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XLD DSF to FLAC Converion: Lower Volume Level Despite 6dB Gain Adjustment


dbtom2
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I'm converting a DSD 64 album download.

 

I'm using XLD and even though I've set the gain adjustment to 6dB, the resultant files are much lower in volume than the originals.

 

I'm using Roon to play back the tracks. Even in Roon the dynamic range graph for the converted tracks is much smaller.

 

When I analyze the converted tracks using Xivero's MusicScope program the loudness measures 6dB less than the original tracks.

 

Is there an XLD plugin I'm missing? Is there a setting I should be using?

 

Whether the conversion is a 8:1 decimation or a converted to a 88 or 176 sample rate (at 24 bits) it doesn't make a difference.

 

Any suggestions?

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Well, I think I sort of figured this out. For some reason when I set the XLD DSD import setting Gain Adjustment to 5dB instead of 6dB, the conversion from DSD64 to 24/88 worked with no perceptible decrease in loudness. This is confirmed by listening in Roon and running the MusicScope analysis.

 

Why the 5dB Gain Adjustment worked and the 6dB didn't is the question I have now.

 

I think I attempted to convert the album and run MusicScope on the conversion at least 20 times before success.

 

Thanks for reading, if not replying.

 

T.

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This turned out okay although I can't explain why.

 

After I considered the "whys?" of XLD adjusting the gain +5dB I tried the conversion one last time at +6dB and it worked!

 

I don't have an explanation for this other than the iMac got rebooted a few times between the earlier failed conversions and the penultimate +5dB conversion. I read someplace that XLD can behave inconsistently so I guess I can blame that (although I know there's a logical explanation that rests with my setup.)

 

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions and offered encouragement. ;)

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This turned out okay although I can't explain why.

 

After I considered the "whys?" of XLD adjusting the gain +5dB I tried the conversion one last time at +6dB and it worked!

 

I don't have an explanation for this other than the iMac got rebooted a few times between the earlier failed conversions and the penultimate +5dB conversion. I read someplace that XLD can behave inconsistently so I guess I can blame that (although I know there's a logical explanation that rests with my setup.)

 

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions and offered encouragement. ;)

 

Note that XLD doesn't check for peak volumes, and depending on the source material adding to much gain can cause clipping in your conversions. Either one could use an editor program to determine the peak volume to set manually in XLD, or use other pay for tools such as DSD Master that scans the files and sets the gain for you per album/track. I re-did many pf my DSD files and found that +6dB was too loud for some.

2011 Mac Mini (16GB RAM) --> Audirvana Plus --> M2Tech HiFace2 --> Emotiva XDA-1 DAC --> B&K Reference 31 --> B&K 2140 (2-channel) + B&K 3140 (3-channel) --> Energy RC-30 Reference Connoisseur (Mains) + Energy RC-10 (Surrounds)

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Note that XLD doesn't check for peak volumes, and depending on the source material adding to much gain can cause clipping in your conversions. Either one could use an editor program to determine the peak volume to set manually in XLD, or use other pay for tools such as DSD Master that scans the files and sets the gain for you per album/track. I re-did many pf my DSD files and found that +6dB was too loud for some.

 

Appledave,

 

Thank you for your input. And DSD Master is on my shopping list as I realized that it's prescan analysis is great for these kinds of conversions. Yet, for the few DSF files in my collection I'm not yet sure the investment would be useful.

 

If you're interested, I ran MusicScope (ver 1.8.2) on both the original and the resultant files from the conversion. Admittedly, I don't know what many of the terms mean but I was pleased that the conversion's values were very close to the original. Here's a MusicScope plot of the original DSF:

 

Before conversion.jpg

 

Here's a MusicScope plot of the file converted to 16 bit / 44.1 resolution:

 

After Converions.jpg

 

The value seem very close and it doesn't appear that clipping will be an issue - even with the +6dB gain boost.

 

Any insights you may be willing to share would be greatly appreciated.

The original DSF is a track from an album downloaded from a reputable website. It is unavailable on CD here in the USA so the only version I could find to purchase was a DSD download. Jazz piano and drummer. Plenty of brushed cymbals. A Bill Evans type of performance.

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