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March 09, 2004


William Radcliffe

How you deal with this for submissions is an interesting technical issue.

For my part I run all my finished wave files through a command line script that uses SOX to gather stats about the song:

sox input.wav -e stat

I nab the two values for the Length of the song and it's recommended volume adjustment and then do:

sox input.wav output.wav vol %SOX_VOLUMEADJUSTMENT% fade p 0 %SOX_LENGTH% 20

This makes all the songs fit into the available space and adds a nice fade to the end.

This is kind of like a poor man's mastering method that assumes the song is in finished form already. In your case you would likely drop the fade off of this.

This could have many uses in your system, since you might want to run new submissions through the stats check and let people know if their files does not meet with your standards.


The mastering may have been lousy, but did you consider that the styles of mastering have changed, and that the previous work may have had different goals?

Many modern CDs are mastered to be much louder than older CDs, and this is a major beef among some mastering engineers. Excessive compression can kill the dynamics in the music.

One other issue is that some people prefer to master so that the music's volume levels will be appropriate to the music, so that if you put in a disk of heavy metal music, it's really loud, but if you put in a disk of soft lute music, it plays softly. Compression and normalization can make the lute music sound as loud as the heavy metal.

Certainly, if you're preparing files for MP3 data compression, you're probably best off to normalize it.


They are hand and glove...

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