Getting uniform audio volume/loudness

vbimport

#1

OK, I have collected some music videos from disparate different sources and all play at different volume levels. I would like to burn them to DVD, but have them all play at the same uniform volume so that I don’t have to turn the volume up on video2 and then turn it way down when video5 plays because it is louder than all the others, for example (you know, the way commercials are WAY too loud on TV compared to the show you’re watching?).

I don’t want to limit the dynamic range of the audio contained in the video, but rather just set a uniform level for playback so that the quiet videos are played louder and the loud videos are played softer (again, not limiting the dynamic range of the video itself). Something similar to MP3Gain or ReplayGain on MP3 files.

Most source files are AVI files, so I would be fine using something that changed the volume in the actual source file itself. I would also be fine if this option can be done when encoding to DVD. I mostly have been using Nero Vision or AVStoDVD to create my DVDs, but am open to other software packages (free preferred, but paid is perfectly acceptable provided quality is good and price is not prohibitive).

Now that you understand what I am looking for, how can I do this? Knowing that the 2 different methods might be completely different, I ask these 2 questions:

  1. What is the BEST way to accomplish this?

  2. What is the easiest way to accomplish this?


#2

AVS to DVD on the Preferences -> Audio tab has a check box for ‘Normalize’. If that works (haven’t tried it) that seems like the easiest. To do the individual videos, AVI DeMux is the tool I’d try. You can set Video to ‘Copy’ and Audio to AC3, ‘Configure’ sets bitrate and ‘Filters’ allows either automatic (to -3dB peaks) or manual level control. Remember to add the AVI extension when you save.


#3

[QUOTE=olyteddy;2496830]AVS to DVD on the Preferences -> Audio tab has a check box for ‘Normalize’. If that works (haven’t tried it) that seems like the easiest. To do the individual videos, AVI DeMux is the tool I’d try. You can set Video to ‘Copy’ and Audio to AC3, ‘Configure’ sets bitrate and ‘Filters’ allows either automatic (to -3dB peaks) or manual level control. Remember to add the AVI extension when you save.[/QUOTE]

Does anyone KNOW if the normalize audio button limits dynamic range within the video, or if it indeed sets a uniform volume level for the audio?

I’ve never used AVI Demux, is it fairly easy to use?


#4

It looked like Dynamic Range was a separate setting.


#5

[QUOTE=olyteddy;2496830]AVS to DVD on the Preferences -> Audio tab has a check box for ‘Normalize’. If that works (haven’t tried it) that seems like the easiest. To do the individual videos, AVI DeMux is the tool I’d try. You can set Video to ‘Copy’ and Audio to AC3, ‘Configure’ sets bitrate and ‘Filters’ allows either automatic (to -3dB peaks) or manual level control. Remember to add the AVI extension when you save.[/QUOTE]

Well, the “Normalize” option in AVS to DVD seems to normalize the sound within that video only and does not appear to set the maximum level of all videos to the same level.

As for AVIDeMux, I must be doing something wrong because when I try it, it saves the video without any audio. I must be missing something simple here. Thoughts?


#6

As for AVIDeMux, I must be doing something wrong because when I try it, it saves the video without any audio. I must be missing something simple here. Thoughts?

Did you select an audio output codec (should choose the same as the input audio) and a container format? Video, of course, can be set to ‘copy’.

PS, I might be wrong about AC3, a lot of AVI uses MP3. Check the input file with GSpot.


#7

Well, I’ve tried both methods mentioned in this thread with both programs, and even run all videos through AutoGordianKnot which also normalizes audio, and so far, NOTHING has worked. There are some videos which are far louder than others. There has to be some way to do this and not worry about losing the sync between audio & video.

Does anyone have any other ideas or suggestions?


#8

I have a cunning plan here, but I don’t think you’ll like it.

If all the avi files are encoded the same (same video and audio codecs, same resolutions and frame rates), you can join them all into one big avi file using the Append function in AviDemux. Use the Copy setting in both Video and Audio and save as an avi.

Bring it back into AviDemux and Normalize the audio for the whole thing. Save.

Now, one more time in AviDemux, cut the videos into their original sizes. Check for audio/video sync problems.

One big pain in the butt, but it might work.

I’m a little surprised AVStoDVD didn’t work to normalize each avi file to the same level when you introduced several, or all of them into your dvd compilation.


#9

Thanks for the suggestion, but while they are all encoded the same now, some are 16:9 and some are 4:3, so linking all together and then breaking apart wouldn’t work, although I suppose the 16:9 files could be done in one, and the 4:3 in another, but there has to be a better way or some other program which can do this.

I was hopeful AVStoDVD would work, but unfortunately, it didn’t, or at least not in turning down the loudest ones and turning up the quietest ones. :frowning:

Any other ideas or programs which might work?


#10

Audacity is an audio editor. I just tested it and with the ffmpeg plugin, it can accept avi files encoded with xvid and mp3 sound. You can adjust volume levels in it, but then you would need to replace the existing audio with the newly adjusted audio stream. You should be able to do that with AviDemux.

Use the 1.3.11 beta of Audacity, and you’ll need the ffmpeg plugin of course.

Just throwing out ideas here. This is not my normal workflow in videos.


#11

The louder ones probably just suffer from crushed dynamic range. That’s from the ‘Loudness War’. There are some filters in Audacity that attempt to restore dynamic range, but like lossy compression, once it’s gone, it’s gone.


#12

I [B][I]think [/I][/B]I may have solved it. I had to demux the audio track which was mp3, then run through mp3gain setting each audio track to the same level within mp3gain, then insert the track back into the AVI, which at least initially, seems to have worked.

I used VirtualDubMod to demux the audio and then replace it with the track after running through mp3gain.

I found the details on doing this here:
http://www.my-guides.net/en/content/view/32/26/