CD Burn Volume

• Jun 3, 2020 - 15:50

Just about every time I burn a MS file onto a disc, the volume comes out way too low when you play the disc on a player. It will get quite loud, but you have to turn up the player's volume way too much. Why is this? I don't think I've seen any volume-setting directions on the Burn software. Is the burn volume connected to the volume setting on my PC, the speakers? (I've been using Anyburn software.) Anyone? Thanks


Disabling normalization will have the opposite effect, The point of normalization is to make sure the loudest point in the music will be the maximum volume the CD format allows. Most likely, the only problem here is that your music mostly isn't as loud as the loudest passage, so you are perceiving it as too soft. Find the loudest passage in the music and I'll bet it's as loud as the CD format gets.

Most commercially-released recordings apply "audio compression" to avoid the sense that most of the music is too soft. That is, they artificially increase the volume of the softer passages so they don't seem too quiet. This has the effect of reducing or even eliminating all sense of dynamics in the piece, though, so it's a controversial practice especially in the classical world. But anyhow, if your CD software has an "audio compression" option, you could try that. Or run the audio file through some other audio editing program that does provide this (or hire a professional mastering engineer to do the job).

In reply to by yonah_ag

Well, the dynamics always affect which sample is used for most instruments, that's separate form volume. For instance, the sound of a trumept playing "ff" is very different from the sound of that same trumpet playing "pp" - it isn't just louder but qualitatively different. So most soundfonts use different samples as different dynamic levels.

Aside from that, though, the point of normalization is, as I said, to make the peak volume always the max. So if we ignore the issue of different sample for different dynamics, this means if you have one version of a piece that is written all "pp" and another version of the same piece that is written all "ff", then the audio files will be be exactly the same volume. As far as I know neither mixer levels nor gain affect that - normalization should be applied after all that it order to be meaningful. That's consistent with how pop music is commercially recorded - you may notice on the radio songs all appear about the same volume, whether it's a singer with an acoustic guitar or a heavy metal band or whatever.

In reply to by yonah_ag

Turning up mixer gain with normalization off won't result in louder music unless you turn up past the point that normalization would have raised it to, which as I said, is to make the peak volume be the maximum possible for a CD. So, raising it beyond that will indeed make the softer passages louder, but it will also make the loudest passage louder than the maximum. This is called "clipping", and you do not not want this to happen. It is a horribly unpleasant distorted sound.

What you want is to apply compression, which can indeed be done with Audacity. This will reduce the difference between the loudest and softest passages, thus evening out the dynamics. The loudest passages won't get louder - they are already at the maximum - but the softer passages will get louder in comparison, leading to an increased in perceived volume, at the expense of dynamic range.

BTW, none of this has anything to do with MuseScore, it's digital audio 101.

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