How to Normalize or Change the Volume of Your MP3 Files

By Brian Burgess on June 29th, 2010

Have you ever been listening to MP3 music files that were really quiet while others were really loud? It can be quite an annoying problem and here’s how to fix it.

MP3Gain

MP3Gain is a free utility that analyzes mp3 files and determines how they will sound to the human ear. It will then adjust the files so they have about the same loudness, without affecting the quality of the recording. You can use it in two ways, which are Track or Album Mode.

Track mode corrects the mix of unrelated songs to the level you select. While Album Mode corrects the entire album by relating them to the other songs on the album.

Installation and Use

Installation of MP3Gain is easy following the install wizard. If you need multilingual support, make sure to include the language files.

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Using MP3Gain is a fairly simple process and can normalize your files in batches. First click on Add File(s) or Add Folder and browse to the files you want to normalize. Or you can simply drag and drop the files you want into the app.

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Now decide the Target Volume level. The default is 89dB, but you can increase or decrease the level based on your preferences. Then click on Album Analysis to analyze the volume of each file. This step isn’t necessary, but you might be interested in checking out the differences in track volume levels. In this example we’re going to go ahead and analyze the files.

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Now wait while MP3Gain completes the process of analyzing the volume levels.

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Now you can look through the analysis results.

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Now it’s time to normalize the volume of the files by clicking on the Album Gain button and wait while the files are normalized.

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The process completes and you’ll see what adjustments were made.

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Now you can listen to your favorite music without having to worry about one track being really loud and annoying or too quiet and adjusting the volume constantly.

Note: If your tunes sound too loud or quiet, just go back and adjust the Target Volume Setting and click on Track Gain again.

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If none of the settings seem to be working for your music and you just want to revert to the original volumes, on the toolbar click Modify Gain then Undo Gain changes.

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This is a great utility to normalize the volume of your MP3 collection and home recordings as well. Although the GUI seems dated, and there are other commercial programs out there which have more features…in our tests MP3Gain did a good job and it’s free.

We tested it on Windows 7 x64 but it should work in previous versions too.

Download MP3Gain for Windows

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 06/29/10
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