling you.

    2. To change your RG values, you don't have to set anything to zero. When you reanalyze the tracks, the new RG values will overwrite whatever existing RG values are there in your tags.

    3. I also use the EBU R128, -18 setting. This is more or less the 89db target I mentioned.

    4. To renalyze your tracks for new (replacement) RG values, just use dbpoweramp batch converter. Select the top folder of your music directory in your file browser, then right click and select "dbpoweramp Batch Convert". When that screen opens up, select "Convert" in upper left corner. Then for encoding in the drop down menu, select "ReplayGain". Choose "Track and Album Gain" on that screen. Then click on "Advanced Options" , and make sure it has "Albums Identified by Album ID Tag", EBUR128, -18 LUFS Target Volume, do NOT tick "disable clip prevention". I tick "preserve date modified file time" (that way, the file modified date doesn't change just because I changed RG values). NOTE: I USE WINDOWS.

    5. It is very likely way overkill to convert to 32 bit float then back to 16 bit to do the volume normalization. If it was me, I would skip this step. (after all, these are just special copies with volume normalize. You still have your original copies of the files that are bit perfect, WITHOUT volume normalization. But if you are doing this step, I think your process is correct. I think this sort of thing is what is done in STUDIOS when doing lots of things to audio before creating the final audio track.

    Let me know if you have any questions. Once setup, this should be easy and you can redo the RG values of all your files with a simple batch operation and a couple of mouse clicks.

    p.s. You don't need to do the volume normalization at all if you have servers/players that understand RG tags. All of mine do. (foobar2000, Logitech Media Server, Roon Labs). And most servers/players these days understand and use RG tags to automatically adjust volume differences.

    (and yes, I too spent many hundreds of hours making cassette mix tapes suffering from volume differences!)
    Last edited by garym; 06-29-2022 at 06:31 AM.

  5. #5

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    Re: ReplayGain (Track gain) for dummies (ME!!!)

    Hi again Gary and thank you so much!!!
    I haven't had a chance to try everything you suggested so far; I look forward to by later today I hope. Thank you for explaining the RG values and db equivalency thing also!
    I did just do a quick try on converting a few tracks and even after eliminating most of those steps I was doing, I still just randomly checked a track and it had small traces of static. Not the hugest of deals, except I have many I am working on to give other people.... and yes, while most of all players accept those values I am sure, in case they don't I want the tracks to be correct from me to them in case they don't.
    The static wouldn't bother me so much if I could identify by a value or some sign.... I just don't have time obviously to play every track. Many I checked did not have any.
    Do you know what might be the cause? When doing these conversions, should I only do a few at a time, or a batch no larger than _____?
    If it is not dbpoweramp causing it or my settings, is there a way to tell if it's a setting in my PC?
    I have premium support with Dell, however in the past it is always a two hour phone call with someone not always easy to understand! ha
    Anyway, I really appreciate it; your generous time and expertise. Anything I can do for you? I have some radio show rarities from the good old days if you have any requests. Maybe you already know where and how to find some. If not, I can help.
    Thanks again,
    ED K

  6. #6
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    Re: ReplayGain (Track gain) for dummies (ME!!!)

    I have no idea about the static. dbpoweramp conversions, adding RG tags, etc. should not add any static to the tracks. Have you listened to the tracks on different players? Maybe your player is adding the static, but the files are just fine. And are you saying there is no static on the files BEFORE you do volume normalization? And talking to Dell (or Apple, etc.) support will likely provide ZERO value. They will have no clue and just blame the files.

    My only thought is that the conversion to 32 bit and then downconverting to 16 bit is the only possible spot where I could see any possibility of a problem. Try to do your volume normalize WITHOUT doing the 32 bit conversion. Just take your 16 bit files, make sure they have correct RG tags (run though the RG dsp as I already explained), and then do the volume normalize step. Does this still produce static.

  7. #7

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    Re: ReplayGain (Track gain) for dummies (ME!!!)

    I did take your advice and first ran them thru to freshen up the gain and peak tags, then changed it to just 16bit with the only DSP being the Vol.Norm. with the EBU Track gain and it seems to have eliminated the static. And here I was trying to do all of my research and learn all the ultimate correct ways to do it, and the easiest and most basic worked. I wish I could find the exact thread explaining that you should only run any or most DSP's while it is in a 32bit float "state" since I don't know the musical technical term.
    Perhaps I was confusing this with converting a High Res. track down to 16/44.
    I have done that in Mediamonkey and while I can't find the path exactly they take, I assume in that conversion process that any bit rate or sample rate conversions are done in the process. Or could that be wrong? I would have tried to normalize the volume in MM but they don't have any settings that I can find to control + or minus on the db level. It would be nice if you could just pick a track or group and just dial in the -db level like a volume knob and just adjust it to hearing, like I used to do for years with the knobs on cassette decks and CD recorders! haha.
    Is the 32 bit float thing and changing the sample rate up and back down more necessary when converting High Res. to CD quality to burn a disc? I have listened to the down converted tracks and can't tell any loss of quality or difference in a negative way.
    Thank you again Gary for your help! Without you I am nothing! haha. I guess an old dog CAN learn a new trick once in a while!

  8. #8
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    Re: ReplayGain (Track gain) for dummies (ME!!!)

    good to hear that it seems to be working now. In my opinion, 32 bit rate intermediate step is rarely needed, unless you are a professional recording studio doing all sorts of DSP effects on the recording. But if you are changing bit depth from 32 or 24 to 16, then I think dither is recommended.

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