Author Topic: Fixes/improvements to the Volume Analysis (ReplayGain) window  (Read 204 times)

Beemann

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Hi, I'm a long-time MusicBee user. I love the player in all aspects except one: Volume Analysis. It has one bug and one missing feature that just needs to be there in order for it to be useful for my needs:

1) The bug :
In the Analyze Volume window, sorting by Status doesn't work (sorting by Name doesn't work either, but it's much less important). To test quickly, select multiple files, right click -> Send To -> Volume Analysis, adjust gain to +6db (to improve chances of clipping) and click Proceed to analyze. Even if the Status tab shows any entries besides "OK", clicking on the Status sort button on the top will not sort the entries in any way.

The reason I need to sort is because I want to avoid any clipping when boosting volume. If I'm able to sort, I can quickly select all files that want -0.1db, adjust the gain to -0.1 and proceed, then quickly select all those that want -0.2db, and so on. Right now, the list is unsortable, and it took me more than an hour to manually process 800+ files I needed to go through. Which brings me to #2:

2) The missing feature:
Most similar programs (Foobar2000, Winamp, etc) have an option to automatically prevent clipping when processing. I do not understand why it's not implemented. From a programming perspective, it seems like a no-brainer to get in. When clipping is detected, reduce the gain by the needed value to avoid it. Everything is already in there. All that's needed is a simple toggle option and presumably no more than an hour of code tweaking, if not significantly less.

Please consider adding one of these two options. If you add auto clipping prevention, fixing the sorting button bug will become largely unnecessary. If not, then at least fix it. Many users who use this feature have thousands of entries to go through and can't imagine using it by hand. It's also something that has been requested in the past. E.g.:

+1

In addition, the impact of the entire issue could almost be eliminated with an "automatically prevent clipping" tick box, which would apply the gain setting just below the clipping level.  

I've never used a volume analysis tool that didn't have it before.

The Incredible Boom Boom

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Hi, I'm a long-time MusicBee user. I love the player in all aspects except one: Volume Analysis. It has one bug and one missing feature that just needs to be there in order for it to be useful for my needs:

1) The bug :
In the Analyze Volume window, sorting by Status doesn't work (sorting by Name doesn't work either, but it's much less important). To test quickly, select multiple files, right click -> Send To -> Volume Analysis, adjust gain to +6db (to improve chances of clipping) and click Proceed to analyze. Even if the Status tab shows any entries besides "OK", clicking on the Status sort button on the top will not sort the entries in any way.

The reason I need to sort is because I want to avoid any clipping when boosting volume. If I'm able to sort, I can quickly select all files that want -0.1db, adjust the gain to -0.1 and proceed, then quickly select all those that want -0.2db, and so on. Right now, the list is unsortable, and it took me more than an hour to manually process 800+ files I needed to go through. Which brings me to #2:

2) The missing feature:
Most similar programs (Foobar2000, Winamp, etc) have an option to automatically prevent clipping when processing. I do not understand why it's not implemented. From a programming perspective, it seems like a no-brainer to get in. When clipping is detected, reduce the gain by the needed value to avoid it. Everything is already in there. All that's needed is a simple toggle option and presumably no more than an hour of code tweaking, if not significantly less.

Please consider adding one of these two options. If you add auto clipping prevention, fixing the sorting button bug will become largely unnecessary. If not, then at least fix it. Many users who use this feature have thousands of entries to go through and can't imagine using it by hand. It's also something that has been requested in the past. E.g.:

+1

In addition, the impact of the entire issue could almost be eliminated with an "automatically prevent clipping" tick box, which would apply the gain setting just below the clipping level.  

I've never used a volume analysis tool that didn't have it before.

+1 for the sorting bug fix. I personally would rather deal with clipping manually, but I can understand why others would rather it be done automatically.

Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 02:41:51 PM by psychoadept

Beemann

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While we're on the subject:

1) If the best solution—clipping auto-prevention—is still out of question for some reason, another helpful workaround would be a button or toggle to hide/remove processed "OK" (unclipped) entries from the list, so we at least won't have to scroll through hundreds of "OK" lines to find problematic clipped ones. This would also be helpful for people like the poster above, who would still prefer to deal with clipping manually.

2) There's one more possible bug with the analyzer itself that I noticed a few times without really examining it in detail. Some files show "On Track Basis" clipping even at gain values lower than the original volume. What I mean is that I have a freshly recorded MP3 (WAV->MP3, no volume gain or tags of any kind) that I just put through the volume analyzer, and it shows "track -1.9dB" when processed at 0dB gain. Unless I'm misunderstanding the process, it's a bug, since there can't possibly be any clipping happening without any gain adjustments to the original volume.

hiccup

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2) There's one more possible bug with the analyzer itself that I noticed a few times without really examining it in detail. Some files show "On Track Basis" clipping even at gain values lower than the original volume. What I mean is that I have a freshly recorded MP3 (WAV->MP3, no volume gain or tags of any kind) that I just put through the volume analyzer, and it shows "track -1.9dB" when processed at 0dB gain. Unless I'm misunderstanding the process, it's a bug, since there can't possibly be any clipping happening without any gain adjustments to the original volume.

It's not a bug, it's the use of the number '0' on the slider that is misleading.

That '0' has nothing to do with setting anything to 'zero'.
If you set the slider to that position, the song will be analyzed, and then it's loudness will be either increased or decreased to reach a perceived loudness of -18 LUFS.
So the song you are using as an example was analyzed and calculated to be of a somewhat low loudness as perceived by the average human ear.
Therefor when you have the slider at '0', the loudness is increased so as a whole it is perceived as -18 LUFS.
And for this song, the louder parts of that song are creating clipping.

If you do some googling on EBU R-128 you should be able to find information about how that works.

Here is an example of another program that has a scale with more informative and correct numbers:



Note that in Europe, rules (laws actually) dictate that broadcast organisations use -23 LUFS, and in the USA it's usually -24 LUFS.
So MusicBee's '0' setting equaling -18 LUFS can be considered to be quite loud.

Beemann

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It's not a bug, it's the use of the number '0' on the slider that is misleading.

That '0' has nothing to do with setting anything to 'zero'.
If you set the slider to that position, the song will be analyzed, and then it's loudness will be either increased or decreased to reach a perceived loudness of -18 LUFS.
So the song you are using as an example was analyzed and calculated to be of a somewhat low loudness as perceived by the average human ear.
Therefor when you have the slider at '0', the loudness is increased so as a whole it is perceived as -18 LUFS.
And for this song, the louder parts of that song are creating clipping.

If you do some googling on EBU R-128 you should be able to find information about how that works.

Here is an example of another program that has a scale with more informative and correct numbers:



Note that in Europe, rules (laws actually) dictate that broadcast organisations use -23 LUFS, and in the USA it's usually -24 LUFS.
So MusicBee's '0' setting equaling -18 LUFS can be considered to be quite loud.

Thank you for the detailed explanation. Very informative.

EDIT: Actually, I have a quick comment about this. It's very off-hand, so feel free to disregard it if it's too silly:

From this explanation, there seems to be no easy way to just adjust the volume of an audio file a few decibels via MusicBee, right? I'm thinking a simple "Gain dB" slider similar to Adobe Audition's Amplify effect. Implementing it appears easy (as things often do, when you're not the one doing them), and inteface-wise, it could go just below the identical replaygain slider, but I have no idea of the actual technical challenges behind that implementation. Is it something many people could use? Again, I'm just brainstorming on something well beyond my area of expertise here, but I bet a lot of people make the same incorrect conclusions about the replaygain slider I did, so a simple volume adjustment slider might be helpful.
Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 10:18:38 PM by Beemann

frankz

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From this explanation, there seems to be no easy way to just adjust the volume of an audio file a few decibels via MusicBee, right? I'm thinking a simple "Gain dB" slider similar to Adobe Audition's Amplify effect. Implementing it appears easy (as things often do, when you're not the one doing them), and inteface-wise, it could go just below the identical replaygain slider, but I have no idea of the actual technical challenges behind that implementation. Is it something many people could use? Again, I'm just brainstorming on something well beyond my area of expertise here, but I bet a lot of people make the same incorrect conclusions about the replaygain slider I did, so a simple volume adjustment slider might be helpful.

Beemann

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Ouch. I should have trusted my intuition when I predicted I'd be making a fool out of myself with this one, lol. Thanks.