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Best way to increase volume

 
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rmathes



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject: Best way to increase volume Reply with quote

I've got course material on MP3 that I listen to in the car via my iPod. Most of the time it's fine but for the Question and Answer segments, for some reason these are recorded at too low a volume. Once I get up to freeway speed, the road noise drowns out the audio.

What I usually do with these kinds of things, especially if the questions are coming in over phone lines, is this:

1. Convert the MP3 to AIFF
2. Run that file through Levelator (a great program someone here actually told me about, needs a WAV or AIFF file, though)
3. Then take the AIFF file and increase volume 50%
4. Apply a 10 band EQ for spoken material that emphasizes mid range frequencies.
5. Then save back to MP3.

Usually that gives me an acceptable result. But with this material, once I ran through that process the sound quality is horrible, I'm guessing it's clipping or something. Sounds all scratchy and tinny.

So my question is, does anyone have any suggestions for how to do this and get a better end result?

Also, can someone tell me, does the 'normalize' function in this app do something equivalent to what Levelator does? For those not familiar with it, it's designed to take a file where there are volume disparities in different parts of the file and to eliminate those disparities, to give you a file where the volume is fairly constant.

Again, I want these to put on an iPod in as compact a file size as possible and the sound quality doesn't have to be anything special, it's just mono/spoken word stuff.

I appreciate any input, thank you.
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Jim Edgar



Joined: 01 Mar 2010
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:35 pm    Post subject: Best way to increase volume Reply with quote

I'm not familiar with Levelator, but by itself, "Normalize" brings
the maximum level to a set output (i.e. -2 db).

So, the driving factor on the output level will be whether you have a
spike of sound keeping the overall level relatively low. If someone
says "WOW!" at -2db, but the rest of the conversation is at -20db, and
you normalize, there won't be much change.

To get the maximum amount of consistent output, I'd use a compression
function to reduce output variance, then use the "Normalize" function.

I also do not do any EQ after Normalization or Compression -
basically, you want to get the best quality sound first, then finish
by compressing and normalizing. That's essentially what radio does to
their signal. You lose subtle dynamic range, but end up with a signal
you can reliably hear.

Basically, I'll EQ first, then use the AUDynamics Processor preset
"Fast and Smooth", then Normalize to -2db for most of my stuff.

Since the file has already been compressed when converted to mp3, you
may be getting into trouble with your sound quality by coming out of
mp3 and then going back - I'd try to avoid that if possible. The steps
above let you leave it in mp3.

If everything is sound scratchy/tinny, there may have been distortion
of some type in the original sound file. Depending on what happened
there, it might not be fixable.

Hope that helps,

- Jim



--
Jim Edgar

jimedgarvoices@gmail.com
http://www.jimedgarvoices.com

On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 6:35 AM, rmathes <forum2mail@hairersoft.com> wrote:
Quote:
I've got course material on MP3 that I listen to in the car via my iPod.  Most of the time it's fine but for the Question and Answer segments, for some reason these are recorded at too low a volume.  Once I get up to freeway speed, the road noise drowns out the audio.

What I usually do with these kinds of things, especially if the questions are coming in over phone lines, is this:

1.  Convert the MP3 to AIFF
2.  Run that file through Levelator (a great program someone here actually told me about, needs a WAV or AIFF file, though)
3.  Then take the AIFF file and increase volume 50%
4.  Apply a 10 band EQ for spoken material that emphasizes mid range frequencies.
5.  Then save back to MP3.

Usually that gives me an acceptable result.  But with this material, once I ran through that process the sound quality is horrible, I'm guessing it's clipping or something.  Sounds all scratchy and tinny.

So my question is, does anyone have any suggestions for how to do this and get a better end result?

Also, can someone tell me, does the 'normalize' function in this app do something equivalent to what Levelator does?  For those not familiar with it, it's designed to take a file where there are volume disparities in different parts of the file and to eliminate those disparities, to give you a file where the volume is fairly constant.

Again, I want these to put on an iPod in as compact a file size as possible and the sound quality doesn't have to be anything special, it's just mono/spoken word stuff.

I appreciate any input, thank you.




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rmathes



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jim, thanks.

What is the 'fast and smooth' processor, and where can I find it within this app?

I appreciate your thoughtful response, will save for reference and experiment with your suggestions.
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Jim Edgar



Joined: 01 Mar 2010
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject: Best way to increase volume Reply with quote

"Effects" menu
then:
-->Audio Units
---->Apple

Then Select "AUDynamics Processor"

"Fast and Smooth" is a preset of the processor.

--
Jim Edgar

jimedgarvoices@gmail.com
http://www.jimedgarvoices.com


On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 8:42 AM, rmathes <forum2mail@hairersoft.com> wrote:
Quote:
Hi Jim, thanks.

What is the 'fast and smooth' processor, and where can I find it within this app?

I appreciate your thoughtful response, will save for reference and experiment with your suggestions.
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Gerard Bik



Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Posts: 353

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:02 pm    Post subject: Best way to increase volume Reply with quote

This setup should work fine except for step 3.
Increase volume with 50% is probably too much.
The normalize function is what you need. Try normalizing to 98% maximal sample value. This cannot produce clipping.
The Levelator should have given you a consisten level already.

Try Jim's suggestions also, and compare results.
Gerard


Quote:
I've got course material on MP3 that I listen to in the car via my iPod. Most of the time it's fine but for the Question and Answer segments, for some reason these are recorded at too low a volume. Once I get up to freeway speed, the road noise drowns out the audio.

What I usually do with these kinds of things, especially if the questions are coming in over phone lines, is this:

1. Convert the MP3 to AIFF
2. Run that file through Levelator (a great program someone here actually told me about, needs a WAV or AIFF file, though)
3. Then take the AIFF file and increase volume 50%
4. Apply a 10 band EQ for spoken material that emphasizes mid range frequencies.
5. Then save back to MP3.

Usually that gives me an acceptable result. But with this material, once I ran through that process the sound quality is horrible, I'm guessing it's clipping or something. Sounds all scratchy and tinny.

So my question is, does anyone have any suggestions for how to do this and get a better end result?

Also, can someone tell me, does the 'normalize' function in this app do something equivalent to what Levelator does? For those not familiar with it, it's designed to take a file where there are volume disparities in different parts of the file and to eliminate those disparities, to give you a file where the volume is fairly constant.

Again, I want these to put on an iPod in as compact a file size as possible and the sound quality doesn't have to be anything special, it's just mono/spoken word stuff.

I appreciate any input, thank you.




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Website: http://www.biknewz.nl
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