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Replay Gain?


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Pardon my ignorance, I been using Poweramp for 10 years but I'm still learning. I have been looking into this feature and I'm a bit more knowledgeable than I was a few months ago. The thing I'm having difficulty with is the replay gain settings, how does changing certain settings translate into evening out the volume output for different tracks. I have some hi-res tracks that obviously weren't subject to the loudness wars yet some lossless ones that were and it's very annoying. Is there perhaps something that helps setting this up and what the different adjustments do?


Edited by Cpasley
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Before you start, you need to know that Replay Gain is based on pre-embedded metadata that has been inserted into your music files. This data contains information about the maximum peak level for each particular track - and also data for the whole album too if it's an album track. If this information is not already present, RG won't do anything. A computer program such as foobar2000 can do a great job of scanning and updating lots of files in one go. For more info on the basic process, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReplayGain .

Generally, the target loudness of Replay Gain utilities is 89 dB sound pressure level, or about -14 dB relative to a 100% digital level, which leaves some headroom for further audio processing (EQ settings, etc). PA seems to have its default target set a little louder than that, but if you don't use a lot of EQ boosting you can increase the target level within PA using the RG preamp dial. You can also adjust the preamp setting for tracks that don't have any RG data so they match a bit more closely. For what it's worth, after some trial and error, I settled on the following values (assuming little further EQ adjustment, and given that most of my tracks without any RG data are likely to peak at 100% anyway) :


The reason for the choice of 'Track' or 'Album' is down to your listening habits. If you are listening to an entire album and one track is meant to be very quiet compared to the rest, you don't want that one track to suddenly be boosted to a peak of 100% making it sound louder than the rest. To allow for this, Album Gain applies the exact same level of adjustment for every track in each album, so they can retain the same relative loudness values. However when using Track mode, each track is processed as an individual item - better for singles, playlists, or otherwise shuffled playback.


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