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Proper playback mechanism


KeithJames
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Hi: I preview and then tweak my projects/ wav files by dragging them to iTunes and then listening to them on different devices such as the iphone, the car speakers, the iMac which is connected to moderate quality studio monitors. But I'm noticing that when I first drag a tweaked version of a song file to iTunes it plays much louder than it's prior almost twin. After a little while it goes back down to match the same volume. This opens up a whole can of worms regarding authentic listneing volume, me thinks. I have a streaming service with Apple called iTunes Match which keeps my entire library in the cloud. So when I'm listening to my files, I'm actually listening to them adjusted in volume by their player through the cloud (am I correct?). But what is more mystifying is that I'm pretty sure the change, that is, when the new file suddenly plays quieter at the like volume to it's prior "twin" on my own iTune player....well this change doesn't actually coincide with when the icons shows that it was successfully sucked up into the cloud. I'm about to submit 11 songs for a CD production. I've never done hard copy CDs and this quesiton of volume level has not entered my mind. I mean, with the releasing of downloadable mp3s, they are just being played at the appropriate volume of which ever originating player service the file finds it in. So, what if when I put my new hard copy CD of my new album in a CD player I find that the volume on the CD is actually just inappropriately loud? Lots of questions built into this post...
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I probably made this question/comment/discussion more confusing by not being sure whether the adjusted volume happens independently of the sucking up into the cloud or not. It seems that it must. I just went back to the latest file to exhibit this louder playback and subsequent reduction in volume and it is now playing at the normal volume as the others and it also has been sucked into the iTunes Match cloud. But the essential question is: How do I authentically listen to the mp3 or wav file without volume adjustment by iTunes and the Match service?
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WOW. That was a good answer! I found sound check in my iTunes. VERY interesting. I'm almost afraid to switch it off because I might discover I have a lot of level adjustments to do on the entire album project, but hey, you can't dodge reality in sound. Thank you for this clue! I will get back to this post regarding what happens when I uncheck "soundcheck."
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Interestingly enough, unchecking the soundcheck and the other optimal playback option seemed to fix it perfectly. I was expecting everything to play louder like the files were playing for a short while until they were coming back to me through the cloud because I assumed that the unwanted loudness was a product the iTunes soundcheck and optimal playback which was then being suppressed by the cloud. I REALLY don't know what is going on here or if I'm thinking this through correctly, but nonetheless the opposite happened: The playback was instantly soft or correct like it's prior twins and that was that. The playback is even handed as soon as it's on the iTunes platform now and remains so after it comes back from the cloud, the cloud which I still don't know as to whether it had anything to really do with what was going on. Bottom line is unchecking soundcheck seemingly fixed everything. Though I have to say, I still am curious about how levels are mastered onto the CD at the manufacturer, whether they do any manipulation to it all to put it in a proper realm if it is not right, etc. and how true playback in their environment to-CD is different or heard differently from playback on my personal platform. But that is something I have to ask discmakersdotcom here in the US. Thanks for solving this for me.
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