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Track Volume

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:17 am
by Flea789
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?

Re: Track Volume

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:26 pm
by ShelLuser
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.

Re: Track Volume

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:34 pm
by TLW
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.

Re: Track Volume

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:37 am
by Flea789
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.

Re: Track Volume

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:38 am
by TLW
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.

Re: Track Volume

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:26 am
by Flea789
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.

Re: Track Volume

Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:52 pm
by TLW
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.

Re: Track Volume

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:32 am
by jonljacobi
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.

Re: Track Volume

Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:14 am
by Flea789
Thanks for the help everyone.