Useful tip to fix distorted (overly loud / poorly remastered) albums
Sorry if this has been posted before or is in the wrong section, but I thought it a tip talked about on the AVI forum recently is worth sharing.
I've bought some albums recently, that are casualties of the loudness war with obvious disortion - so much so I found I really didn't enjoy listening to them. Lisa Hannigan's 2nd album, Passenger, is one that springs to mind, especially disappointing as her first was so well produced.
Basically, a programme called Audacity has the ability to show clipped peaks and fix them.
Here's an image of a track, with clipped peaks shown in red:
The same track after I've fixed it and sounds much better.
The workflow to do this is
1. Download and install Audacity (it's open source so free)
2. Convert you track into a format Audacity can work with, e.g., mp3 or FLAC
3. Reduce volume by 10db - Select "Effect" then "Amplify..." from the menus and enter "-10db".
4. Select "Effect" then "Fix Clip..." from the menu
5. Select "Effect" then "Amplify..." from the menu and leave the volume to amplify as the volume Audacity choses for you.
6. Select "File" then "Export..." to save the track in the format of your choice.
Of course, we shouldn't have to do this, but if you've got some albums that suffer from the loudness war, this might make them listenable again.