The Levelator – Neat tool for free

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    • #49110
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      Download link: http://www.singularsoftware.com/levelator.html

      From their website:

      What is The Levelator?

      Do you believe in magic? You will after using The Levelator to
      enhance your podcast. And you’ll be amazed that it’s free, now even for
      commercial use.

      So what is The Levelator? It’s software that runs on Windows, OS X
      (universal binary), or Linux (Ubuntu) that adjusts the audio levels within
      your podcast or other audio file for variations from one speaker to the
      next, for example. It’s not a compressor, normalizer or limiter
      although it contains all three. It’s much more than those tools, and
      it’s much simpler to use. The UI is dirt-simple: Drag-and-drop any WAV
      or AIFF file onto The Leveler’s application window, and a few moments
      later you’ll find a new version which just sounds better.

      Have you ever recorded an interview in which you and your guest ended
      up at different volumes? How about a panel discussion where some people
      were close to microphones and others were not? These are the problems
      the post-production engineers of Team ITC
      here at The Conversations Network solve every day, and it used to take
      them hours of painstaking work with expensive and complex tools like
      SoundTrack Pro, Audacity, Sound Forge or Audition to solve them. Now it
      takes mere seconds. Seriously. The Levelator is unlike any other audio
      tool you’ve ever seen, heard or used. It’s magic. And it’s free.

      When we developed the IT Conversations component-based show-assembly
      system, we realized all the components had to be of the same loudness or
      the results would sound awful. We limped along for many months using
      the RMS normalization functions in various applications, but the results
      weren’t satisfactory and it required tools and skillsets that some of
      our post-production audio engineers didn’t have. One of our best
      engineers, Bruce Sharpe, offered to write a standalone software RMS
      normalization utility, which we’ve been using as part of our production
      system CNUploader since 2005.

      The CNUploader’s normalizer acts similar to an intelligent RMS-based
      compressor/limiter combination, and it therefore affects primarily the
      short-term (transient) sounds and the long-term overall loudness of the
      file. It doesn’t make the kind of adjustments that a skilled audio
      engineer can perform in software or at a mixing console, riding the levels up and down to compensate for medium-term variations.

      There are some hardware devices such as various AGC (automatic-gain
      control) components that can do moderate leveling, but since they have
      to operate in real time (i.e., without look-ahead), they can’t
      do much. And they aren’t cheap, let alone free. Even a skilled human can
      only react to changes unless s/he is lucky enough to be present during a
      recording session and can use visual cues to anticipate coming
      variations. Software can do better by performing multiple passes over the audio, generating a loudness map of where the volume changes. (It’s not actually that simple, but the metaphor is helpful.)

      Bruce, with help from his son, Malcolm, had proven that he knew how
      to tackle these problems in ways that no one else anywhere in the
      audio/software industry has done to date. So we asked him, “Bruce, do
      you you think you can write a leveler that corrects for
      medium-term variations in loudness instead of the short-term and
      long-term variatons processed by compressor/limiters and normalizers,
      respectively?” Bruce and Malcolm took on the challenge, and eight months
      later we began testing The Levelator.

      You’ll believe in magic.

    • #201218
      Avatardoublehamm
      Participant

      Will have to check this out. Sick of chopping all my video audio into
      sections to normalize as I hate compression pumping unless I absolutely
      have to. “Drawing” the audio changes in Vegas just takes way too much time. Thanks!

    • #201219
      AvatarEarlC
      Member

      Something like that for the Mac would be an awesome tool. Way to go Bruce, and Malcolm.

    • #201220
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve been using the Levelator for about a year now. Another tool to use with it is the AOA audio extractor

      I can take a sound track form a video file with a variety of problemsm plug it into the Levelator and get a new copy of the sound track (much improved) and plug it into the video timeline then delete the original soundtrack. I have not found any sound distortions or changes in the track length, this tool just plain works great

    • #201221
      Avatardoublehamm
      Participant

      Probably not the best to use for a wedding ceremony? I tried this with my last wedding, and while 90% sounded great, there was quite a bit of pumping out the ambient noise. During readings etc, if there was more then a couple second pause it would cut out and clip the beginning of the new phrase, and even cut off significantly the end of the readings. Are there any settings to this I can tweak out or is it a set it and forget it program?

    • #201222
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      Not sure about the settings – I have used this for some bad audio I had and it worked great (better than just a normalize). I’d suggest you play with it and see how it goes – You can’t beat the price.

    • #201223
      Avatardoublehamm
      Participant

      Not really a complaint about the program or the price – I was just wondering if there were settings. I see it could have uses for sure!

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