Normalize MP3 Volume Levels with MP3Gain

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mp3gain04   Normalize MP3 Volume Levels with MP3Gain Most of us have a huge collection of digital music that we call our own. Usually, albums and songs have been added irregularly over the year from many, many different sources. You may have digitized your existing record, MC and CD collections, while most of us exchange music with friends and family.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the¬†one annoying thing when enjoying a random mix of your favorite tunes¬†is the¬†change in¬†quality, especially in¬†the volume. Since our music originates from so many different sources, quality is never the same, but variations in the volume are most unpleasant.

While it’s difficult to fix the overall quality, it’s rather easy to normalize MP3 volume levels with the right tool. That’s where MP3Gain comes in.

mp3gain01   Normalize MP3 Volume Levels with MP3Gain MP3Gain, does statistical analysis to determine how loud a file sounds to the human ear. Most other normalizers work with peak normalization,¬†normalizing a song’s value based on its loudest passage. Furthermore, you will love to hear that normalizing your MP3s with MP3Gain has no effect on the quality, as no decoding or encoding takes place.

The program was primarily written for Windows. However, there is a Linux GUI and a MacMP3Gain version available.

So how does it work? It’s pretty simple. You add files or folders and set the target volume. The default is 89,0 dB. In other tools, you will find up to 92,0 dB as a default volume for normalization. However, I would always go with the default of the respective tool, unless you know what you’re doing when changing this.

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When you have added all files you wish to normalize, click the Analysis button. From there, you can select either Track or Album analysis in the pull-down menu. MP3Gain now analyzes each file to check the current volume and whether the file has clipping issues. The Track Gain indicates the increase or decrease in volume required to match the target volume. You can clear the results by selecting Clear Analysis from the Analysis button pull-down menu.

mp3gain03   Normalize MP3 Volume Levels with MP3Gain

Once the analysis process is completed, you can click the Gain button to initiate the suggested changes. Note that there is also a drop-down menu for this button from which you can select Track, Album or Constant, depending on what type of adjustments you prefer. The included help file does a very good job of explaining what the differences are.

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Should you realize that you’ve made the wrong selection, you can cancel anytime and undo all changes MP3Gain made. Simply add all of the edited files that were previously modified and select >Modify Gain >Undo Gain changes from the menu.

MP3Gain should solve the issue of varying volume levels in any MP3 collection easily!

Are you aware of any better app that can be used to normalize mp3 volume levels? Let us know in comments!

We have previously covered tools to enhance your mp3 collection:

Stefan covered 4 Easy Ways Fix Music Tags & Organize Music Library and Mahendra wrote about How To Convert Audio Cassettes & LPs to MP3 in 5 Easy Steps.

What else would you like to know? We appreciate your feedback and requests!

Image credits: fangol

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7 Comments -

JX

Now this is a tool I’ve been looking for for awhile now (my radio show deals with free and legal music; sadly, not every album I play is equal, quality-wise)! Thanks!!!

Tina

Glad you find the tool useful. Please let us know how well it performed in your hands.

boblansky

great tool that I use since a few years. It is completly free and works perfectly.

Chickenwuss

Wow. This is quite a useful tool. One thing one needs to remember that once the track gain is applied to the song file(s), it is permanent. So you may want to create a backup copy of your song first just in case things go wrong.

Tina

Chickenwuss,
I thought I had written this more clearly, but apparently I have not. All changes MP3Gain makes are reversible per default because the mp3 files are not re-encoded.
This is different in other tools, for example MP3Gain Pro (formerly known as MP3Doctor), which is NOT affiliated with MP3Gain at all.

Eric

It’s also a good way to boost the volume of your tunes if your player is somewhat low-volume. I set mine to 97 dB as the default and don’t have to crank up the car or portable player so loud. Most files show “clipping,” but I’ve never been able to hear anything at all wrong with them. You can change the gain for a file as many times as you want. Great program. Mp3tag (http://www.mp3tag.de/en/index.html) is another good free program for mp3 (for editing tags).

Lauren

This is great! I have some songs that pop on and are really loud they make me jump.