Old 5th August 2003, 18:09   #1
Xenarion
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Logarithmic volume?

Could someone please tell me what "logarithmic" means, and what the benefits of using it for the volume compared to what winamp is using today ( ? )

And also, could someone explain to me why on my stereo it always says something like "-36dB". Why a negative number?
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Old 5th August 2003, 21:44   #2
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"logarithmic" is a curve basically. It gives the volume slider more control in the lower volumes then a normal linear volume control.

Max volume is 0. Decreasing the volume from max lowers the decibels.
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Old 6th August 2003, 14:03   #3
Xenarion
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Er.. Why don't they use 0 for minimum and positive numbers instead?
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Old 6th August 2003, 21:28   #4
Sawg
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Becuase that would be wrong. The numbers don't matetr because most people never see it. But the way the volume sldier works is it decreases volume from max. That's the way volume slider usualy work.
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Old 7th August 2003, 00:07   #5
Carnicero
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You can set the range with the DirectSound output plugin. It's not completely effective, but you can slightly tweak the volume slider to try different values for the extreme left position. In case you want it to work like some stereos' mute button, where it doesn't cut the volume off completely, but maybe just takes a 50% volume cut. All in all, the volume bar is rather useless unless you're running multiple instances and are doing old-school DJ work without crossfader plugins and whatnot. Most people use keyboard hotkeys to mess with volume, which makes sense since Winamp is usually not the window in focus at all times.
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Old 31st May 2005, 05:16   #6
us60
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Radios with volume knobs use logarithmic volume controls instead of linear controls, because of the way we perceive increases in volume. Starting at minimum volume, the knob is turned a short distance to increase quickly to a useable volume. Finer adjustments in volume above that can be made by turning the knob further clockwise, and it takes more turning to boost the volume a given amount. This prevents blasting the volume by accident.

Were a linear volume control used, you would have it turned up halfway to get a decent level, and then it would quickly get too loud as you turn it up further.

A logarithmic volume control actually sounds and behaves linearly to the human ear.

The "dB" stands for "decibel," and a decibel is a ratio of change. For instance, 3 dB increase represents a doubling of power. If you double the power from say, 1 watt to 2 watts, there is a slight increase in volume. Another 3 dB increase will raise the power from 2 watts to 4 watts for the same amount of further volume increase. As this is a ratio, the power increase could be from 25 watts to 50 watts, and it would still be a similar slight increase in volume.

A volume decrease is represented by negative numbers, where -3 dB is eq
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Old 31st May 2005, 05:21   #7
jmatthews112
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us60, why did you revive a thread that's been without replies for nearly 2 years? be sure to check the timestamps, visible to the bottom left of every post

[edit]

us60 a troll?

[/edit]
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Old 31st May 2005, 05:26   #8
us60
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Continued:
A volume decrease is represented by negative numbers, where -3 dB is equal to a half of the previous power setting.

I set Winamp's "logarithmic volume" to checked, and it seems I get the exact opposite effect of what I described in the first post of radio volume control action. If I were to wire up a radio's volume control potentiometer backwards, the volume would be at minimum at full clockwise, and would just become barely audible after I turned 3/4 of the knob's rotation and then it would go from there to full volume in a matter of 1/4 turn!

Winamp's "Logarithmic" volume runs more than half way up to get a low setting and then shoots to maximum in the last less than half of the slider. It behaves much like the backward-wired radio volume control I just described.
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Old 31st May 2005, 05:39   #9
us60
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Quote:
Originally posted by jmatthews112
[B]us60, why did you revive a thread that's been without replies for nearly 2 years? ...
Sorry about that,
I was going looking for the answer to my question about the apparent backward behavior of my logarithmic volume in Winamp, and found this thread to be along the line of discussion of interest.

As I also posess some background in logarithm and decibel technical details I thought it appropriate to share some of my knowledge. I apparently got too long for the post and it submitted me in mid-sentence.

Some boards allow one to preview a submission before posting......

Thanks for the timestamp tip, though.
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Old 31st May 2005, 05:45   #10
jmatthews112
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Quote:
Originally posted by us60
Some boards allow one to preview a submission before posting
As does this one. See the attached image for clarification.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg previewfeature.jpg (69.0 KB, 459 views)
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Old 31st May 2005, 16:29   #11
retchless
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Thanks

Thanks for the insight, us60.
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Old 5th May 2015, 22:31   #12
allendalewilliam
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I for one am glad he posted.Its now 2015 and the info he imparted was new to me.
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