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Normalize function
Old 6th September 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
CommunityMart's Avatar
 

Normalize function

Is Normalizing bad or is normalizing bad just because you don't want me to know about it?

It seems like a great starting point to me.
Old 6th September 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
junya-eskimo's Avatar
Friends have told me that its not good, but never had any info to back up the claim..

I have never noticed any difference...

Lets see what the big boys say about it.....Go on...we are waitin for it...

cheerz

Jun
Old 6th September 2007
  #3
There are quite a few threads already on this subject, recently one in the mastering forum.
Old 6th September 2007
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Zarathustra's Avatar
 

Go ahead and normalize all the tracks in a song to -.3dbfs.

You'll discover your own argument against it.

Louder is not always better, use your head (room)

Z
Old 6th September 2007
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioMoo View Post
...and still no solid argument against it.
Besides that I know of no solid argument pro normalization, 2 against it comes to my mind:

1. It performs a floating point operation to every single sample of a file, which causes a loss of resolution when you convert the samples back to integer (i.e., while storing them in a 16- or 24 bit file). This is rather uncritical if you work with 24bit files and do proper dithering. But I definitely stopped normalizing 16bit files.

2. Since the reference for normalization is the maximum peak value rather than the "loudness" of a file, the amplification caused by normalization is usually not very musical.

Not sure why one should NEED normalization ... I'd prefer a chain like "amplification => limiter => dither" instead.
Old 6th September 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Well most computer based recording devices have specs that say something like 1 to 100 noise ratio. So if you record at 5% and normalize to 100, that's 20% noise by design.
Old 6th September 2007
  #7
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jupiter8's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CommunityMart View Post
Is Normalizing bad or is normalizing bad just because you don't want me to know about it?

It seems like a great starting point to me.
It isn't bad but i see no point in doing it. What good would it do ?
You'll need to lower the volume faders anyways later on when you mix it so it's pointless. Does'nt hurt but does'nt do any good either so why bother ?
Old 6th September 2007
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioMoo View Post
...and still no solid argument against it.
Absolutely, there is.

Here's the short version:

First there's no reason to normalize (in 99% of all cases) as it's a completely unnecessary procedure that will only bring levels closer to 0 dBFS without any quality improvements. Noise floor is also raised and gain staging at this point is written directly to the file (i.e. 24 bits or lower) as opposed to later gaining in a e.g. limiter at 32 bit float or usually higher, so you will add an additional layer of dithering or add possible quantizing errors.

Delivering a file for mastering or other processing close to or peaking at 0 dBFS can also cause distortion or clipping internally (input stage), and most certainly force makeup attenuation to avoid output clipping, even when only cutting due to the phase changes. So peak at -3 dBFS or -6 dBFS is a better aim for maximum quality.

So there is no reason for normalizing in 99% of all cases. The only point where I find normalizing justified is when comping vocals and some individual takes need pre compressor gaining (even then you could use threshold automation instead), or when dealing with massive amounts of files for low quality mediums, and normalizing instead of RMS limiting is somehow necessary.

OK, just saw a couple of other guys beat me to it..
Old 6th September 2007
  #9
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PhonoquO's Avatar
 

thanks for the interesting info Lager, you always have some valuable tidbits to contribute!
Old 6th September 2007
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
CommunityMart's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
Louder is not always better, use your head (room)
Thanks, I'll definitely keep your statement in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltermusik View Post
Not sure why one should NEED normalization ... I'd prefer a chain like "amplification => limiter => dither" instead.
No, it is not a need for me. It just seems like something the computer can do for me to get equal loudness among all of my tracks.

Not normalizing at final mixdown. I'm talking about having to pull down the tracks while mixing, not push them up.
Old 6th September 2007
  #11
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Improv's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CommunityMart View Post
It just seems like something the computer can do for me to get equal loudness among all of my tracks.
And this is where the confusion usually rests with newcomers regarding normalizing.... no offense.

Normalization will NOT achieve "equal loudness" across tracks. The apparent volume of a track has little to do with its peak level, it's more of a "peak to sustain ratio" thing, which normalization does not change. If you normalized a soft background vocal "ooooh" track (few peaks) to 100% and did the same to an acoustic guitar track (lots of peaks), the vocal would probably be orders of magnitude louder than the guitar. Too loud.

Normalization is NOT leveling. Use your faders to make your balance... the computer will NOT be able to do it for you!
Old 6th September 2007
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhonoquO View Post
thanks for the interesting info Lager, you always have some valuable tidbits to contribute!
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