• QuadraphonicQuad welcomes you and encourages your participation! Treat all members with respect. Please keep all discussions civil, even when you have a strong opinion on a particular topic.

    Do not offer for free, offer for sale, offer for trade, or request copies or files of copyrighted material - no matter how rare or unavailable to the public they might be. We do not condone the illegal sharing of music. There are many places on the internet where you can participate in such transactions, but QuadraphonicQuad is not one of them. We are here to encourage and support new multichannel releases from those companies that still provide them and as such the distribution of illegal copies of recordings is counter-productive to that effort. Any posts of this sort will be deleted without notification.

    Please try to avoid discussions that pit one format against another. Hint for new users: make liberal use of the search facilities here at QuadraphonicQuad. Our message base is an incredibly rich resource of detailed information on virtually all topics pertaining to surround-sound. You will be surprised at what you can find with a little digging!

Who uses ReplayGain when Playing Music?

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

HomerJAU

Moderator: MCH Media Players
Staff member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
3,103
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I play all my multichannel music these days from FLAC files and the different volume levels between tracks/albums used to have me constantly changing my volume up and down to compensate.

I started using ReplayGain which normalises the sound levels without actually altering the audio stream stored in any files. The required loudness level (+/- db) is just tagged as metadata. Most playback software and devices will change the volume level as tagged (RepalyGain) during playback. This has worked great for my Kodi playback, especially as I often play many songs from many different albums mastered at different levels.

Just wondering what others do?

I'm just about finished adding a new tool in Music Media Helper that implements ITU-R BS.1770 using the BS1770GAIN program, primarily as I had applied ReplayGain to some of my files as part of my original conversion from discs and I wanted a way to see which albums/files I'd done and which ones needed to be done. Once I had that list I figured it would be nice to scan the files not done and apply the ReplayGain tags at the same time.

Info on the BS1770GAIN ReplayGain tool:
Audio from different sources can be expected to be different loud and it would be nice to automatically adapt all these audio sources to the same loudness. Fortunately the ITU-R in their BS.1770 standard defines an algorithm which makes it possible to measure the loudness of a certain audio source, including multichannel

BS1770GAIN implements the ITU-R BS.1770 loudness measurement algorithm and makes it accessible to a user in several ways as known from the EBU R128 standard, i.e.

  • measurement of the integrated loudness,
  • measurement of the maximum short term loudness,
  • measurement of the maximum momentary loudness, and
  • measurement of the loudness range.

The integrated loudness is the two phase gated measurement of the mean loudness as described by ITU-R BS.1770. All measures are described in detail by EBU R128.

On top of that BS1770GAIN provides to additional measures not related to loudness:
  • measurement of the maximum sample peak (ordinary peak), and
  • measurement of the maximum true peak (peak due to upsampling)

This is an interesting document on ITU-R BS.1770 which also discusses how multichannel loudness is measured:
https://reva.blob.core.windows.net/mmh/BS.1770-4-201510-I.pdf
 

steelydave

Moderator
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Apr 21, 2002
Messages
1,874
Location
Toronto, ON
I've been using it for years - I discovered it originally because when I was out and about with my mp3 player I'd just run all my tracks on shuffle, and there were a few occasions where the difference in volume between one track and the next was so great that it would scare the crap out of me. I probably looked like I was having some kind of random seizure to people passing me on the street, but thankfully it was in London and people just ignore that kind of stuff because the city is full of weirdos. ;)

I got tired of having to have my hand on my mp3 player to ride the volume control between tracks, so I did some googling and found out about ReplayGain. It's actually how I discovered Foobar, because at the time it was one of the only free applications that could scan and apply ReplayGain metadata to files.

Since then it's become a standard part of my ripping process (rip -> mp3tag -> replaygain -> dynamic range meter) and all my music from lowly mp3 up to hi-rez multichannel has ReplayGain info. It's great to be able to just "set and forget" my volume level on whatever device I'm using and not have to worry about having my speakers or ears destroyed by something that's too loud.

The other benefit for me, and this applies mostly to mobile/DAP use is that the replaygain adjustment is applied before any EQ - a lot of modern stuff is mastered as close to 0dB as possible, and if you try to EQ it at all, it ends up pushing the result over 0dB and you get distortion. With ReplayGain activated you usually get 6 or 8dB of headroom and you can do some EQing without worrying that anything is going to be distorted.
 

dr. simple

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
1,401
Location
Ohio
I have never used ReplayGain, but I am intrigued.

A couple questions:
1. When computing ReplayGain values with Foobar, does Foobar automatically update the tags so all I need to do is set my player to apply them?
2. Garry: How is the tool you're creating for your Music Helper different from what Foobar does? It appears that the difference is in how the values are computed, no?

Thanks to both of you for opening my eyes (or ears, as it were).

Paul
 

skherbeck

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Apr 15, 2015
Messages
2,994
Location
SoCal, USA
While I don't use ReplayGain, I do listen to all my favorite surround tracks played back randomly through foobar... any time I obtain a new surround disc, I rip the files to flac. I save the unaltered disc rip (flac files) on several hard drives, but I take my favorite tracks from that disc and process them in Audacity: I add/remove silence from the beginning and end of the track as needed, adjust rear levels if necessary, combine multiple tracks into one track (for example , a song "intro" combined with the follow-up track), and in some cases make more radical sound tweaks (adjust bass, center channel volume, enhance an element buried in the mix... whatever I think I can do to make the track sound it's best); then I adjust the overall volume level of the track to what sounds good on my system at my normal listening volume. I save all these "custom" tracks in folders of various genres, so when I'm in the mood for rock, I open my "rock surround" folder and shuffle the tracks... then I only hear the best surround tracks played randomly. Given that there are some albums I have where I only like one or two tracks, this works out really well, as I otherwise wouldn't pull those discs off the shelf at all.

The obvious drawback is all the extra hard drive space I'm using (but the custom tracks are worth it!:)
 

HomerJAU

Moderator: MCH Media Players
Staff member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
3,103
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I have never used ReplayGain, but I am intrigued.

A couple questions:
1. When computing ReplayGain values with Foobar, does Foobar automatically update the tags so all I need to do is set my player to apply them?
2. Garry: How is the tool you're creating for your Music Helper different from what Foobar does? It appears that the difference is in how the values are computed, no?

Thanks to both of you for opening my eyes (or ears, as it were).

Paul
Answers:
1. Foobar calculates the ReplayGain for all the selected files and shows it in a list. You can then Update for all, which saves the replaygain tags to your files.
2. Not much difference. From what I've seen the BS.1770 ReplayGain values (in MMH) are just slightly different by around +1db (louder)

Example (the existing values are Foobar replaygains - Anayzed by BS1770gain using MMH):



From a usability perspective the difference between Foobar and MMH:
  • MMH can show you the current replaygan values without processing what the new values would be (very fast) - This was the primary reason for me to add the tool as only about half my files had replaygain. Foobar doesn't do this. (I try to remember to apply replaygain after each new conversion but often forget). Now its easy to find what need to be done.
  • Foobar process the loudness/replay gain faster at the moment (originally I didn't realise Foobar could do all album folders recursively, after I started writing the MMH tool to do bulk/batch recursive replaygain update I discovered Foobar could do it :))
  • My understanding is that MMH (with BS1770gain) uses a more accurate implementation of measuring loudness (I may be incorrect), but if the replaygain values are only around +1db different then its not significant. The difference will probably vary on for each album though.

The first listed is pretty useful as it finds what needs to be done. For you its everything. For me I had no idea which albums hadn't been done previously.
 

steelydave

Moderator
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Apr 21, 2002
Messages
1,874
Location
Toronto, ON
I have never used ReplayGain, but I am intrigued.

A couple questions:
1. When computing ReplayGain values with Foobar, does Foobar automatically update the tags so all I need to do is set my player to apply them?

Thanks to both of you for opening my eyes (or ears, as it were).

Paul
I think Garry's basically covered how to do it in foobar, but you basically highlight the files you want the ReplayGain data to be calculated for, right click, go in to the 'ReplayGain' submenu, and there are a few choices. Basically these pertain to the fact that there are two ReplayGain values that can be saved - an individual track value, and an album value. I always pick 'Scan selection as album (by tags)' which saves both the individual track gain, as well as an album gain, for all tracks with the same album name. The point of the album gain value is so if you're listening to entire albums from beginning to end (rather than shuffling tracks) it'll just calculate an overall volume for the whole album, rather than varying the volume of the individual tracks.

So foobar saves the ReplayGain information as a metadata value in the track's tag, and then your playback software (if it supports ReplayGain) will either turn the volume of the track up or down based on the ReplayGain data - the process isn't destructive at all, ie. it doesn't take the ReplayGain data and actually change the file based on it, it's just telling your playback software (or hardware) if the track needs to be quieter or louder. More and more playback hardware and software seems to be supporting it - I buy my portable hardware players based on support for it, and my last two both have (Sansa Clip Zip running Rockbox firmware previously, and now my FiiO X3 2nd gen) and when I was going through the settings of Kodi there's a whole section devoted to ReplayGain support where you can adjust values and tell it if you want it to use album gain or track gain etc.

It's become such an important thing to me now that i don't think I'd use something that didn't support it now!
 

dr. simple

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
1,401
Location
Ohio
Garry -

First off, I can't emphasize enough how helpful you have been to this forum and to me personally when it comes to HTPCs.

That being said, I really don't want to sound like I'm being critical or complaining - I'm sure there's an answer and I just haven't found it...

I installed MMH 3.4.0 today and I'm excited about applying the ReplayGain tags to my 1,500 albums in flac format. However, I'm afraid at how much time it will take so I want to do just a couple letters of the alphabet at a time. My question is, when selecting a source directory, is there anyway to re-sort the subdirectories? Mine looks like this:

MMH Directories.jpg

Thanks again for all your help.

Paul
 

HomerJAU

Moderator: MCH Media Players
Staff member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
3,103
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hi Paul.

The unsorted folder view in MMH is a known issue caused by the DevExpress library I’m using when viewing a Linux file system (Your NAS). I reported it to the vendor a couple months ago and it is on their ‘fix’ list. They provide updates about once a month with one due very soon so it may get fixed soon. EDIT: Now fixed in MMH

In the mean time, with such a big library and all to do, I’d recommend using Foobar. Use its ‘Open a Folder’ menu and select multiple folders so you can select a known chunk, all A-G etc

Footbar is faster too. I intend adding multi-threading to MMH so it will process multiple albums in parallel in next MMH release to speed things up.

Thanks for you feedback.

PS. Wow 1500 albums! It doesn’t seem that long ago you only just started converting to a NAS. You have been very busy!
 
Last edited:

dr. simple

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
1,401
Location
Ohio
Garry -

As always, thank you for your quick and thorough response. Some things I've learned:

1. I'm glad I read your post, because I was using MMH to scan only my multichannel albums (about 1/4 of the total), and it looked like it was going to take 20 hours, just to scan them, i.e., not scan and update. I used Foobar and added ReplayGain info to 20,000 tracks in a few hours.

2. A note to anyone who chooses to do this: It will take a while for your media player to update after you add the ReplayGain info.

3. Here is something I found very interesting: When scanning albums, Foobar treats compilations differently. It seems to treat all the individual songs separately, but creates different values for "album gain" versus "track gain":

Screenshot (6).jpg

There were a few compilations, however, that Foobar DID treat as albums. For example, my vinyl rips of American Top 40 radio shows were treated like all other albums, even though they could be considered compilations. Also, Lee Ritenour's "Six String Theory" was treated like all other albums, even though it could be considered a compilation.

Anyway, now for the most important part: back to listening!
 

dr. simple

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
1,401
Location
Ohio
OMG this is the BEST. I just played the following utilizing ReplayGain, never touching the volume:

1. "Fool For Your Love" from a remaster of Triumph's "Allied Forces" that I bought without checking the DR database. It's brickwalled to hell and back.
2. "No Time For Talk" from Christopher Cross' second album. I can't even look at the CD without thinking, "Man, that's mastered really low."
3. "I'll Take My Chances" by The Click Five. A perfect example of modern brickwalled power pop (but catchy tunes!)
4. "Lessons Learned" by Dan Fogelberg. Oddly, it seems to me that every Dan Fogelberg CD I have is mastered at the same low level.

I realize that musically the above selections might cause whiplash, but I really wanted to enjoy the benefits of ReplayGain and I wasn't disappointed.

Wow. I can't recommend this enough. Thank you, Garry and steelydave! And the answer to the thread title, in my opinion, is "I don't know, but everyone SHOULD!"
 

dr. simple

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
1,401
Location
Ohio
Ah! I just figured out why Foobar was not recognizing compilations for album gain levels: because for compilations, I always change the year in the tag to the year the song was released. And even though my vinyl rips of American Top 40 are compilations, I use the year of the broadcast date for all songs. The same with Six String Theory - a compilation, but all songs were released at the same time.

And just now it occured to me why there are different levels for track gain and album gain for songs in a compilation: Because Foobar is taking all the songs on the compilation with the same year and grouping them into an "album". If you look at the screenshot I posted above, the songs on The Best of The Tubes that were originally from the same album (and hence have the same year in the tags) all have the same album gain.
 

HomerJAU

Moderator: MCH Media Players
Staff member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
3,103
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Just a quick note on album gain:

You can force Foobar to ignore tagging when calculating album gain by using the option 'scan by folder' (or something similar, I can't remember the exact menu option but it's 'by folder')

MMH always calculates album gain by folder.

In both above scenarios album gain calc includes all the tracks in a folder regardless of tagging (album name, year, album artist etc).
 

dr. simple

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
1,401
Location
Ohio
Just a quick note on album gain:

You can force Foobar to ignore tagging when calculating album gain by using the option 'scan by folder' (or something similar, I can't remember the exact menu option but it's 'by folder')

MMH always calculates album gain by folder.

In both above scenarios album gain calc includes all the tracks in a folder regardless of tagging (album name, year, album artist etc).
I just realized that, and right before reading your post I rescanned the Billy Joel "My Lives" box set using "Scan selection as a single album" in Foobar.

Thanks again for starting this thread - ReplayGain is a VERY cool tool. And I've found both MMH and Foobar to be useful in this process. I like that with MMH I could scan everything and discover that I had two files that could not be updated. With further investigation, one was corrupt and the other had some odd cue information in it.
 

gwlbe

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
Messages
25
Location
6945
Longtime lurker with my first post/?. Thanks for the tip of using RelayGain for multichannel files. Although I have used ReplayGain for 2.0 tracks with Kodi (xbmc user since I first modded an original xbox), I never tried it with MCH FLAC. For MP3 and AAC I use MP3Gain. However, my query is regarding DD 5.1 is there a similar solution. I ask because I have approximately 4,000 music videos from various sources that I shuffle with KODI. MP3Gain works well for mp4 2.0 files but will not work for 5.1 files AAC or AC3. Most of my 5.1 music videos are concert rips while the 2.0 files are captures from various sources (mostly MTV Classic and now Youtube). Any suggests would be greatly appreciated. BTW I find MMH an excellent tool.
 

HomerJAU

Moderator: MCH Media Players
Staff member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
3,103
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Welcome to QQ!

From memory the BS1770gain program (used by MMH) was written with TV broadcasting in mind and it does support video audio but I’m unsure if it supports AC3 and AAC codecs I’ll check and post here later.
 

HomerJAU

Moderator: MCH Media Players
Staff member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
3,103
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I can confirm BS1770gain does do replay gain on video files. It uses libraries from FFmpeg so it should handle all FFmpeg supported codecs (which it just about everything, certainly AC3, AAC, FLAC and DTS).

Next question is does Kodi recognise the replay gain tags when playing back video files? I’ll see what I can find.
 

DuncanS

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
4,855
Location
UK
Interesting thread. Varying volume levels between discs & disc formats is something that has irritated me for a while! I've normalised all the FLACs I've made so far using Audacity to get round this as best I could. Maybe using ReplayGain is the better way to do this.
 

Q4-Bert

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
42
I use Roon to play my multichannel, this will automatically scan your audio (including multichannel), it's limited to wav, flac, DSF/DSD only, so SACDs and other media need to be converted, for me a convienient way. It analyses the audio on track of album level and does not change the files, and processes the result on the spot in the the 64 bit environment. And you can also assign some headroom to avoid any possible clipping.

1547678709719.png
 
2
Top