View Single Post
Old 01-20-2009, 03:40 PM
O.G. Killa's Avatar
O.G. Killa O.G. Killa is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,152
Default Re: Normalizing vs Compression or Limiting

Originally Posted by barismanco123 View Post
Who uses normalizing and for what?

Who thinks it is good/bad or subjective?
If you look at normalizing as the process of making your loudest peak, your loudest possible peak, then it isn't really useful. But if you look at normalizing as setting a level, and then all audio gets turned down and/or up to match that level then it can be really useful in certain situations, especially if you can not only normalize by peak value, but by RMS as well.

A good example of RMS normalization is Dolby decoding. Every piece of audio encoded with dolby has a "dialnorm" metadata tag. This tag tells the decoder what the average RMS level of the material is. The decoder then adjusts the output volume to match your current output levels, basically eliminating the need for "volume wars". Ever notice how TV commercials are insanely loud compared to a movie you might be watching on cable? If you run your cable through your audio receiver that has a dolby decoder instead of plugging straight into the TV (and the audio from the station is dolby encoded) , then the commercials will playback through your system at the same level as the movie you were watching.

Another very handy use for normalization is when putting together a library of sounds or sound effects. You recorded them all, but there might be slight variations in volume from day to day... so instead of making them all as loud as possible, you set the normalizer to a median level, that way the few that were a hair too loud get brought down and the few that were a hair too soft get brought up. This way you still maintain the dynamic range and low noise floor that you originally recorded, but have slightly adjusted the files so they are all the same average level.
Reply With Quote