DIY: How to normalise your MP3s

How to normalise your MP3s While they're not quite as unique as snowflakes, each MP3 has its own characteristics.

People use different encoders on music from all kinds of sources, resulting in wildly varying volumes from song to song. If you want a smooth listening experience that will let you hear an entire playlist without adjusting your volume knob, you should normalise your MP3s. Normalise is a pro audio term meaning just what it sounds like. Normalising software looks at an audio waveform and juices it up to eliminate volume discrepancies. But you don't need to be a recording engineer to normalise your MP3s; in fact, it's quite easy, whether you want to do so as you create a new file or work on a previously encoded file.

This tutorial is split into two parts. Follow the first part, "Encode normalised MP3s," to create normalised MP3s from CD tracks; if you've already created the MP3s that you would like to normalise, use part two, "Normalise existing MP3s." A word of warning before you start: Normalisation of existing MP3 files oftentimes reencodes your file, so you may lose a little audio quality; for most people, the loss is insignificant.

Required attention span: 10 minutes per album

Before you start, you'll need to gather these elements:

  • MP3 files or CDs
  • Audiograbber (to encode normalised MP3s)
  • MP3Gain (to normalise existing MP3s)
Click here to normalise existing MP3s

Encode normalised MP3s:

Follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Getting started

Launch Audiograbber (PC only) and insert the CD.

Audiograbber's main window. Click here to enlarge image.

Step 2: Configure the normalisation settings

Click the check box located in the bottom-left corner of Audiograbber's Norm. icon. A check will appear in the box, indicating that the normalisation setting has been activated.

If you wish to customise the normalisation settings, click the Norm. icon to open the Normalizing window. Although the default settings are usually suitable, you may, for instance, click the Normalizing window's Advanced button and experiment with the compression options to smooth out volume fluctuations within individual tracks. After making any adjustments, click OK to close the window.

Audiograbber's Normalising window. Click here to enlarge image.

Step 3: Configure the MP3 settings

Click the MP3 icon to open the MP3 Settings window.

Select the MP3 file via the intermediate WAV file. Delete the WAV file. By default, your MP3 files will be created with a 128Kbps bit rate, but you can select a different bit rate with the slider under Constant Bit Rate. Click OK to close the window.

Mark the appropriate box in MP3 Settings. Click here to enlarge image.

Step 4: Select the destination directory for your normalised MP3 files

By default, Audiograbber will save your new MP3 files to the Audiograbber folder on your hard drive (for example, C:/audiograbber). If you wish to change the destination directory for the MP3 files, click the Settings icon to open the General Settings window.

In the General Settings window, click Browse, select the desired destination directory, and click OK to close the Select Directory window. Next, click OK to close the General Settings window.

Audiograbber's Select Directory and General Settings windows. Click here to enlarge image.

Step 5: Create the normalised MP3 files

Click the Freedb icon to automatically retrieve the CD track titles and other information that will be used to create your MP3 files.

Select the tracks you want. Click here to enlarge image.
Uncheck the boxes next to any tracks you don't want to transfer from the CD, then click the Grab icon to start transferring the tracks to your PC as normalised MP3s.

Audiograbber's Grab icon.
The MP3s will show up in the directory you selected.

Add Your Comment 1

Post comment as

dadd posted a comment   

very helpful and free

Sponsored Links

Recently Viewed Products