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Normalize / Level FLAC files for DAP?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by HAL lives, Apr 28, 2018.
  1. HAL lives
    Hi All

    All my FLAC files contain Replaygain Tags which work well, for the most part, in general listening on my PC.

    I've recently bought a Sony NW-A45 DAP, which doesn't read Replaygain Tags - most DAP's don't by all accounts - so my only option is to permanently normalize the files on the DAP.

    I've tried Normalizing to Peak and RMS and the results are variable to say the least, because of the way we perceive the "loudness" of different frequencies.

    "LUF's" are supposed to compensate for that... has anyone used any LUF's software to normalize their files, can anyone recommend either a standalone product or a plug-in?

  2. castleofargh Contributor
    first option, sony DAPs usually have their own "normalizer" thingy option. not everybody's a fan but it's there for easy option.
    second, if replaygain is fine for you, then just use that to set the gain level of your converted files. I personally use the converter in foobar which has the option to increase or decrease the volume of each file based on replaygain tags. with a little warning saying that this will alter the file for good instead of adding a tag. try one or 2 songs first to test, before selecting a full folder on the DAP or on your drive. select some songs in foobar's list, then right clic -> "convert" ->"..." -> "processing"-> and at the top of that pop up there is replaygain with another "..." to set up the options(per track, per album, prevent clipping, etc).
    I think the flac app itself has a command line for replaygain to change the sample value while converting instead of just holding a metadata, so I imagine most flac converters have the potential to offer that option, but my knowledge stops at foobar.

    to be clear this second solution alters the files for good, so I'd suggest to only create a µSD card with files converted that way and to keep your archive intact with only metadata tag for replaygain infos.
  3. HAL lives
    Thanks for the detailed reply, it's much appreciated, and yes, Sony has their own normalizer thingy option, and... I'm not a fan! LOL!

    I use MusicBee, and as I mentioned, the Replaygain implementation is certainly acceptable, in general listening on my PC, but even then there are certain tracks or albums that are noticeably "louder" than the rest; they generally feature instruments such as acoustic guitars, pianos, harps, gongs, bells etc... on headphones that perceived difference in loudness is, almost literally in some instances, painfully obvious.

    There is an option in MusicBee to permanently change the volume of the selected track(s) to the Replaygain value instead of just writing tags, so I'll have to try that on some sample tracks and see what they sound like on the Sony.

    Thanks again.
  4. Roseval
    I don’t have MusicBee in front of me but if I remember correctly one can apply volume leveling when synchronizing
  5. HAL lives
    You're right Roseval, the option to apply volume leveling to the file when synchronizing your music and playlists to a DAP is certainly in the settings, but it just writes the Replaygain Tags on-the-fly, it doesn't permanently change the volume of the files being transferred.

    MusicBee does have the option to permanently change the volume of the files instead of writing tags, but it means I'll have to create a duplicate of my music library for the Sony, something I was trying to avoid.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  6. Roseval

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