Software required to equalise volume on FLAC files

RayP

Well-known Member
Thirty years ago I recorded all my vinyl to Digital Audio Tape to ensure a perfect copy. Six years ago I recorded all those files as WAVs and then saved them as FLAC adding the meta-data by hand. Quite a task! When I recorded the vinyl I was careful to ensure only the peaks ventured into the red.

I then ripped my CD collection to FLAC. The only problem is different volume levels. I've been able to live with for a while but there's such a difference in volume between my vinyl-sourced music and CD ripped ones it's becoming tiresome to keep diving for the volume control.

I did some research and a program named MP3Gain kept coming up. I tried it but as the name suggests it's for adjusting MP3 files, not FLAC. Can anyone recommend a program to do this please? I understand it doesn't change the source files but uses tags to tell my streamer (Bluesound Node 2i) how loud to play it.

Many thanks for any advice.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
You could try Audacity. I use it fairly regularly for recording and file tailoring, and its free. I'm not sure about the option to make adjustments to multiple files simultaneously with a profile (such as adjusting levels to 0db as you can with Adobe Audacity) but you can certainly do it to individual files; it's quite comprehensive. You will need a plugin to save .FLAC files to MP3 but this is also just a free download that you run with no bother.

 

RayP

Well-known Member
Thanks Jim. I used Audacity for the conversion to WAV files and adding the metadata manually.

I've just opened up a track from a former vinyl album and viewed the metadata. I can't see an option for ReplayGain which I understand is the tag required. But having to edit each track would be a major pain. I was hoping there might be an option to standardise volume for a whole album.

I've since found a topic on the MP3tag forum where REPLAYGAIN can be added as an extra tag and whilst it then appears against all tracks for an album the field is blank with no clue on how a value is entered.

And just to confirm I don't needvMP3 files, just FLAC.
 

jimscreechy

Active Member
To be honest I'm not that knowledgeable on the software as I tend to use Audacity for that type of thing. I'd be very surprised if you couldn't do it given you've created the files with the software. I think your best bet is to consult the forums on the Audacity website (or even youtube) since you may very well have the tools to hand and need only the method. Sorry I can't help more.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
Jim, fair enough and my searching has revealed a suitable (I think) program - foobar2000. Having scanned an album folder it produced these results...

I need to do some reading but so far this appears the most likely.

Foobar2000.jpg
 

RayP

Well-known Member
Hi @brunation . Windows 10. Since my post yesterday I've experimented with setting track gain for a vinyl album - Hysteria - by Def Leppard. The results are very enouraging. dB was increased by up to 8dB. Listening to the original and those with Replay Gain there's a considerable increase in volume.

Given the process is reversible - just delete the ReplayGain metadata - I think foobar2000 is suitable for my needs. Thanks all the same.
 

GreyPangolin

Standard Member
Hi RayP,

foobar2000 definitely sounds like the way to go - really useful to know a tool like that exists. I've been looking for a non destructive way to edit metadata. Sounds like you're onto a winner. Any piece of software like audacity or audition is going to make non reversible changes to the files themselves. Thanks!
 

RayP

Well-known Member
@GreyPangolin , I'm really pleased with the results. No more grabbing the remote to adjust volume. And it's such a simple process. I had visions of having to use Audacity to increase the volume for each track for 90hrs of music which was depressing.

But using foobar it's increased the volume of vinyl-sourced music by around 8dB and for ripped CDs it's decreased it by the same. Hence why there was such a large imbalance between the two sets of music. Highly recommended!
 

rpr

Active Member
Foobar does a decent job. Also Mediamonkey adjusts albums / tracks as they're added to your media library
 

pratibha91

Novice Member
Audio should be normalized for two reasons: 1. to get the maximum volume and 2. for matching volumes of different songs or program segments. Peak normalization to 0 dBFS is a bad idea for any components to be used in a multi-track recording. As soon as extra processing or play tracks are added, the audio may overload.

to batch convert FLAC volume using Audacity:

1) Go File> Edit Chains > Add > Enter name

2) Insert > Amplify > Edit Parameters > Adjust the slider to the required dB

3) Insert > Export FLAC - Make sure this entry is after Amplify in the table, use the move up and down buttons if it isn't and you should have something that looks like the picture below, click to enlarge.

4 ) Now there is a shortcoming in Audacity that you can't set the export parameters for the file, eg bit depth ETC for MP3 or FLAC from chains so we have to set it by loading a file into audacity for editing. So click open a FLAC or MP3 file then file> export > export audio > click the drop-down menu for the file type, select FLAC and choose either 16 or 24bit depth than the quality setting of 1-8. Click cancel but Audacity will remember that you have changed the file format options ready for our batch conversion. These save parameters will also remain the next time you open audacity until you change them

5) Now to Apply our chains to our files. Go File > Apply Chains > select your chain > Chose your files> then run.

6 ) Your files should now be in a sub folder where your originals are called clean. It doesn't change your original files so if you make a mistake they remain unaltered.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
@pratibha91 - I undersnd you are providing general advice that may be helpful to some. However please take some time to read the OP and answers in the thread so your advice can be specific to the OP question. As in a few threads the OP has fixed the issue before you posted general advice not quite on topic.
 

RayP

Well-known Member
@pratibha91 , that procedure may well work but it looks hugely complex compared to foobar2000. And as @outoftheknow said, did you read my very simple solution?
 

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