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Sound Chex
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
I don't burn a lot of CDs, as I'm content to listen to my music in MP3 form, but since I bought an Epson printer that prints on CDs, I tried making a few disks of my favorite selections. After burning and printing on the CDs, I took them downstairs to try out on my big stereo system. Imagine my disappointment, then, to hear that the sound levels between tracks vary greatly. One tune will come blasting out, the next will be barely audible.

Now, I know what yer thinkin'. I know what yer thinkin', but yes, I have Sound Check selected under BOTH Playback AND Burning in iTunes Preferences. Still, the volume varies greatly between songs.

Part of the problem, I suppose, is due to the fact that I obtain music from many different sources. Some of it is ripped from commercial CDs, much of it is MP3s downloaded from the most popular GarageBand sites
as well as
and still other selections are of my own hand. I don't expect a piano sonata to sound as loud as a sonic extravaganza by the marvelous Datafunk, but some of the music on the CD is almost inaudible. Sound Check, it seems to me, only limits the volume of the loudest songs, but does nothing to boost the faint songs.

I have also gone through each song and, in iTunes Options, boosted the playback volume for the faint songs up 100%, but as far as my ears can tell, this seems to have an effect only on the song file when it is played in iTunes. On a CD played in a stereo system, or even the same file played in a different application, the iTunes Options such as bass boost seem to have no effect.

What can I do? Any suggestions will be sincerely appreciated.
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
posted Hide Post
In our experience Sound Chex doesn't work at all.
Posts: 421 | Location: greater detroit area | Registered: November 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
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Ironically, I was having a phone conversation with a fellow geezer who doesn't own a computer, when a workaround solution occurred to me. I was trying to convince him to consider getting an iBook so he could record his choir, and I was detailing all the features of GarageBand when my eye fell on the Compression slider.

A while back in this thread, I posted a question about my frustration that I could not get a loud enough sound in music files I had made on my Mac. The reason for my quiet files is that I was not using Compression. Compression was invented for LPs and it is a process by which the loudest parts of the music are limited, which in turn makes the quiet parts of the music sound louder. This was necessary so that the needle didn't jump out of the LP's groove on an extremely loud part.

Many of the MP3 files I've downloaded from amateur Mac sites also lack compression, and they thus cannot have the average volume that a commercial recording (using compression) can.

The solution is, if you're making your own music, to use a little bit of compression in Garageband or whatever sound program you're using, then you can turn the master volume up to a higher level than you previously had. Any other track you have that is too quiet can similarly be enhanced in GarageBand.

I shouldda thought of this sooner, but my goal has been to make pure music files with no filtering or limitation of low frequencies and no compression. I always thought compression was to music as MSG was to food, but now I know better.
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Master
Picture of arrakian
posted Hide Post
What I do is make an EQ preset in iTunes:

*Just leave the frequencies "flat" (all@0dB),
*then boost the preamp volume the desired amount.
*Save that setting.
*Use the setting on various low-volume recordings.

Of course, if you have tracks with extreme volume shifts like classical, you can compress them some in Garage Band, then use the above method to keep as much of the dynamic contrast as possible.

- One Nation Under A Groove -
Posts: 1360 | Location: S.E.MI | Registered: June 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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