Volume in Live

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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kr0buks
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Volume in Live

Post by kr0buks » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:18 pm

I did a search, but everything I've found is regarding final volumes for exported audio, or mixing, etc. I am wondering how to increase the volume of what I'm working on overall, which seems to be about about half of anything else (including auditioning sounds from the browser).

Just to be clear, I'm talking about increasing the volume of my project so I can hear what's going on while I work on it. Not increasing the volume of a final mix.

Da hand
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Re: Volume in Live

Post by Da hand » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:06 pm

Hello! Just to be sure it's not the volume settings inside Live itself, what is volume output on the master channel volume meter when you play your project? (you can see that readout in session view or if you use a third party meter plugin on the master - in the plugin) And what is the setting of the Master volume fader?

Other than that, there are also the volume settings of your operating system - MAC or Windows? Windows for example can have different volume settings for different applications via the "sound mixer".

Finally there is also the sound card. Some sound cards also have their own mixer that you can adjust the levels of different outputs independently. If you are using a sound card with multiple outputs, is the output on Live's master channel going to the same outputs (for example 1/2) as your other applications you are comparing the volume to?

Stromkraft
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Re: Volume in Live

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:09 pm

kr0buks wrote: how to increase the volume of what I'm working on overall, which seems to be about about half of anything else (including auditioning sounds from the browser).
Don't compare loudness for work in progress with mastered material. Instead increase the volume of your Live output in the mixer for your audio interface or in your monitor system.

Personally I use 3 distinct levels, 85dB SPL being the loudest, one almost faint yet clear and one convenient level in between. I try to avoid any other levels unless I'm just improvising.
Make some music!

CheekoStick
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Re: Volume in Live

Post by CheekoStick » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:57 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
kr0buks wrote: how to increase the volume of what I'm working on overall, which seems to be about about half of anything else (including auditioning sounds from the browser).
Don't compare loudness for work in progress with mastered material. Instead increase the volume of your Live output in the mixer for your audio interface or in your monitor system.

Personally I use 3 distinct levels, 85dB SPL being the loudest, one almost faint yet clear and one convenient level in between. I try to avoid any other levels unless I'm just improvising.
I believe you said in the "Things you wish you knew sooner" thread that an early mistake you made was turning your audio interface up too high. I can't thank you enough for that tip. I had been making that mistake for over a year. Appreciate the fantastic advice.

snakedogman
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Re: Volume in Live

Post by snakedogman » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:33 pm

Turning up the volume on your speakers/soundcard/amplifier is the first thing that comes to mind 8)
It's best to lower the volume of the sound/browser preview (preview/cue volume knob next to the master fader), since a lot of samples you might be auditioning will probably be very short and normalised to 0dB, making them sound much louder than any mix you're working on.

Stromkraft
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Re: Volume in Live

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:17 pm

CheekoStick wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:
kr0buks wrote: how to increase the volume of what I'm working on overall, which seems to be about about half of anything else (including auditioning sounds from the browser).
Don't compare loudness for work in progress with mastered material. Instead increase the volume of your Live output in the mixer for your audio interface or in your monitor system.

Personally I use 3 distinct levels, 85dB SPL being the loudest, one almost faint yet clear and one convenient level in between. I try to avoid any other levels unless I'm just improvising.
I believe you said in the "Things you wish you knew sooner" thread that an early mistake you made was turning your audio interface up too high. I can't thank you enough for that tip. I had been making that mistake for over a year. Appreciate the fantastic advice.
I'm not sure but I think that might have been that I said that I ran my individual tracks far too hot — not clipping mind you — in the beginning of using Live that made especially my drums not breathing, but rather sounding quite harsh.

I also had problems with bass. At some point I adopted gain staging which later really opened up compression for me. I spent a year obsessing over compression and ending up installing about 22 of them in the process. Just lowering the volume of my tracks started that journey

I do have found that running too loud overall — i e more than 90dB SPL or so — makes you miss how the track actually sounds. On the other hand I do test some tracks, certainly bass heavy ones, in a PA and I'm not sure how loud that one is. My softest set volume level really do wonders for bass compression and EQ.

That told I do believe every producer need to find their path and their methodology.
Make some music!

kr0buks
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Re: Volume in Live

Post by kr0buks » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:42 am

Da hand wrote:Hello! Just to be sure it's not the volume settings inside Live itself, what is volume output on the master channel volume meter when you play your project? (you can see that readout in session view or if you use a third party meter plugin on the master - in the plugin) And what is the setting of the Master volume fader?

Other than that, there are also the volume settings of your operating system - MAC or Windows? Windows for example can have different volume settings for different applications via the "sound mixer".

Finally there is also the sound card. Some sound cards also have their own mixer that you can adjust the levels of different outputs independently. If you are using a sound card with multiple outputs, is the output on Live's master channel going to the same outputs (for example 1/2) as your other applications you are comparing the volume to?
Hi! :D

I am using Mac OS 10.12.1. A new installation of Live, with all default settings. I am using a pair of speakers via USB directly with the Mac (no audio interface).

Everything seems to have the same volume, whether it's normal stuff like Spotify or YouTube, or other Software I use like Maschine or Logic. If I set the volume to say 50%, it all has about the same normalized level of sound. Ableton seems to be about half of this volume.

kr0buks
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:34 pm

Re: Volume in Live

Post by kr0buks » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:45 am

Stromkraft wrote:
kr0buks wrote: how to increase the volume of what I'm working on overall, which seems to be about about half of anything else (including auditioning sounds from the browser).
Don't compare loudness for work in progress with mastered material. Instead increase the volume of your Live output in the mixer for your audio interface or in your monitor system.

Personally I use 3 distinct levels, 85dB SPL being the loudest, one almost faint yet clear and one convenient level in between. I try to avoid any other levels unless I'm just improvising.
Hello. I was not looking to raise the master track to increase my working volume. My issue is that everything seems to have the same volume, whether it's normal stuff like Spotify or YouTube, or other Software I use like Maschine or Logic. If I set the volume to say 50%, it all has about the same normalized level of sound. Ableton seems to be about half of this volume.

Stromkraft
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Re: Volume in Live

Post by Stromkraft » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:51 am

kr0buks wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:
kr0buks wrote: how to increase the volume of what I'm working on overall, which seems to be about about half of anything else (including auditioning sounds from the browser).
Don't compare loudness for work in progress with mastered material. Instead increase the volume of your Live output in the mixer for your audio interface or in your monitor system.
Hello. I was not looking to raise the master track to increase my working volume. My issue is that everything seems to have the same volume, whether it's normal stuff like Spotify or YouTube, or other Software I use like Maschine or Logic. If I set the volume to say 50%, it all has about the same normalized level of sound. Ableton seems to be about half of this volume.
The "normal stuff" is mastered more often than not and therefore bound to appear louder whereas your material in Live is not. That's likely all there is to it.

Also, the fact that you say your output goes via USB means you do have an audio interface. USB means digital audio. Somewhere digital audio is converted to analogue audio.

I suggest you could add gain in the master track and keep an eye and ears on the volume as you go, adjusting the gain of the tool you'd use for that down as your overall project "natural" levels increases when you add new tracks and so on.

One way to do this would be to use Limiter and increase gain with it without going over 0 dBFS. Do realize that 0 dBFS actually means the top of a little less than 144dB of dynamic range (if you are using 24bit settings) and that natural unprocessed recordings are not to be expected to be that high, but rather quite lower than 100dB. Note that Limiter may alter the sound depending on settings and how hard you drive it.

You could also use Utility for adding gain. Personally though I'd just raise the volume in the monitors when working with Live.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tarekith
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Re: Volume in Live

Post by Tarekith » Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:35 am

kr0buks wrote:Hello. I was not looking to raise the master track to increase my working volume. My issue is that everything seems to have the same volume, whether it's normal stuff like Spotify or YouTube, or other Software I use like Maschine or Logic. If I set the volume to say 50%, it all has about the same normalized level of sound. Ableton seems to be about half of this volume.
And you're sure you don't have any plug ins on the master track?

kr0buks
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:34 pm

Re: Volume in Live

Post by kr0buks » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:03 am

Tarekith wrote:
kr0buks wrote:Hello. I was not looking to raise the master track to increase my working volume. My issue is that everything seems to have the same volume, whether it's normal stuff like Spotify or YouTube, or other Software I use like Maschine or Logic. If I set the volume to say 50%, it all has about the same normalized level of sound. Ableton seems to be about half of this volume.
And you're sure you don't have any plug ins on the master track?
No, no effects on the master.

kr0buks
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:34 pm

Re: Volume in Live

Post by kr0buks » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:08 am

Stromkraft wrote:
The "normal stuff" is mastered more often than not and therefore bound to appear louder whereas your material in Live is not. That's likely all there is to it.

Also, the fact that you say your output goes via USB means you do have an audio interface. USB means digital audio. Somewhere digital audio is converted to analogue audio.

I suggest you could add gain in the master track and keep an eye and ears on the volume as you go, adjusting the gain of the tool you'd use for that down as your overall project "natural" levels increases when you add new tracks and so on.

One way to do this would be to use Limiter and increase gain with it without going over 0 dBFS. Do realize that 0 dBFS actually means the top of a little less than 144dB of dynamic range (if you are using 24bit settings) and that natural unprocessed recordings are not to be expected to be that high, but rather quite lower than 100dB. Note that Limiter may alter the sound depending on settings and how hard you drive it.

You could also use Utility for adding gain. Personally though I'd just raise the volume in the monitors when working with Live.
Yes, I get why that would be the case with average, day to day stuff like videos, Spotify, etc. What is confusing me, is that Maschine and Logic are in that same volume range when using instruments, but Logic is much quieter.

I did try to raise the volume, but I had to max it out for it to equal the volume I was using for other apps. The speakers I'm using at the moment plug directly into USB. I do have an interface and new monitors on the way, but I'll see if my current speakers behave differently when plugged into the stereo jack on my iMac.

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