I'm hoping to use Multitrack but I'm unsure if it can do what I need. What I want to do is load approximately 12 songs into Multitrack and listen to the songs momentarily to try and get the volume levels similar to one another, is this possible in Multitrack? I don't want to use the 'normalize' function as I heard this can mess about with the dynamics of a song. After discovering which songs need to be louder or reduced I would then go to Amplify to sort that out, does that make sense?
Any help would be much appreciated.
Yes I do this all the time
It works best if the songs are destined for a physical CD or LP as to some degree you control the listening order of songs.
Bit more difficult when there is no order and a soft song could be played between 2 loud songs so a lot more back and forth required to get close
It also helps if the same instrumentation is used in all the songs - much harder if there is no relation and the material and instrumentation varies widely.
A compressor may come in handy
There are a few misconceptions here. Firstly, normalizing doesn't alter the dynamics of a recording in the slightest; all it does is alter the level at which you are hearing it. So its effect is essentially the same as a volume control, only you've done it to a file rather than on your amp, or whatever. Normalizing is an entirely linear process that's specifically intended not to interfere with the dynamics, in fact. If you want to alter the dynamics, you need a non-linear effect, like compression or limiting, and that's why they have these names - it's the dynamics that are being compressed or limited. Normalizing simply moves the entire dynamic range up and down, depending on what you've set it to. On top of that, if doesn't work in Multitrack view anyway!
If you want to do this in Multitrack, then if you drop each song in as a separate clip, you can adjust the individual clip volumes to get them to sound at a similar level. Alternatively you could use Match Loudness in Waveform view - just use the setting you want (try the top one) and just drop all of your files on to it. If you save them into a separate destination folder, you can use this as the source for your multitrack assembly, and you won't have to alter anything at all. Well ideally you won't - there are no absolute guarantees with this, because it hasn't got human ears. Note what SuiteSpot said carefully...
Thanks for the replies.
If you have the songs as individual files that you've put into Multitrack, then all you need to do to access the level of an individual one is to keep the Properties window open, and twirl down to Basic Settings. There you will find the Clip Gain control, and if you leave that window open and click on individual clips, the gain setting for each will be displayed. When you've done that, if you open the Mixer you'll be able to set the overall level of your mix as you play it back. There's way more you could do as well, but with pre-recorded tracks that should be fine.
Wow, you make it sound so easy Steve. Could you break it down into layman's terms please?