This is what the waveforms look concerning importing and autowarping George Clinton‘s Atomic Dog. This was a huge hit for George Clinton back in 1982 and it’s a good representation of the P-Funk sound, not to speak it’s pretty hilarious, too. I think I even DJ:ed that track once very long time ago, like in the early eighties.
Anyway, this is a good example of the dynamic range of tracks up to about late nineties when the dynamic range wars started.
What I do across all my DJ tracks, now covering from obscure funk 45 rpms done in the sixties to whatever today is to make sure that the gain level is the same across all the tracks. I defined 7dB headroom as a nice compromise — seven is a lucky number and it does not really matter as long as you keep a standard. The dynamic wars tracks I just decrease the headroom so it’s in the 7dB range.
The tool I use is Sonalksis FreeG plugin. It’s a free plugin and it monitors the levels. I place this plugin on my master track and set a nice loop of 24 bars or more in a place that seems to be the loudest part in the track. Then I observe the RMS values, this is the average mean that is more interesting than peaks here and there. Looking at the existing values I could decide how many dBs to increase or decrease in the clip view (don’t use the plugin itself to increase the value.) When done I just save this information as part of the .asd file saved for the track/clip.