Matching Volumes in New Recordings to Older Recordings

I need to solve the problem of some newer songs that surprise me by sounding much louder than I expected.

There is a tool now to put the loudness somewhere instead of measuring it and bemoaning that it’s in the wrong place. Steve wrote RMS Normalize to help out with audiobook problems. Audiobook presentations have an RMS specification.

It can measure and set RMS which, while not perfect, is enormously better than anything else. RMS is Root Mean Square, an electrical measurement of work/energy. That measurement works out roughly to loudness and has the advantage that it’s a known, stable unit of measurement (even if nobody but the engineers has ever heard of it).

Audiobook readings are almost always too quiet and so the tool is used to boost the loudness. Goodness knows what would happen if it had to bring volume down.