Normalization of sound levels in Windows 10 - in real time

I have this problem. I use the Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro which has option of real time normalization [under the name of Smart Volume]: when enabled it makes all quiet things louder and sounds that are loud quieter. But I will be most likely ditching that piece of hardware. I use it for example when watching movies, because as I do not have a home theater set-up but do have neighbors


Is there some stand alone software that can make the same job in my operating system that can be recommended?

hmm... I don't know any software for that but should be possible using windows mixer api (technics behind talkover but just measure and control, no audio gateway cause of delay)

How does the SoundBlaster is working, I guess flowing averaging?
What average time is used? How fast does it adjust volume?

WindowsAGC

Destination: Destination Level for AGC
Limit: Hard limit for Windows Main Level (just to avoid running to 100%)
Smoot: regulation speed

You can Activate by switch on the right side.

Download:
http://peter-ebe.de/_temp/WindowsAGC.exe

It's Freeware/Donationware and not yet finished yet but all base features already working

  • AGC Function for Windows Volume Control
  • adjustable regulation
  • simple detectiton whether sound is on or not

Would be cool if you could give some feedback.

Regards,
Peter

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I have no idea how this feature of my external sound card works. It only has a slider going from 0% to 100% and a button for turning it on & off

And to be honest: I have never given it any thought. And that is partially because I was more than happy when I started using its Smart Volume function as an alternative to the Normalization option in Media Player Classic- which for some reason had stopped working for me way;back, i.e. when I went form Windows XP to Windows 7. [The only drawback when comparing Smart Volume to Normalization for me is that I have to wait for the SoundBLaster's software to show up its window and make quite a few clicks in it- while in MPC loaded itself immediately and I had this turned on always in it as I was using MPC only when I needed to have normalization applied to my video or just strictly audio files]


I remember researching the topic of external sound cards, with some voices diminishing spending money on them in comparison to investing in a stereo and a DAC- pointing out that the normalization features are just an software operation that could [surely / supposedly] be done with some third party software not bungled to some hardware

It seems to not work properly; i.e. when I jump withing a track [in Winam] the track gets profoundly quieter with every jump. And I do not like the idea of the software taking control of the volume slider of the Volume Mixer and making it almost impossible to turn the volume down with the slider . [I am using also SimpleSndVol v. 2.0.0., which allows me for an immediate ability of pumping up or taking down the sound in Windows with a simple mouse wheel turning]

And so to answer your question: SmartVolume of SoundBlaster just pumps op the volume in a steady way, not blocking the slider. It has zero issues for me and I do not hear any delays


And there is a typo in it: Destionation instead of Destination

I can't reproduce that. Maybe you fail cause windowsAGC need some time to adjust volume (depending on smooth setting - lower is faster).
Set Destination volume in windows AGC and wait until software has reached an almost stable value for output level.
When the music gets louder (jumping to another track or inside an track) it will automatically regulate down and will regulate up again if needed.

That's how it's working.

Ey, that's not fair :stuck_out_tongue: Have an look at windows mixer when using SimpleSndVol, it do exactly the same :slight_smile:
Third party software software solution need hook somehwere, using windows volume control or application api to set volume. that's the deal.

You didn't told that you already use an third party aplication to control window's volume. Your current problem is: WindowsAGC and SimpleSndVol try to control Main Output Volume.
Well, an solution would be to add that option from talkover to WindowsAGC:

SimpleSndVol would control mixer main level like it is currently doing.
WindowsAGC would cotrol mixer level for application.

Well, as I wrote, soundblaster can adjust volume after windows processing on hardware....
third party software like simplesndvol or windows agc need to hook somewhere.

ops... thanks :slight_smile:

btw: are you using first poc version or 1.00 ? (you can see in window header or when right clicking exe)

So there is simply no way it will reach a steady level if I keep jumping thorough different tracks or within one given track?

And that is why

?

And it will also work the same way when watching a movie- i.e. on a steady fixed level?

I simply forget how many tweaks for Windows I use. If I see a stupid / user un-friendly approach I research it and try to overcome / change it. If it successfully do do it then it goes out of my mind. It is only when for whatever reason it stops working that I realize that I have some [hidden] issue- and usually it takes my some time to realize that before "it was A-OK because I implemented that tweak to my OS"

The poc-what of what?

My SimpleSndVol is version 2.1.0.1

you can normalize all your tracks by using mp3gain. It will analyze files and set gain level on files.
All files will have same gain level after that process.
That will fix different volume between files, but not when jumping within tracks.

Will work on evey audio stream on windows. Slider in windows mixer appear when application starts audio output stream. Talkover/WindowsAGC/SimpleSndVol/... any thrid party application can access any of these slider controls.
Are you using an application to watch tv? But works with browser to. When you start some audio from firefox an "firefox" slider appear in windows mixer (can be more than one).

well. we may fix that anyway :slight_smile:

what version of WindowsAGC?
I released first version an few hours after your first posting and updated application one time.
(added configuration and better sound on/off detection)

I've updated windowsAGC

  • measure/regulation changed, you can choose mixer control for regulation that is scaled
  • main scale isn't touched any more, so you can use third party software for that
  • better startup behaviour, measurement is running in background before regulation is enabled
  • changed ui

WindowsAGC_102
Download: same link
http://peter-ebe.de/_temp/WindowsAGC.exe

Looking forward for feedback :slight_smile:

I am sorry, but that fixes almost nothing

I do want to sidetrack here or diss you, but
1] Gain information applied to MP3s does nothing for my FLAC files videos on YouTube
2] Gain change is an option for the [blessed] people who do not hear how the music is being destroyed since 1990s because of the ongoing loudness war- who thus do not hear how in one track the level of audio changes

Yes, sliders appears for different applications

But the trick is to be able to control them all with just one master slider- the way I am doing it now when I have my Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro software working. Thus all sounds are affected at the same time

I never ever use individual sliders- some people might operate that way but if need to take the YouTube in webbrowser down a notch, I use the slider on the website [i.e. do it in the webbrowser]

That is true

But I just cannot hear a difference with the WindowsAGC 1.02 being turned ON an OFF, be it in Winamp or Sony Sound Forge. I tried raising the Destination and limit up and down but still got no difference

And when I changed Smooth to 0 while playing, one pup-up windows after another started to show up, to the point of having to close the software

well, think in 2021 you can't "diss" anyone anymore :smiley: that's to oldschool

well, sound card can intervene again after all the window technology.

  • did you selected control slider? for example if you play sound from winamp, select winamp.
  • well, if you set smooth to 0 there will be an div by zero, i need to fix
  • does outputlevel display change ond louder or quieter passages? should rise on more quiet passages and decrease on louder passages of music

For Example:
Play sound on winamp, select outputlevel 30, limit 80, smooth 50 (fast, but not to fast) and start music.
outputlevel should be displayed.
If you've selected regulator "winamp" from dropdown, "winamp" slider in windows mixer should move with calculated outputlevel and you should hear it.

You can test if you use an song that's containing louder passages,
[Alessandra Roncone - From The Rain To A Smile] from youtube.(love that song)

just to clarify: that's just an slow autogain regulation, not an complex audio enhancer that's modifying audio stream

I use something I know very well. Like this: https://youtu.be/VyZKtNHnRaI?t=445 - i.e. the parts with quiet percussion from remix / cover version by Lorcán of the "Geoscape" by John Broomhall; because this track does not "compete" in the loudness war

With my Smart Volume turned on I can hear how it gets gradually louder from that point. And when jumping to a louder part with more layers I can hear how the sound of percussion drops immediately. This is what I expect [when watching movies]. And with WindowsAGC being turned to ON and with proper MixerControl being displayed [Winamp for playing from Winamp, Sound Forge when playing from Sound Forge] I hear no difference. I only see how the Avg indicator changes slowly while the Current changes rapidly. [This time I used the suggested settings]

Maybe that is the issue here- me being used for years to how quick and profoundly Smart Volume does

yea, that correct, but what about output display in windows agc and regulator in windows mixer? should change opposite to avg gain.
I tested using an gain measurement on my smartphone to validate regulation. but can clearly hear too with differnt songs and audio streams.