[FFmpeg-user] FFMPEG loudnorm - linear normalization

Clayton Macleod cherrytwist at gmail.com
Thu Mar 10 09:07:09 EET 2022

> Two decades ago I was heavily involved in a music restoration project of
> live concert performances
> (with the approval of the band). I used compression extensively. Most
> commercial recordings are
> compressed, meaning: the peaks are made uniform without clipping, so
> volume is made uniform -- I'm
> trying hard to not use the word "equalize" here because the word
> "equalization" is so misused.
> Try compression. It's what the professionals use.
> That said, I don't know what FFmpeg means by "compression". Is it what
> audio engineers mean by
> "compression"? I don't know.

Further compressing audio that's already been mastered by a professional
mastering engineer is usually unwise.  Typically they will have already
done many things to make the audio sound as good as they could make it
sound, including judicious use of compression, and have a much better
trained ear than the average person.  They are professional mastering
engineers, after all.  Throwing even more compression on just to adjust the
playback volume doesn't make much sense.  Chances are very good that you're
only going to make it sound worse.  Amplifiers have volume knobs for a
reason.  I'm not sure why this last statement seems to be ignored.

Clayton Macleod
If no one comes from the future to stop you from doing it, then how bad of
a decision can it really be?

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