Author Topic: What is normalization?  (Read 14627 times)

Offline Saga Musix

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What is normalization?
« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2009, 11:19:53 »
I'm not sure, but with all the topics you start here, is your manual not rather going into the direction "how to deal with audio" rather than "how to use modplug"?

Quote

I stick to the rule : normalization always as last modification.
If you start to normalize, and then apply e.g. some filter to boost some frequency range, big chance of clipping.

Not entirely true for modplug as there are no such effects in the sample editor (yet...) - Especially 8-bit samples should be normalized for such processes, and if VST effects are applied, those will use floating point precision anyway (i think), so clipping is not to be expected there (as long as modplug's buffer doesn't clip, of course)
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Offline PPH

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What is normalization?
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2009, 14:21:33 »
Quote from: "Jojo"
I'm not sure, but with all the topics you start here, is your manual not rather going into the direction "how to deal with audio" rather than "how to use modplug"?

Quote

I stick to the rule : normalization always as last modification.
If you start to normalize, and then apply e.g. some filter to boost some frequency range, big chance of clipping.

Not entirely true for modplug as there are no such effects in the sample editor (yet...) - Especially 8-bit samples should be normalized for such processes, and if VST effects are applied, those will use floating point precision anyway (i think), so clipping is not to be expected there (as long as modplug's buffer doesn't clip, of course)


I agree. Besides, you normalize samples, but in many cases you won't use them at the highest volume.

If you apply effects to the samples themselves, then yes: that might be good advice (still, like JoJo said, you don't do that in Modplug; but the advice still applies). But you can always normalize, apply effects, and if clipping occurs, undo and try again. I guess a middle way, in Audacity, is using "Normalize", which doesn't really normalize, but leaves some room to make the sound louder.

If you apply these effects to the mix or to channels in Modplug, then, if clipping occurs, you can always change the volume of the mix or of the channel to avoid clipping. So, normalizing before wouldn't hurt. Besides, in that case, you will never normalize. Once you have mixed everything, normalizing will cause volumes of different samples to lose the relationships between them.
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Offline Harbinger

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What is normalization?
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2009, 21:06:38 »
Quote from: "Jojo"
I'm not sure, but with all the topics you start here, is your manual not rather going into the direction "how to deal with audio" rather than "how to use modplug"?


The direction is rather, "What does this button do exactly?" and "Do i need  to use this?" -- aimed specifically at new users, especially those who want to assemble tracks but are not sure what MPT does with audio.

For me, i consider myself a veteran user of MPT and third-party audio manipulation but i've never had any idea what "normalization" was -- never needed it, never needed to know what it was, and got by fine without it. Well, now i need to know, so i can teach newcomers to our wonderful application.

Concerning explanation of audio techniques, that's definitely a concern for writers, as too much information can be just as discouraging as too little. But that is the skill of a good technical writer; give just enough info for the matter at hand and add more when more advanced techniques are explained.
But in order to do that, it helps the writer to know as much about the subject as possible, which is why i'm asking for an overload of information. I'll glean out the most helpful nuggets where i can for the manual, try to present it succinctly as possible for new users, but explain fully for the reference section.

So that's where i'm coming from. The more i know, the better i can teach! :wink:

Offline Saga Musix

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What is normalization?
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2009, 21:12:24 »
See, we are totally different here. And maybe have a completely different view of "newbies".
First of all, I tought me everything about ModPlug myself. I found out what everything does by myself, and I found the sample editor stuff very easy to understand (I've been working with different wave editing software before, though).
Also, my view about newbies (concering Trackers, that is!!!) is that they either give instantly up because they're not interested in learning a couple of hex values and letters by heart or because they get confused by this "technical approach". Those who are really willing to learn tracking are also willing to found out how their tracker works, without reading any manuals or such. That's also why I think that messageboxes every where something "dangerous" could happen are totally useless (sorry Relabs).
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Offline Harbinger

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What is normalization?
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2009, 21:34:48 »
I concede that there might be a large number of people who approach MPT like you did. In which case the manual is dismissable.

But i believe that there are even more who see the possibilities of using our fine tracker, but are not sure what everything does, or how to get EXACTLY what they want from MPT. I guess it is for those who don't like to dive right in, but would rather get their feet wet first.

Plus, you know, i needed your help a few days ago in Tempo slides, a common Channel effect i had forgotten. If i had a manual with a Reference Section, i could have instantly used that. That's the secondary reason for the manual.

Now YOU, you know the inner workings of MPT. So i don't see you as USING any "manual". :)  You are the GIVER of knowledge, not a page-flipper! :P

Offline Saga Musix

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What is normalization?
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2009, 21:37:00 »
Well, the last sentence is only true since last autumn, though... :)
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Offline Sam_Zen

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What is normalization?
« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2009, 00:03:51 »
Quote
...If you start to normalize, and then apply e.g. some filter to boost some frequency range, big chance of clipping...

Not entirely true for modplug as there are no such effects in the sample editor (yet...)

I know. This was more a remark in a general way, about how to treat samples.

I think a good manual should be useful for anyone, not only aimed at newbies.
Even an experienced user doesn't know all by heart.

That's why it should not only contain simple explanations, but one shouldn't be afraid to get technical, if necessary.
After all, this is electronics, so it's also about frequencies, modulations, waveforms, codes, conversions, etc.

It's of no use trying to keep people aboard and interested, who are scared off at once by seeing the first hex-value.
I agree with Jojo about the right spirit that beginners should have. Being persistent in learning and finding their way.

Including hex-values or properties of sound doesn't mean a switch to a 'technical approach', I think.
Anyway, these are not high-end complicated things.
I taught my granddaughter in one session how to count hexadecimal (and binary too) when she was eight..
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Offline LPChip

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What is normalization?
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2009, 08:40:29 »
I share Harbingers vision about the manual actually.

I understand Jojo's one too, but I'm one of those who wants to figure out something by trying it himself, and if its not clear instantly, I want to read about it somewhere. I see good use for this in the manual, so please continue Harbinger. :)
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Offline Saga Musix

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What is normalization?
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2009, 10:19:22 »
It's not that I don't want to have a manual. :P I just think that a few things could really be left out, and instead of explaining every detail of audio processing in a manual that's supposed to be dedicated to OpenMPT, I'd rather set a link to some Wikipedia articles or something.
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Offline LPChip

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What is normalization?
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2009, 10:32:08 »
I disagree here, and besides, if Harbinger wants to put it in, why stop him? The more details the manual has, the more usefull it will become.

If I'm reading through an article and it says: for more information, click here, I click there and I later find out that that page has been altered and no longer shares the vision of the manual (not to forget that its supposed to be an off-line manual, I feel screwed. So I rather have it all in one document.
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Offline PPH

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What is normalization?
« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2009, 13:15:32 »
People are different and they learn in different ways. There are people that learn by playing around with the software, and people who prefer to use a tutorial or learn the basic concepts from a manual before starting.

I learned to use Modplug more ore less alone. I knew FastTracker 2 and OctaMED before, though. I knew more or less how to use the basic stuff. And I friend explained some things to me. Modplug, though, was different in some ways, and in those, I learned alone and it was not difficult.

In my case, the help file a were useful to learn the effects like retrigger (although I admit I learned to use stuff like that more with trial and error than with theorical knowledge; but that's my way; others may prefer a more analytical approach).

Looking at other people's mods was useful too. The point is: a reference manual can be very useful to enlarge one's knowledge. It is easy to figure out most of the  workings of Modplug. Even some concepts are not difficult to grasp once you used it a lot (like virtual channels; that I learned alone).
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Offline Harbinger

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What is normalization?
« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2009, 22:05:33 »
I agree, PPH, but let's be honest -- we've ALL had to learn MPT "alone" because there was no manual. There has recently been a smattering of WIKI articles, often with missing information, one maybe two tutorials, and the search function of our forums. That's always been the extent of learning the little nuances of ModPlug. (Everlasting gratitude for those who did contribute to the Wiki! :wink: )

FORTUNATELY, like you said, MPT is pretty intuitive if you have any familiarity with tracking or event-editing. But i want to make it easier to bring in new composers to MPT in case something isn't readily obvious, like using macros, understanding and applying Note FX and Channel FX, or instruments vs. samples, to name a few issues.

As a matter of fact, i want to write it in such a way so that, whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or veteran, you can instinctively go to the part of the manual that gives you the best help. If you're a veteran, for example, you can skip over the "newbie" stuff without bypassing information that could be helpful. The Reference Section should contain EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING concerning ModPlug Tracker. (Well except for details about the code and how it works!) And plenty of pictures throughout will diminish any confusion from the syntax. And plenty of links between sections in case you need more info.