MP3Gain Effect on Graphic EQ?
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Four-Four

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I run all my mp3’s through MP3Gain @ 89dB. When I compare the visual Equalizer on Winamp (not sure of the proper name, but it shows either a series of bars/levels, or in my case, a fluctuating horizontal line):

- before MP3Gaining the line has a much more ‘vibrant’ look – its peaks are higher and the troughs lower and it covers the range from top to bottom

- after MP3Gaining the line often looks virtually flat by comparison

I understand the point of MP3Gaining is to prevent clipping and to also have all files with the same reference volume while being a lossless process … but I get the feeling that my music is sounding a bit ‘dead’ after this process. Can someone explain all this and let me know if I’m talking rubbish?
 
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Alleyman

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The music is being perceived as 'dead' by your auditory senses because most likely it is of lower volume than before. Just use your volume control to bring the music back to 'life'.

The dynamics of music are not affected by MP3Gain since its an absolute and global gain change across the whole file.
 
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Four-Four

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alleyman /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The music is being perceived as 'dead' by your auditory senses because most likely it is of lower volume than before. Just use your volume control to bring the music back to 'life'.

The dynamics of music are not affected by MP3Gain since its an absolute and global gain change across the whole file.



So why does the winamp graphic EQ representation alter? Obviously, it still stays 'flat' even if I turn up my volume knob.
 
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Alleyman

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EQ meter is not even about volume or dynamics. It about the frequency distribution (bass on left to treble on the right). To check dynamics you will need a peakmeter.

A song with compressed dynamics will show a constant on the peakmeter i.e. no differences between quiet and loud parts.
 
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Four-Four

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alleyman /img/forum/go_quote.gif
EQ meter is not even about volume or dynamics. It about the frequency distribution (bass on left to treble on the right).


So is MP3Gain altering the frequency distribution? I definitely see a flatter line at 89dB and a 'wavey' one at say 93dB. Thanks for persevering with me.
 
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Alleyman

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I'm certain MP3gain can't alter the frequency distribution since that would be obvious to hear (more bass or mids or treble). In an mp3 file, every frame has a gain value and mp3gain simply changes this gain value according to its calculation.

To change the frequency distribution or the 'sound' of an mp3, one would have to decode it, run an equalizer boosting or cutting some or all frequencies and then re-encode to mp3. This would result in a (much) lower quality file.

There are tools such as Audacity (freeware) that will let you see the spectrum of the mp3 so you would know it has not been altered with. Audacity also has a peak meter built in (as well as a graphical representation of the mp3), so when you play the file it will show if the dynamics have been compressed.
 
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Four-Four

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OK, I'll have a play with Audacity tonight.

Final question: when I MP3Gain to 89dB I believe this is known as a reference volume? So, at what setting on a volume knob will the file play at 89dB? Or am I misunderstanding what a volume knob actually does
 
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Alleyman

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It is not possible to quantify the volume knob position (due to a large variety and other factors) at which your ears will percieve the sound pressure to be 89dB SPL.

A hardware SPL (Sound pressure level) meter would be needed to check when the volume has reached 89dB SPL.

Mp3Gain or Replaygain is more a measure to have equal loudness (89dB being the reference) across tracks or within an album. A measure to save one from reaching for the volume control constantly.
 
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cdmackgreen

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Hi there!
Don't use MP3 Gain!!!
I used it for my MP3 files on my Cowon iaudio A2 and i had problems with background noise. I used the undo function in the program and then used ReplayGain. Sounds great now like it should. The same files with MP3 Gain played well on my old Monolith MX 7000 2gb Premium player but not the A2 for some reason. Just to let you know it did alter the sound of the files which is not reported that widely but using ReplayGain through foobar did not. Make what you want of that!
Best Wishes to you all!
 
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