Normalize vocal clip?

I’m not sure normalize is the correct term. I have a vocal clip of someone that had terrible mic technique. Parts of the clip are barely audible, others overly hot. Is there an operation in WaveLab that will adjust a clip like this to even out amplitude over the entire clip?

You can do it manually by drawing points on the volume envelope in the montage… Alternatively, you could use something like Waves “Vocal Rider”, but it has some potential for mistakes… it would be really cool if Wavelab could “automatically” create the points and draw the envelope according to some settings…

Yes. I use the “Leveler” module in iZotope RX for this. I do a certain type of work that has some dialogue that is all over the place in terms of level and the “Leveler” module in RX makes quick work of this, especially for longer pieces of material.

So it’s basically a compressor that allows you to do offline modification of the envelope. That’s very cool… Hadn’t heard of the Izotope leveler. I may have to get RX!

Alternatively, you could just use a compression plugin… but then you wouldn’t have specific control over the generated envelope.

It’s not a compressor at all. Compression would change the character of the loud sections too much and not really be all that effective without too many artifacts.

What it does is analyze the audio, and applies a gain line/envelope throughout the piece of audio so that the audio maintains a target level that you can define. It can be optimized for dialogue or music, and has setting such as responsiveness, preserve dynamics (0 to 100%), breath control, Ess Reduction etc.

It’s the perfect tool for this situation and as far as I know, is not possible in WaveLab but I could be wrong.

A compressor is a device that reduces dynamic range - by turning down louder sections and/or turning up softer sections. That’s exactly what this plugin does - it “compresses” the dynamic range" - even if it does it in a slightly different way (obviously a compressor uses different controls like attack, release, ratio, threshold, etc). Anyway, Izotope Leveler looks very cool - and would probably work much better than a typical compressor in this application. Like you say, a compressor in this case could potentially generate artifacts or noticeable pumping - especially if it’s pushed too hard.

Manually drawing a volume envelope in Wavelab would work very well also, but it would take a lot more time. That’s why I think this Izotope Leveler is cool - it draws the volume envelope for you. I’m assuming you can then correct/redraw parts of the envelope if you choose?

Something similar to the Izotope Leveler would be a very cool and helpful addition to Wavelab (maybe Wavelab could just draw the curve into it’s own volume envelope)… Maybe in Wavelab 10… or 11… or 12? :slight_smile:

Yes, it draws a volume line that you can see and further edit if needed before committing it but for the most part, with the right settings it get things very close right away.

One of my clients sends me very dialogue heavy stuff and the clips are interviews of various people in different spaces with different levels/sounds etc.

The Leveler module handles this very very well and quickly. If you are dealing with something more than a minute long, RX Leveler will pay for itself very quickly.

It’d be great to see WaveLab add this, it could be part of the Meta Normalizer. Instead of normalizing an entire section of audio, it could have a mode that helps it maintain a constant level, or momentary LUFS in other words.

Again, maybe it can be done in WaveLab but if it can, I’ve never found it.

RX Leveler sound like the tool I need. I have RX 7 Standard and unfortunately Leveler is only in the Advanced version. Just a few months ago I weighed the options of upgrading to RX Advanced or buying WaveLab Pro. I chose WaveLab because its features more closely match what I use for music production and its tight integration with Cubase.

I occasionally do work with speech recordings and the one I need to fix is 30 minutes long, so Leveler would be great but the upgrade to Advance is $800!

Looks like I’ll have to brute force it with WaveLab. It would be great if WaveLab had a processing feature like Leveler.

An alternative in Wavelab is to use the MasterRig with two compressors in the chain, the first set to a maximizer (Optimize around 50, -3 output) and the second to a standard compressor (1.5 : 1). It’s not as good as RX but can help.

You could also try TB GainRider2 or DynaRide.

They’re relatively inexpensive, about the same as Waves Vocal Rider I think.