What dB should I normalize music to?

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Mad_Scientist
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What dB should I normalize music to?

#1 Post by Mad_Scientist » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:08 pm

I am, unfortunately, a complete newbie when it comes to sound and music. However, I was able to at least figure out that I should probably use something like Audacity to normalize the music I am using, since I am getting tracks from various sources and I don't want people playing my VN to constantly have to adjust the volume.

The thing is, I have no idea what dB level I should normalize to. So I would appreciate help with that, as well as any other guidance advice people have regarding audio levels. Thanks.
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Re: What dB should I normalize music to?

#2 Post by canyouseeitnow » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:45 pm

You need to get the average dB level, and just pick a number to normalize all track to.

http://ugocapeto.blogspot.com/2011/07/h ... el-in.html

The issue is that compression varies, and normalize means you just look at the peak values, but it's the average perceived loudness that matters. RMS or Average levels take you closer to this value, but even then, it varies. More trebly songs can have lower RMS but be perceived "louder."

Furthermore, some songs are meant to be *softer* so you can't just go for RMS alone. Like a piano song compared to upbeat music.

Just manually adjust the volume for each song as you feel comfortable.

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Re: What dB should I normalize music to?

#3 Post by Mad_Scientist » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:31 pm

Yah, I noticed after I posted this how certain songs would sound much louder even when normalized to the same level. Thanks for the advice.
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Re: What dB should I normalize music to?

#4 Post by LeetMusic » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:37 pm

Different kinds of music are mastered at different amounts of loudness and dynamic. For example pop / rock music is usually mastered louder and with less* dynamic range than classical music. More compression, etc. If that helps.
Last edited by LeetMusic on Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What dB should I normalize music to?

#5 Post by canyouseeitnow » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:54 pm

LeetMusic wrote:Different kinds of music are mastered at different amounts of loudness and dynamic. For example pop / rock music is usually mastered louder and with more dynamic range than classical music. More compression, etc. If that helps.
You have it backwards. Rock/pop is mastered with less dynamic range than classical music.

Dynamic range is the difference between the softest part, and the loudest part of a song, and can be measured via certain algorithms that determines a rolling average of loudness (RMS) vs peak ratio. A rock/pop song is generally just overall loud and thus has less difference compared to a classical piece, which will have quiet sections, explosive sections and build ups etc.

The main use of compression is to even out the quiet sections and the loud section so the difference is not so drastic, and is generally used to reduce dynamic range. However, compression can also be used to increase dynamic range, that is, they allow the attack of sound wave through, and compress the release so that it has more dynamic range. The application varies in general. I am just correcting you on the overall concept of dynamic range. Compression=/=dynamic range.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ

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Re: What dB should I normalize music to?

#6 Post by LeetMusic » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:14 pm

Oops that's what I meant! :P

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