07/17/2001, 6:28 am
Phily Baby wrote the following on the Winamp.com forum:
I haven't listened to the demo or what have you but am i to understand that the output for all tracks in the playlist will be the same? coz I don't really want my Lene Marlin tracks being played at the same volume as my Rammstein, Smashing Pumpkins or Deftones ones.
You have a choice - the "Radio" gain setting, which does just what you say, or the "Audiophile" gain setting - which leaves intentional volume differences intact. Lene Marlin stays quieter than Rammstein!!!
Seams a little stupid idea to be honest coz surely the encoder just encodes the tracks at the level they are on the CD which is the volume they are supposed to listened to, and who are we to argue with the decisions of the artist.
Unfortunately, this is exactly what DOESN'T happen. There's a loudness race in the (pop) music industry, where every year levels are pushed closer and closer to the maximum by the use of dynamic range compression. Which means that a Britney Spears CD from 2000 can be louder than a metal track from 1985. And an orchestra playing at full belt (over 100dB peak SPL!!!) is quieter than either, because classical music CDs haven't entered into this loudness race.
So, simply, the tracks on a CD aren't at the volume they are supposed to be listened to. On an individual CD things are OK, but between CDs, you have to adjust your volume control a lot to get the tracks to the volume they're supposed to be listened to.
You should put one quiet CD on at one level and the put a heavy one on and not change the volume, you then get the difference that was supposed to be there when the CD was made
This isn't how CDs are made. If you find you can do this with all the CDs in your collection, then you're very lucky. This would mean that all your CDs require an identical Replay Gain. In my collection (and others have confirmed this), the correct Replay Gains (to get the loud stuff loud, and the quiet stuff quiet, as you have suggested) range over 20dB!!!
Take a look at the site though - you'll see that, whilst one option is to make everything the same loudness, I'm very keen that we should have the option to have everything at the correct loudness.