Red volume signals even when the volume sounds fine?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
danny klim
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 1:34 pm

Red volume signals even when the volume sounds fine?

Post by danny klim » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:49 pm

I’m trying to use loopback to route iTunes and Youtube into separate channels on Ableton and am seeing some red signals in the volume bar (pic below). Could you please help me understand whats going on?

Its wierd because I can hear Youtube and iTunes perfectly fine and moving the fader to lower the volume doesn’t fix the red bars- it lowers the volume that i hear, but even when the volume is silent i still see the red bars almost full. I’ve seen that red signal other times before and not sure why it happens. What exactly does the red signal mean and how can I fix it?

Heres’ a screenshot below of whats happening: ... 3.png?dl=0

Thanks, Dan

Ps . If its helpful, here are my settings: ... 9.png?dl=0 ... 4.png?dl=0 ... 6.png?dl=0

Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Red volume signals even when the volume sounds fine?

Post by Stromkraft » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:37 pm

Live is only warning you about the fact the track is overloaded, which means it's above 0dBFS (Decibels relative to full scale**) and assuming 16bit audio, which is the most common distribution bit depth. The bus inside Live is 32bit, however, so if the summed volume doesn't add up to 0dBFS as if 16bit audio on the output, the audio won't clip. Like for example if you lower the volume somehow on the way.

Nevertheless, it's a good idea to understand and practice gain staging. Input level dependent plug-ins will sound very different with exaggerated volume levels.

**The maximum level in full scale is 0 dB. There are no possible values above this. When you're on plus inside Live you have only moved into the bits of the 32bit audio bus. A theoretical 192.66 dB dynamic range opposed to the 96.33 dB range of 16bit audio. Once you record or export this sound to audio outside of Live it may clip, unless lowered before.
Make some music!

Posts: 6369
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:02 am
Location: Menasha, Wisconsin

Re: Red volume signals even when the volume sounds fine?

Post by yur2die4 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:39 pm

Your source is hot. Turn down the volume slider on the YouTube webpage, not the mixer in Live.

Post Reply