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NORMALIZE - PLEASE FIX!

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There are numerous bugs associated with the Process->Normalize command that have been well documented for some time now, particularely when you try to run normalized on multiple tracks with or without multiple clips per track where the results are unpredictable and usually ends with corruption.  Fortunately undo gets you back but this is a bug that should have been fixed back in the SONAR days and it really slows down the workflow by having to to run Normalize one track at a time.

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This is true. It is scheduled to be fixed according to Noel.

If it were easy to fix, I think it already would be.

Most of us agree. There is a cautious work-around that starts with making sure your project is backed up.

Things go wrong when you mix fast comping with normalize.

If you are just normalizing individual clips that are the only clips on the track, this works for me.

I'm not saying it shouldn't be fixed, I'm trying to give details around how it works incorrectly so you can avoid problems.

GS

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I've found that this helps:

1. Enabling one file per clip in the save dialog, and;

2. Always bouncing to clip(s) individually on the clips BEFORE you normalize

It still doesn't completely fix the problems with normalizing more then one clip at once though.

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Hi thanks for responding! Yes been using this since 8.5 if not prior.  I always back up and (we have all) been dealing with this big for a long time. I’m really impressed by the progress Neil B and bandlab have made not only in features but if a huge amount of bug fixes that have really brought CbB to another level from a stability standpoint.  It just seems like a good time to bring this one  up again since such real attention is being paid to  fixing bugs! FYI I tend to like to normalize most of my drum tracks (I use only real drums.) to make sure all the matching overhead, Tom and room mics are at the same level.  Since I record and play at the same time, as close as I am with the levels I find normalizing to -5 dB give all the tracks the consistency i want

 

tjme

 

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Thanks for the tips and yes I do most of those already but if would be nice to have confidence in the tool to use it on multiple tracks without any workarounds

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Hmm. I never use normalizing. I use compressors and limiters. I guess some use it and some don't.

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Normalization is a leftover from the early digital audio days when most processing was destructive. These days with clip envelopes and 64 bit mixing there is hardly any need to do normalization unless your audio levels a super low. Even so a compressor as a clip effect would do the job.

Not to say that we shouldn't look into that issue.

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Yeah I’ve noticed recently having issues with Process Gain on multiple clips sometimes as well.  Also still get the ‘busy’ clip after bouncing a stretched clip sometimes.  (Yes, empty Pic Cache, Cache raised to 1 gig)

Must say though, Impressive momentum yall have going right now! 

Thank you SO much for listening! 😀

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1 hour ago, Noel Borthwick said:

Normalization is a leftover from the early digital audio days when most processing was destructive. These days with clip envelopes and 64 bit mixing there is hardly any need to do normalization unless your audio levels a super low. 


Normalization is still an essential process for narration (and often vocals) when doing phrase-by-phrase normalization, because of being able to assign to keyboard shortcuts and move super-fast compared to using clip  envelopes. You also don't get the artifacts involved with dynamics processing.

CbB's normalization is particularly useful because it doesn't force 0 as the limit - you can normalize to any level. The best workaround is to create a macro that bounces a clip to itself, and then normalizes, with one shortcut.

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41 minutes ago, Craig Anderton said:


Normalization is still an essential process for narration (and often vocals) when doing phrase-by-phrase normalization, because of being able to assign to keyboard shortcuts and move super-fast compared to using clip  envelopes. You also don't get the artifacts involved with dynamics processing.

CbB's normalization is particularly useful because it doesn't force 0 as the limit - you can normalize to any level. The best workaround is to create a macro that bounces a clip to itself, and then normalizes, with one shortcut.

It's also really useful when using plugins are particularly sensitive to gain staging. 

Being able to normalize to a known level that works well with a particular plugin / preset makes life a lot easier. 

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I also use Normalize often.  Usually it's only one clip at a time so I don't have the same issue as the OP,  but maybe I have learned to only do one at a time to avoid the problems.

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5 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I'd prefer mine to be non-destructive.

In this day and age, Normalizing should absolutely be non-destructive.

It would make sense to tie this into that Per-Clip "Static Gain" parameter I've been lobbying for.   😁

There are many cases (when mixing), where I'll use static gain changes (per clip) to even out a vocal performance.

Yes, Clip Envelopes work... but it's slow (compared to a Static Gain/Normalize parameter).

 

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1 hour ago, msmcleod said:

It's also really useful when using plugins are particularly sensitive to gain staging. 

Being able to normalize to a known level that works well with a particular plugin / preset makes life a lot easier. 

Absolutely! Amp sims come to mind, so do compressors, which depend so much on input level.

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49 minutes ago, Jim Roseberry said:

In this day and age, Normalizing should absolutely be non-destructive.

 

I hear you, Jim. But with a 64-bit engine, I've found that changing levels on a normalized signal  doesn't really seem to have any impact. 

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1 hour ago, Jim Roseberry said:

There are many cases (when mixing), where I'll use static gain changes (per clip) to even out a vocal performance.

Yes, Clip Envelopes work... but it's slow (compared to a Static Gain/Normalize parameter).

 

Yeah, you're right. Me too. I said I use compressors and limiters, but I do use the gain feature as well--even have it on my menu bar I reach for it so often. Typically, if I want to change an audio track that is either way to low or high, or more often than not, I just select a word or phrase from a vocal take and apply a boost or cut on that section. That's probably the real big reason I don't use normalization.

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2 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

In this day and age, Normalizing should absolutely be non-destructive.

It would make sense to tie this into that Per-Clip "Static Gain" parameter I've been lobbying for.   😁

There are many cases (when mixing), where I'll use static gain changes (per clip) to even out a vocal performance.

Yes, Clip Envelopes work... but it's slow (compared to a Static Gain/Normalize parameter).

 

Actually, this is a really good idea.

Even if the clip gain was tied to a normalization function, that would work really well. So you could "soft" normalize the signal to -3db, and it would automatically adjust the clip gain accordingly.

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13 hours ago, msmcleod said:

Actually, this is a really good idea.

Even if the clip gain was tied to a normalization function, that would work really well. So you could "soft" normalize the signal to -3db, and it would automatically adjust the clip gain accordingly.

I agree.   

Non-destructive Normalize and Static Clip Gain should be tied together.

Make it so!    

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14 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

I hear you, Jim. But with a 64-bit engine, I've found that changing levels on a normalized signal  doesn't really seem to have any impact. 

Hi Craig,

I'm sure the 64Bit mix engine makes any rounding error moot.  😉

With CPU power available today, it seems unnecessary to make Normalize a destructive process.

I'd like to see (per-clip) Normalization and Static Gain... as those features combined would (non-destructively) address any Normalization need... and allow quick means to level out a performance.

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The issue isn’t whether to use normalization or not and there are many great reasons to use it.  It should work and not corrupt tracks and you should be able to normalize multiple tracks at once .  Compressors and the like don’t substitute .  If I record a full drumset and the levels vary slight between tracks I like to normalize all of them so the loudest hits are equal.  I normalize to -5 and get great results.  Same for overheads etc where there are pairs or multiple tracks that “go together” . After all this time it should get fixed 

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