Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: What are proper audio practices?


11 Jun 2010   #1

7 Ultimate 64 bit Service Pack 1
 
 
What are proper audio practices?

I hope the title is not too deceiving, but I had trouble thinking of a better one that was not a mile long. I have two desktop speakers, no sub-woofer. Is the general rule o that it is best to have the audio source coming from the computer turned all the way up, i.e. system volume, YouTube slider, iTunes slider. Is it general rule that it is best to then use the physical knob on the speakers for the overall volume as long as the source is up as far as it can go?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Jun 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

One thing you don't want either at full as that can (and usually does) introduce distortion and other sound anomalies to crop up. What works for me (and probably most) is to find that happy medium with the volume on the speakers (for me it is around half way on the volume knob), and then control the volume from within Windows and/or the application being used (in my case I use the volume control on my keyboard).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2010   #3

7 Ultimate 64 bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by stormy13 View Post
One thing you don't want either at full as that can (and usually does) introduce distortion and other sound anomalies to crop up. What works for me (and probably most) is to find that happy medium with the volume on the speakers (for me it is around half way on the volume knob), and then control the volume from within Windows and/or the application being used (in my case I use the volume control on my keyboard).
Thank you, I will now keep my system volume at 90% and adjust the speakers as needed. This issue is solved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


11 Jun 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

You're welcome.

This is one of those things where there isn't really any hard and fast rules other than avoiding setting it to 100%. Other than that it is a matter of experimenting and finding out which is best for your setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RoloDman View Post
I hope the title is not too deceiving, but I had trouble thinking of a better one that was not a mile long. I have two desktop speakers, no sub-woofer. Is the general rule o that it is best to have the audio source coming from the computer turned all the way up, i.e. system volume, YouTube slider, iTunes slider. Is it general rule that it is best to then use the physical knob on the speakers for the overall volume as long as the source is up as far as it can go?
It's called "Gain Staging".

(You've already had your question answered, just some random thoughts on the subject)

If you have three sources with level control.

Application: -> System: -> Speakers:
To achieve lowest noise and distortion, (generally) input gain should not have more gain than the output device.

Using a vocal p.a. system as an example... each microphone channel will have an individual volume, the unit will also have a master volume. No individual Mic channel should be set higher than the master volume, (if the Mic's are reasonably even in output). The main idea is to never overdrive the output stage, at the same time, keeping the output stage at a level that does not produce an audible background noise.

Guitar players in the 1950's & 60's figured out using a small amp at max volume would overdrive the output tubes producing a musical distortion, of course, then they started using BIG amps....then BIGGER Amps!

In the digital world we have a bit more leeway... as long as your application volume (youtube, iTunes slider) is below your System master you're good. Most internal audio cards do not put out enough overall volume to overdrive the speakers so the ideal (for me) is to set the speakers at a point where amplifier hiss is minimal, usually around 50%, keep the Windows System master between 75 - 90% and control each application's volume with it's own volume control. But even then it's not going to cause noticeable distortion if the individual volume approaches or exceeds Windows master volume.

Also... your specs didn't mention what internal audio chip you have.
Win-7 (and Vista?) has an (Enhancements) audio section which is a collection of native DSP effects one of them being "Loudness Equalization" This is a form of compression, soft signals are automatically raised up to a set level, loud input signals are squashed down to that same level. Some of these enhancements are provided by Microsoft, some can be added by the audio chip manufacturer by way of the drivers. So... the Loudness equalization can have an effect on your gain staging, something to be aware of.

These are some of the Enhancements available.

-Environment: A reverb space with equalization.

-Voice Cancellation: Takes a stereo recording and puts one side out of phase
canceling all center channel material. (vocal is almost always center channel))

-Pitch Shift: Real time adjustment of pitch

-Loudness Equalization: (covered)

-Equalizer: Tone (treble/mid/bass) adjustments.

To find Enhancements, right click the MS Speaker Icon, select Playback Devices, select your default output device (usually speakers) then click the Properties button. One of the tabs should be labeled Enhancements.

Ap

mmmmm... Rolos!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2010   #6

7 Ultimate 64 bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Thank you very much for that fantastic explanation. So to recap.... I have my overall system volume set to 85% which means all system sounds are at 85%. I have my desk speakers set to a little above 50% volume using the knob. All speaker effects are disabled. When I listen to iTunes or YouTube does this mean I should enver listen to those sources with their sound bars at 100%? A side question. If I keep my system volume at 100% and just adjust my speaker volume, which are powered by their own electricity, and it sounds good to me; is that ok?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RoloDman View Post
Thank you very much for that fantastic explanation. So to recap.... I have my overall system volume set to 85% which means all system sounds are at 85%. I have my desk speakers set to a little above 50% volume using the knob. All speaker effects are disabled. When I listen to iTunes or YouTube does this mean I should enver listen to those sources with their sound bars at 100%? A side question. If I keep my system volume at 100% and just adjust my speaker volume, which are powered by their own electricity, and it sounds good to me; is that ok?
Yes, you could run either your system or application volumes up to 100%

One thing to remember, as was mentioned in Stormy's post... it's the last 10% (or so) of gain where the most noise and distortion occurs, if it's more convienient for you set the of gain of the apps and system volume at 90% and adjust only your speakers, that should work as well.

If you feel your system does not have enough output level post back.

Ap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2010   #8

7 Ultimate 64 bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Thank you very much for your help, both of you. I think I will leave my system volume at 90% across the board and simply adjust my speakers lower or higher as needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 What are proper audio practices?




Thread Tools



Similar help and support threads for2: What are proper audio practices?
Thread Forum
9 popular IT security practices that just don't work Security News
Solved Windows 7 AIO Best practices? Installation & Setup
Best Practices Documentation System Security
Solved Training Comodo's firewall, what are best practices? System Security
Best Practices and apps for defrag? Performance & Maintenance
Windows 7 E Best Practices for ISVs News
Windows 7 E Best Practices for ISVs News

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:08 PM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33