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Topic: Normalizing volume on Samples

  1. #1

    Normalizing volume on Samples

    When you set up a sampler as part of a template or project, do you adjust the volumes on the samples themselves or on the output track in your DAW? For example if you have some clipping on an instrument. What's the proper way to do this?


  2. #2

    Re: Normalizing volume on Samples

    If you are clipping, turn down the levels in your sampler, until you have some headroom.

    There are two main ways to render. The easy way is to mix everything in the sampler until it sounds good, and print one stereo (or surround) output. Ensure no clipping, save at 24-bits, and normalize (or compress/volume-maximixe) the overall result. As long as you're not clipping, and not down in the noise floor, things will be fine a 24-bits.

    The other way is to print the separate tracks and then mix in the DAW. You can print each individual instrument louder (but still not clipping), then worry about the mix in the DAW. But in the end, you will make a final print one way or another - either from the sampler or the DAW, and the same rules apply.


  3. #3

    Re: Normalizing volume on Samples

    Another thing sometimes in issue is the default midi volume setting. I'm not sure if there's an official standard on it. If there is, it's not universally adhered to.

    Don't know what daw or sampler you use but I use Sonar and GS3 and notice that I often have to make an adjustment in one or the other. Because GS3 defaults to a midi volume of 90 while Sonar defaults to 101. Sonar resets GS3 to it's midi volume, but only on playback and only if you've changed it from its default. Which is "right" depends on what the library developer intended. And at a minimum, I want Sonar and GS3 using identical and consistent midi volumes, particularly between recording and playback.

    So when using GS3 instruments I usually adjust Sonar tracks to 90 on the assumption that if a developer uses GS3 for his library, he's probably using their default. But that might not hold for a developer who ported to GS from some other sampler. Anyway, the velocity splits of some sample libraries sound wimpy to me at 90 so in those cases I instead go into GS3 and change the default for the appropriate tracks to 101. And save the GS3 setup for that performance.


  4. #4

    Re: Normalizing volume on Samples

    Hm... I think I asked this before, a long time ago, but I couldn't find the thread--Is there a general agreement about the ratio between velocity level and decibel level? I don't mean a technical spec, exactly, but just if the general agreement is that a velocity of 127 should peak at 0 db and so on down both scales?

    Or does each developer have his or her own standard settings they use when recording and then mapping?

  5. #5

    Re: Normalizing volume on Samples

    Velocity may peak at 127 but that does not mean the output will be that loud, in cakewalk and sonar 103 channel volume is -0db, channel volume 127 is +18db (I believe). So regardless of sample volume you need to adjust the tracks for maximum output. Also if you record low level and intend to normalize that will create a lot of noise usually in the lower and high frequencies Usually very hard to get rid of.
    Adam Frechette
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