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Sound Levels

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I am having big trouble setting sound levels for my current project. For a particular section I want to increase the sound of the music dramatically for a short section. Judging it by ear I found increasing the sound envelope to the maximum, plus 6.0db of 200% seemed to make hardly any difference on my computer speakers (new) but when played through my A/V club's laptop, projector and sound system it certainly did. It fact all the levels were all over the place but they sound okay on my system.

I have recently upgraded to W.10 and re-installed PTE. Any ideas?

Mickp

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Guest Yachtsman1

Hi Mick

When you re-installed PTE, did you tick the box/es to retain your original settings?

Regards Eric

Yachtsman1.

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I am having big trouble setting sound levels for my current project. For a particular section I want to increase the sound of the music dramatically for a short section. Judging it by ear I found increasing the sound envelope to the maximum, plus 6.0db of 200% seemed to make hardly any difference on my computer speakers (new) but when played through my A/V club's laptop, projector and sound system it certainly did. It fact all the levels were all over the place but they sound okay on my system.

I have recently upgraded to W.10 and re-installed PTE. Any ideas?

Mickp

Mickp,

I, too, have Win10. I have not noticed your problem...yet. But, perhaps, you might check your Volume Mixer (speaker icon that is in your Tray). See attached. Sometimes the levels are not set to maximum...???

Gary

post-1794-0-01951300-1443475374_thumb.jp

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Hi Eric and Gary,

All settings are correct but as show was conceived in W.7 I will do a small test show entirely in W.10 and put project file on here to see if same effect as I am getting is replicated on other computers. Maybe later or tomorrow. Thanks for you interest.

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Hi Eric and Gary,

All settings are correct but as show was conceived in W.7 I will do a small test show entirely in W.10 and put project file on here to see if same effect as I am getting is replicated on other computers. Maybe later or tomorrow. Thanks for you interest.

Mickp,

I now remember that when I upgraded to Win10, my VIA HD Audio drivers did not work. I was told by the VIA Audio tech people that the drivers would be available in a few days. In a few days or a week or so. Soon thereafter, every thing eventually worked just fine. I don't remember now exactly what the problem was but there was something that needed to be updated through Win10 that would fix the audio problem. This is not much help but perhaps a driver or DLL is still needed to be updated to solve you problem. There does seem to be some issues out there concerning sound and the Win10 upgraded. I'd check to see if you need to update any audio drivers/DLLs.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/audio-issues-silencing-your-windows-10-experience-heres-the-fix/

Gary

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Audio on my Dell desktop behaved all wrongly after I installed Win10. I had to update Realtek Audio drivers and manager after the Win10 upgrade. Realtek did some scrambling with several updates over a few days, and it worked.

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Hi Gary and Judy,

Have downloaded latest driver for Realtek even though Device Manager said the existing driver was up to date. Not cured my problem but I think part of my problem was that the level of the music at 100% on the PTE envelope was up to 85% of the maximuim before distortion takes place and increasing it by 6db would have taken it over the top. I guess PTE or W.10 stops it from doing that although it does not explain why my club's laptop (on Vista) did make it sound a lot louder. More experimentation and back to the club. Thanks for you help.

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Further to above, I have now acquired a free screen levels meter and have put together a short test program. This consists of four sound tracks of identical music but each one with a different setting of the sound envelope. The levels are 100%, 196%, 49% and 25%. I find when playing these tracks in turn the sound to my ears and my meters are exactly the same for the first three and only reduces on the 25% level. The peak readings on my dB meter are - 5.3, - 5.3, 5.3 and -10.4.

If anyone could spare the time would they do likewise and let me know the result whether by ear or meter and in case there is a W.10 issue what O/S they have. If this result is expected then a not too technical explanation would be helpful.

Sound Test.zip

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Further to above, I have now acquired a free screen levels meter and have put together a short test program. This consists of four sound tracks of identical music but each one with a different setting of the sound envelope. The levels are 100%, 196%, 49% and 25%. I find when playing these tracks in turn the sound to my ears and my meters are exactly the same for the first three and only reduces on the 25% level. The peak readings on my dB meter are - 5.3, - 5.3, 5.3 and -10.4.

If anyone could spare the time would they do likewise and let me know the result whether by ear or meter and in case there is a W.10 issue what O/S they have. If this result is expected then a not too technical explanation would be helpful.

Mickp,

I moved each of the sound files to be on the same track. This made it easier to judge by ear without having to mute and unmute each sound track. I could shift back and forth to compare the sound levels. They all changed relative to the volume you set for them, as far as I could tell by listening to them. I have Win10, and I could not see any problem with the different sound levels you created. They all went up and down as expected relative to each other sound file.

Gary

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Guest Yachtsman1

Hi Mick

I didn't hear any difference in sound level in the exe. Out of curiosity, I transferred the MP3 to Audacity. Don't know if that helps?

Eric

Yachtsman1.

post-5560-0-87706800-1443723345_thumb.jp

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Mick,

I'm on Windows 7 64-bit and using PTE v8.0.14. I can hear a difference between all four tracks - just! However, I would suggest that a 5dB change in gain is a barely perceptible change. You need to bear in mind that the dB scale is a logarithmic scale: a small change in dB is a very minor change in perceived volume. If you really want to be able to hear the difference between two passages of the same music, I would suggest you need to have a dB difference of at least 10.

If you are wanting to fade the music down behind a voice-over I would suggest you need to take the music down to -20dB or even lower. I tend to work in percentages and I aim for 3-5% behind voice-over.

The biggest problem with using PTE for soundtrack assembly, I find, is that we cannot see the waveform or the envelope in enough detail - not even with the track height expanded to its maximum. The difference between 3% and 0% (silence) is less than the tremor of an unsteady hand!

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Yippee! Problem solved. Dell had installed a Dell Audio program which has a device called Maxx Audio 4 which is supposed to give studio quality sound. I've switched this off and now I can hear the sound difference between all four tracks with my peak meter readings being 6.0, 5.2, 12.2 and 18.8 respectively. Thank you all for helping and Peter for the little tutorial. Now back to the show.

Mickp

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Oh by the way, the meter I downloaded for free comes from Darkwood Designs who were also very helpful in getting it installed on W.10. I shall make a donation.

  1. www.darkwooddesigns.co.uk

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