Software normalization on the fly [like the Smart Volume feature in some of Sound Blaster sound cards] for Windows

I am looking for a Windows software that would apply normalization in real time to either what-you-here [i.e. thorough the whole operating system output] or just for a video player with such feature

Currently I use the Smart Volume feature of Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro. I have been using this sound card for ~15 years now, precisely because of that option; a second unit now. There are some newer models with Smart Volume but they are either not what I look for or out of stock. And so I leave in fear that one day my sound card will stop working and I will be left without that need-to-have on the fly normalization feature

The only alternative I have right now is to use Media Player Classic [Home Cinema] and its
Options > Internal Filters > Audio Swicther > Enable build-in audio switcher filter
Options > Internal Filters > Audio Swicther > Normalize

but it is a far carry from what my Sound Blaster can do. Normalization in MPC is just crude, with overdrive, destroying quality of sounds even with its lowest presence

And recently on forum of Mp3tag I had a long discussion with a user who was attempting to write a small program with such option - but in the end he gave up and the topic was removed from that forum

You may already have something like that built-in to Windows audio playback …

[ I’ve never used it myself though ].

I totally forgot about that

Long story short: I do not have the “Enhancements” tab - thus I do not have the access to the “Loudness Equalization” option for my current Realtek [ALC1220-VB] internal sound card

However I do have this “Loudness Equalization” for my built-in speakers of my monitor - just as I did on my previous machine with also Windows 10 but with my old motherboard [Asrock FM2A88X EXTREME6+ rev. G/A1 1.03]. And that previous mobo had a Realtek [ALC1150] that was showing to me that “Loudness Equalization” option. But with my new mobo [Gigabyte X570 Aorus Ultra rev. 1.2] I have many issues. And the customer support of Gigabyte provides bot-like answers without understanding half of what the customers writes and omitting completely the other half. [My conversation with them ended with them saying: >>The “Loudness Equalization” option only available if using Windows build-in driver. If you would like to use the function, please uninstall the realtek driver. Use Windows build in driver instead.<< - thus I must had failed at that somehow as the problem still persists]

And so this is a no-go for me because:

  • I do not want to spend any more time talking with those people / on that Realtek problem
  • this Realtek device is attached to the mobo for good so I will not use it with my next machine
  • I do not want to have to constantly navigate to that tab

    I need a third party software solution for my backup way of achieving this on-the-fly effect

I don’t know but there are [u]VST Hosts[/u] that allow you to use VST plug-ins without a DAW.

Then look for an automatic volume control, automatic gain control, automatic level control, compressor, or limiter plug-in.

“Normalization” is a linear effect where the same volume adjustment is applied to the whole file. That means the file has to be analyzed in advance and it can’t be done in real-time. And since it’s a linear volume adjustment it doesn’t damage sound quality.

Also, regular normalization adjusts the peak to 0dB (100%) and it does not match perceived loudness.

Loudness normalization adjusts to a target perceived loudness. ReplayGain, MP3Gain, Apple Sound Check, etc., are loudness normalization and the files have to be scanned in advance.

on-the-fly effect

I see we lurched off in different directions—you’re not asking about post-production processing.

Traditionally, Audacity doesn’t apply effects, filters, or corrections during recording. If you glance through the forum questions you find a lot of them have to do with errors caused by a software product, application, or operating system perched between a performance and the recording and causing distortion. Some of this is as a result or errors, but some of it is intentional.

Now think of how darn much fun this would be if Audacity had recording customization.

You might say that stand-alone sound recorders have pre-recording tools. True, but it’s a short list. High-pass/rumble filter, automatic gain setting, and peak limiting. I don’t know of any machines that have production processing before recording. Even Dolby (if you can still buy that) had a goal of processing sound to better cope with recording noise. During playback, it took the processing out.


My mistake - I should had pointed out that this topic concerns my technical needs to accommodate e.g. watching movies on speakers without waking up neighbors during night

My problem here is not about recording audio or editing files

Assuming that we are still on the same page: for now I ended up buying Sound Blaster X3 [as I preferred it over X4] - literally one of the last 4 units available in my country [the remaining 3 were gone 2 days later]. Creative customer support informed me that currently they have in offer only 4 models with Smart Volume feature for audio output: Sound Blaster GC7, Sound Blaster G3, Sound Blaster PLAY! and the aforementioned Sound Blaster X4

I will be keeping my X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro as my backup device [which is by the way me second unit and I must have now like 15 year of usage split between the two of them - in the first one I had inadvertently damaged the propriety USB plugin]. But I still would sleep more soundly [pun intended] knowing that I also have a software backup of some sort

I still would

And so, if any one knows about some kind of real-time volume normalization program then please, speak up