[LAU] Advice on Multiple Volume Settings

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Wed Aug 19 21:47:34 EDT 2009

On 08/20/2009 09:45 AM, Bearcat M. Şandor wrote:
> On Wed, 2009-08-19 at 10:28 -0700, Mark Knecht wrote:
>> On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 8:38 AM, Kenneth Jacker<khj at cs.appstate.edu>  wrote:
>>> I want to ask the "experts" on this mailing list a question I've had
>>> for years.  It involves "best practices" for the multiple volume
>>> settings available on most computer systems ...
>>> Say I am playing an audio stream from 'last.fm'.
>>> The way I see it, there are *four* different possible volume settings:
>>> "line" (e.g., PCM) volume, application (e.g., Rhythmbox, TVTime, ...)
>>> volume, mixer "master" volume, and speaker volume.
>>> I would guess that the last (speaker) volume should be set (dynamically
>>> when needed) to whatever is currently most appropriate for the listener.
>>> But what about the other three?  Should they all be set at 50%?
>>> If not, what other values should be used?
>>> Can anyone give some guidelines?
>>> Thanks for your comments!
>>> --
>>> Prof Kenneth H Jacker       khj at cs.appstate.edu
>>> Computer Science Dept       www.cs.appstate.edu/~khj
>>> Appalachian State Univ
>>> Boone, NC  28608  USA
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Linux-audio-user mailing list
>>> Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
>>> http://lists.linuxaudio.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-audio-user
> One of my pet peeves (and i'm sure for many of you as well) is the
> "loudness wars", that is the setting of levels close to digital 0 in the
> recording studio.  If i set my pcm and other volumes to 100% in the alsa
> mixer am i in fact doing the same thing at home?

You are making it more likely. It depends how many signals and vu 
controllers are in the chain.

Generally it's better to turn the speakers up manually than alsamixer or 
application volume. However sometimes you may need to adjust anywhere 
along the chain.

I find it varies dramatically with youtube and vlc and sometimes I have 
to crank things up to max with the TV remote. Other times I have to push 
the mixer up to max and other times it's just a case of the application 
settings being too low. Either way I find I am constantly adjusting the 
levels to meet the situation. I enjoy that process though so maybe I 
subconsciously make it harder for myself than it needs to be just to 
gets some extra kicks in my day...

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

> Bearcat M. Sandor
> _______________________________________________
> Linux-audio-user mailing list
> Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
> http://lists.linuxaudio.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-audio-user

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