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software volume boost


rendrag
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hey fellas, lookin for some guidance/assistance.

I took some home movies w/ my digi camcorder, and the volume is pretty low, even w/ my speakers and sound card maxed. Are there any software packages out there that can further increase the volume on these files, or do you guys have any suggestions?

Thanks

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You'll just get distortion if you try doing it with software, since the wave peaks will get clipped.

The proper way is to get a real powered amplifier.

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Uh? The thing is in digital format already. There's no point converting it to analog, then thru an amp (and those things DO clip BTW - I've designed audio amps for years...), then back to digital again. That will distort it and add some clipping (which is what you seem to be against). Amps don't make peaks disappear (more like they tend to introduce extra clipping of their own). If you got to boost so much that you get clipping using software, using an amp will hardly be better. Your >0dB peaks will still be too strong, will still clip, and will produce a voltage that will end up as "clipping" once captured again (and you're adding more distorsion regardless - even if you have some fancy class A tube amp with really good filtering and all). That would likely require him to spend some $$ too (for something half decent), and sounds quite overkill for most purposes (home videos namely). Unless you're talking about amplifying whatever your signal is before recording it i.e. recording it at an acceptable level in the first place... (obviously a well placed decent mic can't hurt either)

Maximizing/normalizing volume if it's at a low level (using software) should not produce any clipping whatsoever (unless you overdo it). The app will detect the peaks (max values of -32768 to 32767 for 16bit) and will only boost so much. And there even more ways using software to boost even more without clipping (or minimizing it), using things like dynamic range compression (boost quiter parts more and louder parts less) and what not. There is lots of good apps that can do this, from high end commercial mastering apps and plugins to free/OSS ones.

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Unless you're talking about amplifying whatever your signal is before recording it i.e. recording it at an acceptable level in the first place... (obviously a well placed decent mic can't hurt either)
Yes, I must've misunderstood the OP.
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