Total posts : 45366
by MRAM 1500 kHz
You might try hard limiting instead of just normalizing. Normalizing looks at the overall audio file and amplifies it to the highest level without clipping. But, if there is just one little spot that was quite louder than the rest, your average level will still be low.
Hard limiting does a great job of bringing up the overall average by amplifying the entire audio file while keeping those loud peaks from exceeding zero db which would sound terrible. You can over do it though which leaves the audio sounding thin even though it’s all loud. It can squash the life out of the music.
One effect that seems to work well is the compander found in the amplitude effects. It compresses the loud parts and amplifies the soft parts. You can also control which frequencies it affects.
Of course, depending on the type of music, what sounds good for one doesn’t necessarily work for another so it just takes becoming familiar with the effects and how they work.
If you are using an audio player that works with DSP plugins, try using SoundSolution. I use it with WinAmp and ZaraRadio. With the appropriate settings, it can emulate OptiMod processing and others. It seems to do a pretty good job of adding punch and clarity to your broadcast audio.
I also have an outboard audio processor called Sta-Max AM Modulation Controller. It was in a pile of junk tossed by a local radio station. It was a prototype made by Chris Hood Electronics in 1979. There were no instructions found with it but I’ve managed to figure out how to use it.
What it does is called asymetrical waveform control. It can amplify the positive peaks while limiting the negative peaks of the audio. This allows the transmitter to exceed 100% on positive peaks while not exceeding 100% on negative peaks. Yes, that would be considered distortion but so is any other type of effect. The end result is the broadcast audio is louder, clearer and sounds acceptable.
Now, if I could find that effect as a plugin, that would be great!