Category Archives: Loudness wars

Rants about the “loudness wars” and what little I’m doing about it in my corner of the musical world

The replaygain computations

Winamp can calculate the “ReplayGain” value for an album, or individual tracks.

What is ReplayGain? This will be explained in more detail on the LOUDNESS WARS page but in short, it’s an objective measure for how relatively loud a whole album is. For instance, if an album has a ReplayGain value of -5 dB, that means you would have to turn it down by 5 dB so it would sound as loud as one with a value of 0 dB.

The original idea of that was that you wouldn’t get blasted if you had a mix CD or playlist of a lot of different recordings from different sources. In practice it doesn’t seem to be that important since most people listen to the same sort of music, and most commercial music is already produced to sound as loud as possible anyhow.

In any case, using WinAmp to calculate these values for all the tim p scott albums:

Title Value (dB) Approx. range (dB)min .. max
Jack of Shadows -1.50 +2.2 .. -3.4
The Circle of Art -1.35 +1.3 .. -4.3
radio i -1.00 +0.2 .. -3.3
glossolalia -3.00 -6.0 .. +2.2
MMIV -1.75 -2.6 .. -1.0
Canciones… -3.60 -6.0 .. -1.3
The Secrets of Metals -2.47 -4.3 .. -1.9

 In other words, the Canciones… LP is the loudest and radio i is the quietest.

Some comparisons to commerical records:

Digweed’s Global Underground GU014 album gives –7.45 dB  (!) That’s not surprising considering it’s a club record.

Metallica’s Death Magnetic (the Guitar Hero 3 version, not the standard released version) gives -2.72 dB. There are lots of discussion of this album all over, especially in terms of its terribly poor mastering for commercial release. The sad thing is that it’s great music (at least in my opinion). It wouldn’t matter so much if it were Creed or Nickelback or something.