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Thread: Burning to CD....level is very quiet

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    I am burning my wav files to CD from Cool Edit....I am using adaptec Cd creator for CD burning. My problem is any wav file I burn to CD, volume is very low....ive read other posts on this...and have already normalized it to near %100 before burning.....when i play back my file from the computer..the volume is at a great level....it just drops when i burn to CD....is this just a problem of lack of "professional" mastering...or is there an easier step i am overlooking........ Thanks to all

    Heat

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    I don't mean to patronise, but if you are palying the CD form your ROM drive, have you made sure that the CD output level is set the same as the digital output level in the windows sound settings (ie the little speaker icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen)?

    matt

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    good call cakey

    Heat: the volume on the burned CD will be the same as the source (wav file)

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    Exclamation

    Thanks for the reply....yes cakey I did check volume levels, and they are at where they should be ( its not patronizing..sometmes you overlook the simplest things the most )

    Sounusman...what you are saying makes sense...i appreciate your response.....staying on the subject of normalizing....is this generally the best way to get a good volume on your master track...the one problem i run into on normalization is alot of times i have a good mix...and after normalizing..my drums are now too loud.....is there other ways???? Compression mabye...i unfortunaley am only using the compressor software in Cool Edit...its not that great....it makes my tracks...pulsate..or "breathe" as some people call it...mabye its time to break down and buy a nice dbx comp...... tell me what you think...........Heat

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    If you are aiming to write a cd as your finished product then you _do_ need to normalise - but master first. What I meen by this is paste all your tracks into 1 wav file, then listen and get all the levels right comparitively, compress/limit if need be, eq tracks if need be but when you're done, and you have a wav file of your whole CD _then_ normalize it to get the peak level up to 0dB to optimize the level written to CD.

    That's my opinion anyway.

    Good luck!,

    matt

    Just thought I'd add that re-ripping the CD that you've just made to compare to the original wav is quite a neat idea - I may try that meself.

    [This message has been edited by Cakey2 (edited 05-04-2000).]

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    Hang on, isn't that pretty much what I said?

    I know what mastering is. I was just making the point that if you end up having a series of tracks for your CD it's entirely possible that they can sound perfectly OK in relation to each other (ie well mastered) but that the peak of the waveform only comes up to -30dB. Then when you write to CD it's going to sound quiet compared to all the other CDs in your collection. I essentially agree with you - the perceived 'loudness' of your record is governed not by the overall volume but by the relative levels of you tracks. But you don't want to put your newly written CD of your life's work in the CD player after just listening to your favourite Alanis CD to find that you can't hear it without whacking your amp up to full. Obviously, if you've managed to keep your loudest track up at -2 to 2 dB throughout mixing/mastering, whatever, then you ain't gonna need to normalise, fair enough, but I tend, with my limited experience, to concentrate on the sound during mixing/mastering, and not the overall level. But that's just me.

    Again, if you're getting audible deterioration when you perform digital normalisation then you should steer well clear, but I do it all the time and have never had any problems.

    And to repeat: I _don't_ normalise every song, that would be bad - I normalise the _whole album together_.

    One more thing - what is 'extended bit length'? Aren't the words are always the same length? And I thought I understood digital...

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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for comments from both of you...it really teaches and encourages new people at this stuff.....i guess what your saying is what i was fearing you were going to say in the first place......1) i need to either send my CD to be mastered by the pros and pay the $$$$, or 2)i can buy some high end equipment and still spend lots of $$$$$, i dont know if i have the experience to do my own mastering......but like you said..ill learn while i do it....and yes Sonusman i am like you in respect you never think what you do is good enough............

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    Either I'm missing something or I'm just not getting my point across.

    I go through the same process as you, sonusman. I pick one track which I'm familiar with and then listen and adjust the other tracks in relation to this, at this stage you would say that I had finished mastering, and that I should now write to CD. All I am saying is that I make sure that the loudest point in the whole mix ie over all the track, is at 0db. So, there will probably only be one point in the whole album's worth of songs that gets up to 0dB and everything else with be at the right 'perceived' (by me) level. I do this so that my ALBUM (not every song) is at the optimum level for playback and I don't end up with my CD sounding ridiculously quiet compared to commercial CDs.

    So, is that so bad?

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    Question

    Hey guys.....im having the same problem again.........

    Sonusman: I tried your refrencing trick of ripping a comparable professional CD..turn it to a .wav file, and then compared my file to it. I used Steinberg waves to master my .wav. I adjusted my .wav file so it was as loud..and in most cases had louder average volume than the professional ripped .wav file.

    I then burned both of these files to CD-R...using both Steinberg...and Adaptec CD software to make sure it wasn't a software problem. When I listened to the results:

    My track once burned to CD was significantly quieter than the other track that I had ripped.......i have listened to my CD-R on my home stereo...car stereo...computer CD-ROM..and it was always the same story...my track lacked significant volume compared to the ripped .wav file......mabye i missed one of your points somewhere...but im just getting a little frustrated trying to cure this problem.....does your CD burning equipment have anything to do with it??? i understanded the difference between profesionally stamped CD's and burned CD-R's....but this..i dont think would effect sound quality???

    I appreciate your previous responses.....anything else that you guys can think of would be very helpful.....has anyone else had this problem...or is it just me???????


    Heat


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    Cool

    Hey ED:

    Ok..we will get this out of the way first...the Jazz suck so don't start...well see how they play at home.......

    Allright...i ripped my track off of my CD using Steinberg Wavelab.....I then referenced this .wav file with my original .wav file that was used to burn the CD....here is what i found:

    The ripped .wav file was the same volume level as the original .wav file...kind of strange i thought........i even ran statistical analysis on both samples using Cool Edit Pro...the original .wav file had a slightly higher peak amplitude than the ripped .wav...but nothing that was noticeable to my ears....

    As far as monitoring goes:

    I listened to my ripped .wav and original .wav through my studio monitors...and then thorugh my home stereo system.....and with the settings in the exact same place...listened to the burned CD of the .wav file........still a huge drop in volume when played back on CD.....I would want to blame it on my CD player....but i have listened to the CD-R on several different systems..and there is a noticable drop in volume.......

    Any thoughts on this problem would be appreciated.


    Heat


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