Track Volume

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Flea789
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:08 am

Track Volume

Post by Flea789 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:17 am

The volume levels (green levels) aren’t the same as where I set the volume arrow on the right side. For example if I set the arrow to -12, the green levels are below that somewhere. Why is this?

ShelLuser
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Location: Wageningen, Netherlands

Re: Track Volume

Post by ShelLuser » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:26 pm

Probably because the instrument(s) you're playing don't generate so much sound.

The mixer section merely sets the maximum sound level, it does not behave like some sort of amplifier. If you believe your audio signal is too soft then boost it. For example by using a saturator or limiter audio effect.
With kind regards,

Peter

Using the 'Power' Trio: Live 10 Suite (+ Push & Max 8 ), Reason 10 and Maschine Mk3 (+ the ultimate Komplete 12).
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TLW
Posts: 333
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: Track Volume

Post by TLW » Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:34 pm

Another way to boost the audio volume is to drop a utility plugin on the track and turn up its gain. Or normalise the audio to a louder maximum volume.

Unlike compressors, limiters or saturation those methods won’t reduce the dynamic range of the audio or add distortion. They just make the audio louder.
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

Flea789
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:08 am

Re: Track Volume

Post by Flea789 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:37 am

Okay so if I set the arrow to -6 the track won’t ever go over -6? I’ve just been sort of confused on how to set levels. I know how to gain stage and everything I just want to know how to put the track at a certain level like -3 after it’s been recorded at -12.

TLW
Posts: 333
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: Track Volume

Post by TLW » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:38 am

The track faders don’t work like that. They set a level but it doesn’t necessarily put an absolute cap on the volume.

If I needed to boost a track by 9dB I’d probably use utility and turn up its gain to the amount required or normalise the audio to -3dB.

Keep an eye on the master channel meter though - it shouldn’t go into the red and every track that’s added to a mix increases the volume going into the master.
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

Flea789
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:08 am

Re: Track Volume

Post by Flea789 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:26 am

Oh okay thanks for all the replies. Does turning up the gain with utility cause distortion? Also, how do you normalize the audio? Sorry about all the questions.

TLW
Posts: 333
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: Track Volume

Post by TLW » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:52 pm

No problem with anyone asking questions, just sorry about taking so long to reply.

I think I must have had my stupid hat on for a few days - there’s another way to set audio clip volumes without using utility and it’s probably the easiest way to do it.

Live doesn’t have a normalisation function - or at least, not one labelled as such. However, if you put the audio clips into arrangement view, select them one at a time and consolidate the clip that normalises the clip contents to 0dB.

If you then look at the audio clip in the editor pane to the left of it among the controls in the “sample” section is a vertical slider. That is used to set clip gain/volume . When a clip is consolidated that slider moves at the same time, usually downwards, to keep the clip the same volume level as it was before consolidating.

You can use that slider to increase or decrease the volume of the audio clip.

The reason for consolidating first is that if you consolidate all the audio on a track at the same time - so it becomes one large sample - you can be certain you’ve set the maximum volume for that audio. It also means any plugins will be seeing the same audio level at their inputs throughout the track. You might find just increasing the sample volume works well enough.

As for distortion, this method, utility or consolidating don’t add distortion as part of their function any more than the track volume fader does. Though if you increase the volume enough by any method you will get distortion, and probably overload the master bus as well. Also keep an eye on what the input levels of plugins are - overloading any plugin may introduce distortion, either by design or because it just can’t cope.
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

jonljacobi
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Track Volume

Post by jonljacobi » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:32 am

The track level is the output level relative to other tracks. If the instrument or material contained on the track is too loud or too soft you'll need to adjust that. Raise or lower the track level, or change the output level of the MIDI instrument or audio material (there's a gain control for each audio clip). The audio utility can also be used for this.

Flea789
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:08 am

Re: Track Volume

Post by Flea789 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:14 am

Thanks for the help everyone.

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