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ACX: I matched peaks to -3db but 0db peaks remain!

Explorer ,
Dec 28, 2019 Dec 28, 2019

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I'm making an audiobook to submit to ACX. I processed my files and set them to ACX requirements using Match Loudness. I uploaded the files and now a couple weeks later I got a notice that my peaks were over-spec on 3 of a dozen files. I rechecked those files using Amplitude Statistics and they are not over-spec. But then I zoomed in on my wave form and looked along it and saw that indeed I had one area where the peaks were too loud. Why is the statistics giving errors? Is it just giving an AVERAGE peak? Hmm, that doesn't make sense -- a peak is a peak. What am I doing wrong or misunderstanding about Match Loudness? 

 

I just now tested Match Loudness again and ran the file through it (again) for a Peak Amplitude of -3db -- and it reduced that one area of loudness properly. I wonder why it didn't do it before? ...But it also reduced everything else! Rats! I wish it only reduced the peaks to fit -- jeez, isn't that was adjusting the Peak Amplitude is supposed to do? I then tried Normalize -3db and it also reduced everything. 

Apparently, if I use either of those tools now I will end up with a Total RMS that is too low. Should I just juggle the various Match Loudness settings until something comes out looking good? Ha. Trial and error is my usual way but I'd rather do it better.

 

Is there a way to reduce only peaks rather than to reduce the loudness of everything? It seems to me that both the Peak reduction and Normalize are actually working like a Total RMS reduction or overall level reduction. It's like I just selected everything and used the volume control slider... But that's not what I want! Help? Thanks...

 

I am a total amateur but it seems that my files ALMOST met the requirements. I processsed all my files the same way and to the same specs but 3 of the dozen need to be redone. Is there a process that I, as a beginner, can use to fix my situation? Thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 28, 2019 Dec 28, 2019

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What did you have Match Loudness set to match to?

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Explorer ,
Dec 28, 2019 Dec 28, 2019

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I think I had the Total RMS set to -17db then I ran that. After that I ran Peak Amplitude set to -3db and the Total RMS would jump to -20db. So I checked that each file was -20 Total RMS and -3 Peak. 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 28, 2019 Dec 28, 2019

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Can you give me all of the settings in the box? A screen-grab would do, eg:

Match Loudness 2.JPG

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Explorer ,
Dec 30, 2019 Dec 30, 2019

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Hi... I use the tool in the lower left of my screen. I can apply one change at a time. I do Total RMS first then Peak.

 

Match LoudnessMatch Loudness

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Explorer ,
Dec 30, 2019 Dec 30, 2019

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Is there a way to reduce the Peaks without reducing everything else? I thought that is what the Peak Amplitude setting was doing all along but now I'm not sure...

Another weird thing is that I processed all my files and made sure they met specs before uploading. Now I go look at them again and run the Amplitude Statistics and am getting crazy numbers! Wildly out of spec. What the heck? 

What's more I converted them to MP3 before uploading and when I analyze those files now they are different from the .WAV files that I did my work on!

When I analyze the stats, this is what I like to see:

Screen Shot 2019-12-30 at 10.02.15 PM.png

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