[LAU] Advice on Multiple Volume Settings

hollunder at gmx.at hollunder at gmx.at
Thu Aug 20 07:09:28 EDT 2009

On Thu, 20 Aug 2009 10:01:27 +0200
Arnold Krille <arnold at arnoldarts.de> wrote:

> Hi,
> On Thursday 20 August 2009 01:45:32 Bearcat M. Şandor wrote:
> > 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?
> No, you are not. This is about generic volume in listening
> environment, not about mastering the volume of a piece of music.
> You actually want to set all the volumes apart from the last one to a
> high value. Otherwise if the first level is down and you have to turn
> up the later ones to hear something, you amplify the noise more then
> needed. If all volumes are up and you only turn the last one down,
> the noise introduced by all previous gain-stages is reduced too.
> Some times its not practical to control the over-all-listening-volume
> at the last stage (which would be the knob at the back of the active
> monitors), but the main control should be one of the last
> volume-controls in the chain.
> Have fun,
> Arnold

I think the interesting part in here is whether it matters if all
controls are set to maximum _in_software_. Are there parts in the
software audio chain where it should or shouldn't be at 100%?
The individual chains are different but it should be possible to know
if it's a good idea for the individual parts, like alsa, PA,
applications, ...


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