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Normalizing? Leveling? Clarification please

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About the time I think I know the difference between normalizing, leveling, etc. I read something somewhere that confuses me - I have the feeling that the various terms get used interchangeably even though there is an actual difference in their meaning.


I need some clarification in reference to this use: I will not be applying this alteration to my main archived files; however, I want a set of files that have been adjusted to keep the volume level from jumping around from song to song. Replay gain is not an option (my Cowon D2 doesn't recognize it) and I don't want compression. I want the full range of dynamics in each song's recording to be preserved - but I want the overall volume of the track averaged and adjusted higher or lower in reference to other tracks.


So what is it that I want to use?




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What you want to achieve seems to be a contradiction at present. The process of normalizing or leveling will alter the audio. There has been much debate regarding Replay Gain (considered by many as the best option to adjust audio to comparable volume levels) as it seems that it too may interfere with quality.


I'm not sure there is an easy solution for you, aside from adjusting volume 'on the fly' when required.


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Not sure about the difference between normalization and leveling...


... but since your Cowon D2 doesn't recognize replaygain, and you don't want compression (leaving mp3gain out too), I think that leaves the option of only altering the your main files (that I suspect are FLAC files... ).


For this you can use foobar2000, for which there are two kinds of normalization/leveling : Album gain and Track gain. Just be careful of altering the copies and not the originals.


Try to experiment with some files first, and compare them to the originals. This way you can decide for yourself while you listen if it met your expectations.


... cuida las aves.

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