Too Loud, Too Soft #socs

Source: Giphy

I have tinnitus, which is a permanent ringing in my ears. In order to get some sleep at night, I listen to white noise, specifically about a dozen MP3 files with the sounds of rain and thunder on them. For some reason, I can’t get them to play at a consistent volume, because some of the tracks are so quiet I have to crank the volume up so it’s loud enough to hear, others are so loud that they wake me up (or Mary does) and I have to crank the volume down. I’ve tried adjusting the volume on each individual track using a program called MP3Gain Express, which supposedly figures out the volume of each track and adjusts it so everything plays at a consistent volume, but it really doesn’t.

I wish I understood enough about digital audio to be able to know what to do about it. I’ve tried using Audacity (a free sound engineering program) to adjust the volume, but that either results in the whole track way too loud or with noticeable clicks in it. I think there’s a lot more to it than I know what to do about it. I think a certain amount of sitting down and learning how to do what I want to do might be in order.

Or, I could simply use either the White Noise or myNoise app on my phone, which will play the same sound file all night…


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now here’s John Forsythe for Michelob beer. Holidays were made for Michelob!

24 thoughts on “Too Loud, Too Soft #socs

  1. I wish I had the answer, but honestly, I struggle similarly in my car, at my house, with music and tv and streaming and commercials. I’m watching Hulu and then suddenly people screaming about cell phone plans. O Carmina Burana has to be at 22, but pop music at 22 makes me want to flee. The dialog is soft and then the music comes in with horns loud as Gabriel’s and I’m startled. It’s annoying to me, and I’m sure more so for you! You’ll have to let us know if you find a solution!

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    1. I have a program called MP3Gain that allegedly will balance out the sound between the files, although not within each file. I’ll have to unload the files from where they are currently (buried within an iTunes directory) and see if it works.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, John, you’ve got plenty of ideas and I think the time to play around so good luck with that. Hubby has tinnitus too and sometimes it is worse than others. He falls asleep with the TV on every night and sometimes it wakes me and I have to turn the volume down.

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  3. I use a fan, but its probably not loud enough for you. It took me a while to find one the right sound. I don’t have tinnitus so you’ve got a bigger problem than mine.

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    1. I have a bunch of apps on my iPhone that can make almost any kind of sound, including a fan, and I use the phone when the player I have conks out. I think it might be an issue with the player.

      By the way, either I’ve missed your birthday or it’s coming up. In either case, Happy Birthday! (I figured I’d better do it while I was thinking about it…)

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  4. Sounds like you’re making progress and have the tenacity to pursue options. My ear ringing doesn’t keep me awake as much as much as my beloved’s snoring, but there are ways to minimize the effects. I wish you the best as you figure out a solution.

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    1. In theory, hive mind works well; unfortunately, sounds like we’re all in the same boat. I’ve got a couple of things to try, so stay tuned.

      I can’t tell if the ad is from the pre “Charlie’s Angels” days, the post “Charlie’s Angels,” pre “Dynasty” days, or when, exactly. Well, I’m not going to lose sleep over it…

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      1. Right, I’m not a Windows person, although there could be a similar solution for Mac, and like you said that first one is an online tool. Loudness isn’t that big of an issue, it’s getting everything to balance out, but this will help. Thanks!

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      1. FLAC = Fully lossless…. Full detail. Once you go to MP3 there is degradation, that’s how they get decent compression. If you’re buying any audio, FLAC is the biggest and best quality. I never used to buy MP3s, used to buy the actual disk then immediately rip it into FLAC files using a tool called Exact Audio Copy. I’m not sure how wav files fit in to all that. Dunno whether they’re lossless or not, I suspect not, I only know the audio formats in passing, really.

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      1. That would be another way, yes, and I know Alexa (Amazon’s voice-controlled thing) can do the same thing. I’m not especially enamored of that idea. I have apps on my phone that can play white noise at a constant level all night; maybe that would be an alternative. I have an iPod Touch on order, and I think it’ll run the same apps as the iPhone. The little player I have has done all right, but the battery conks out at around 5AM and I end up using my phone, which I’d prefer not to do…

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