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Normalizing?


mrmeoff

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After recording some guitar, drums, etc., should I normalize each audio file/track in the arrange window? :?:

 

IMO Never! If you wanted a more limited dynamic range and gifger perceived volume as so many recording artists/companies sadly want today use compresssors, erc, but do not screw with the audio file eliminating any headroom.

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This should be emphasised: changing peak level is not neccssarily the same as changing dynamic range. Dynamics are changed by compression and limiting (or expansion), not by normalizing.

 

I don't see the problem with normalizing if it simply means bringing the maximum level up to zero -which is what normalizing actually does mean. Relative dynamics stay unchanged. The dynamic range is only changed by normalizing if you do it in conjunction with some kind of limiting, sometimes also referred to as "mastering". That will squash the dynamics and a lot of people are starting to find that kind of sound less appealing these days.

 

A file which peaks at 0db is generally easier to work with when mixing and editing- you have the most effective range of physical fader movement to work with, and the graphic waveform display will tell you a lot about the audio too.

 

You also don't always have to "normalize" to Odb either - "normalizing" is also used to mean changing the maximum level. When I'm mixing for TV, I often normalize my audio to -10db because that"s a level where it's easier to mix with dialogue. But Logic's Normalizing function *does* always bring the maximum level up to 0db. Using the Gain Change function, as pointed out, allows you to raise or lower the peak level of the audio file by a different amount.

 

The program Sample Manager has a great normalizing function, for batch or individual files, to any level between -24 and 0db.

 

RR

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Thanks RR thats what I was thinking. The only time that normalizing could actually pose a problem is with the noise floor issue but thats all pending on your tracking.

 

You got it :-)

 

Thanks RR thats what I was thinking. The only time that normalizing could actually pose a problem is with the noise floor issue but thats all pending on your tracking.

 

Ask any mastering engineer what they think about normalizing.

 

Jay, any mastering engineer *uses* normalization AFAIK. There are differences of opinion as to when the normalizing should be applied, but that's hi-end discussion. That's a separate issue from the matter of preserving dynamics. Normalization changes the peak level, not the relative levels within a piece. I'm not a pro sound engineer, but Googling or looking in Wikipedia for "audio normalization" is pretty clear with that definition and it's not a mysterious thing.

 

Mastering is a whole other ball game -which I think is your point, isn't it? If not, some more explanation could be interesting & helpful ;-)

 

RR

Edited by rikki rivett
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But Logic's Normalizing function *does* always bring the maximum level up to 0db. RR

 

"Settings" in the audio window.

 

You can set normalization at anything you'd like here.

 

Do it everyday.

 

WHERE you set this stuff is often wholly dependant upon what you have determined about this activities(normalization) effect upon the OUTPUT of audio at any given DA... as much as one's estimation about where internal fader lie will be optimized for most efficent use of both aggregate system headroom ITB, or, in my case, because I sum in an external device(mixing desk), OTB.

 

As an earlier poster noted you can always use 'gain change' to trim your efforts, with the understanding that EVERY successive rendering must, by virtue of how these systems work, increase word length, and thereby, MAY start to eventually inpact the sonics of the source file adversely.

 

Example:

 

I run several types of DA's in my shop. Some of which sound MUCH BETTER when they are NOT running at the TOP of their output range.

 

Like everything else.... It's a question of experimenting with your particular system to determine what WORKS and SOUNDS best for you.

 

Happy Holidays everybody!!!

 

Best to all,

 

SM.

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Thanks RR thats what I was thinking. The only time that normalizing could actually pose a problem is with the noise floor issue but thats all pending on your tracking.

 

You got it :-)

 

Thanks RR thats what I was thinking. The only time that normalizing could actually pose a problem is with the noise floor issue but thats all pending on your tracking.

 

Ask any mastering engineer what they think about normalizing.

 

Jay, any mastering engineer *uses* normalization AFAIK. There are differences of opinion as to when the normalizing should be applied, but that's hi-end discussion. That's a separate issue from the matter of preserving dynamics. Normalization changes the peak level, not the relative levels within a piece. I'm not a pro sound engineer, but Googling or looking in Wikipedia for "audio normalization" is pretty clear with that definition and it's not a mysterious thing.

 

Mastering is a whole other ball game -which I think is your point, isn't it? If not, some more explanation could be interesting & helpful ;-)

 

RR

 

Actually in my experience most M.E.s use limiting/compressing much more than normalizing from a "Normalize" command. From what i understand normalizing does a lot of non-linear things mathematically that can vary greatly from algorhthm to algorhthm and Logic's is not so hotsy-totsy.

 

My argument is you can achieve basically the same results in less destructive ways for stuff you will not be taking to be mastered and if it is to be mastered, the M.E. will not want you to do this before you bring it to him.

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[

 

Actually in my experience most M.E.s use limiting/compressing much more than normalizing from a "Normalize" command. From what i understand normalizing does a lot of non-linear things mathematically that can vary greatly from algorhthm to algorhthm and Logic's is not so hotsy-totsy.

 

My argument is you can achieve basically the same results in less destructive ways for stuff you will not be taking to be mastered and if it is to be mastered, the M.E. will not want you to do this before you bring it to him.

 

Ok, thanks, that makes sense. Gives us something to chew on ;-) . As always, it depends what you're planning to do with the material. If it'll basically never leave Logic before being burned to CD or whatever, maybe it's not that significant a difference?

 

Sometimes digital seems more of a black art than analogue ever was, right?

 

RR

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[

 

Actually in my experience most M.E.s use limiting/compressing much more than normalizing from a "Normalize" command. From what i understand normalizing does a lot of non-linear things mathematically that can vary greatly from algorhthm to algorhthm and Logic's is not so hotsy-totsy.

 

My argument is you can achieve basically the same results in less destructive ways for stuff you will not be taking to be mastered and if it is to be mastered, the M.E. will not want you to do this before you bring it to him.

 

Ok, thanks, that makes sense. Gives us something to chew on ;-) . As always, it depends what you're planning to do with the material. If it'll basically never leave Logic before being burned to CD or whatever, maybe it's not that significant a difference?

 

Sometimes digital seems more of a black art than analogue ever was, right?

 

RR

 

Well, first of all anything I record is going to leave Logic before it is burned to a CD. Either it will be going to an M.E., an engineer's PT HD rig for mixing, a post house, or at a minimum into Waveburner to burn the CD where I can alter it non-destructively with plug-ins for the purpose of the CD without permanently altering the waveform..

 

My basic approach is always this: never do anything destructively when you can accomplish the same goal non-destructively.

 

The same was true for me in analog actually, which is why I never recorded tracks printed with reverb, eq, and more than the absolulue minimum of limiting/compression.

 

I just don't believe in painting one's self into corners.

 

It is, pun intended, a zero sum game.

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