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Normalising Audio Volume On Video Clips


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My late aunt and uncle were keen amateur videographers, dating back to the 1940's with clockwork cameras such as the Citation, then later Kodak Brownie's and even a Bell & Howell 16mm camera. During my childhood Christmas Day evening was always spent gathered around their screen watching the highlights from the past year. In later years they moved onto magnetic tape (betamax etc) and data cards etc. 

After my uncles death a couple of years ago the issue of what to do with their many many hours of film fell to me and my sisters, they had no children of their own and we decided to have some parts of it digitised to keep, mostly those that showed members of the family or fondly remembered events then donated much of it to appropriate sources. 

This leaves us with about two hundred clips of video totalling around ten hours which have come from many different sources, some silent some with commentary added and some with live sound. It is that audio which is the problem as the volume varies dramatically from one clip to the next and I am looking for software that will standardise it. For MP3 I use something called MP3gain which has proved adequate for my old I tunes collection etc so immediately went to the sister program MP4gain but the results have been disappointing. The trial version failed to work completely on about half of the clips we tried, with no explanation or reason given and no obvious cause (file types, sampling rates, settings etc were all the same), and those it has "done" are still quite different in sound levels. Very different to the excellent results I have got from MP3 gain. 

Ultimately I want to stitch these together in a series of 90 - 120 minute episodes but it is very annoying when one clip you can't hear and the next near deafens. I would stress I want only to standardise the volume levels, I am not interested in enhancing the sound, removing clicks or hiss etc as these imperfections are very much a part of the experience and we are doing this solely for our own benefit as a keepsake for the family. It is not heading for broadcast, streaming, you tube etc. 

I am not averse to using a chargeable product as long as costs are reasonable, and not long time recurring as once these clips are done it is not something I expect to need again. Any suggestions would be very welcome. 

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