Re: Is attenuating the outputs 1-2...
Just re-created the experiment this time using a recorded file of my voice which peaks at -11db.
Honestly, the gained (then bounced) audio file AND the normalized audio file both have extremely high quality. they sound very good- almost identical to my ears.
I still think it's good practice not to normalize any files, however, it's nice to know that if it's done there actually is a high level of quality.