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Thread: Normalize then Compress, or visa versa???

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    SamJamaica is offline Member
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    Normalize then Compress, or visa versa???

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    if i had a track that i recorded, would it be better to first normalize the track, and then compressed it, or first compress it then normalize it? i'm actually going to try it out, so i can hear for myself the difference, but i would appreciate other people's opinions, and maybe if some one knows why it would sound better, please let me know

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    NFX's Avatar
    NFX
    NFX is offline Bomb Droppa
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    I would normalize it first. You could do both in either order and end up with the same or different results depending on your compression settings.

    The reason I say normalize first is because normalize doesn't alter anything but the volume of the track. Compression on the other hand while it does make the sound louder, it also affects the dynamic range of the audio.

    So, to me, it makes more sense to do the 'non-destructive' transformation first. You can always normalize again after you compress if you need to.

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    urbanspirit's Avatar
    urbanspirit is offline Insane FP Patriot
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    Usually but not strictly Normalize then compress.

    Compression squeezes the dynamic range by lowering louder things into quieter ones. so if you don't normalize before , the compressor might not catch all the inputs with his current settings.


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    PegasuS is offline Registered User
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    NFX has some good points.
    but it depends on what you want to do, (using the same settings for both things either way) if you normalize then compress, you will essentially end up with a wider dynamic range, but if you compress first, it will seem quite a bit louder (this is what they do with commercials, they compress the sh*t out of it, then normalize and it seems way louder than the tv show you're watching) --sorry kinda went off-topic
    anyways, if you compress first, your noise floor will be a lot higher and it may sound worse. but that all depends on how you want it to sound :P

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    Blastique is offline Registered User
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    I would
    1. normalize (note: to peak, not rms),

    2. then I would compress,

    3. and following that, I would normalize to peak again.

    step 1, to get the clip to maximum volume without clipping.

    step 2, for the desired compression.

    step 3 because, depending on the attack settings on your compressor, the transient peaks in your clip would have been reduced (if using a fast attack setting), and you will probably be able to get more volume out of your clip when you normalize to peak, as now the loudest peak of the clip will no longer be touching the ceiling that you set when you first normalize the clip in step 1.

    hope this helps...
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    Giganova is offline gimmi your mic!
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    I never normize. Its an irreversible process and I learned to never apply that to a recorded signal -- unless you have a backup of the original.

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    Rayne is offline Universal Soldier
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    Normalizing Kills the dynamic range... even more so than compression. ..
    [URL="http://www.thesounddesign.com"]Sound Design & Mastering[/URL]

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    Giganova is offline gimmi your mic!
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    True! Don't normalize.

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    Fumbling on Ecstasy's Avatar
    Fumbling on Ecstasy is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by Rayne
    Normalizing Kills the dynamic range... even more so than compression. ..
    Normalizing does not kill dynamic range. It just takes the loudest peak in your song and sets it to zero. All pro mixers and mastering engineers never normalize, so I suggest you don't do it either.

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    Tim20 is offline Insane FP Patriot
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    Ummm What FOE said. Normalize should be a last resort trick to get something that was recorded too quiet raised in volume, but then if it was that quiet it was recorded wrong in the first place and should have been done over.

    Normalize will never affect dynamic range but it can severly raise the noise floor that wasn't heard before. So I guess the percieved dynamic range could then be affected.

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