[alsa-devel] wrong decibel data?

Colin Guthrie gmane at colin.guthr.ie
Mon Jun 14 17:44:13 CEST 2010

'Twas brillig, and James Courtier-Dutton at 14/06/10 16:27 did gyre and
> On 14 June 2010 15:17, Colin Guthrie <gmane at colin.guthr.ie> wrote:
>> I've made this change on my system and while previously my UI had no
>> "Base Volume" displayed (because all my "h/w" (I include softvol in
>> that) controls had their dB value >0.
>> Now that this change is live, I have a base volume present in my GUI (at
>> around the 64% mark with the cubic scale we've already discussed). When
>> I set my volume ot the base volume, the h/w controls are all set to 0dB
>> which is exactly as expected.
>> I fail to see the point here? The base volume is clearly exposed to the
>> as the recommended point on the scale at which no clipping occurs.
>> I really don't get where your complaint is.
> Well, if you can define "Volume" in a way that lets you understand
> this then fine.
> For me, all these controls are not adjusting "Volume", they are
> adjusting "Gain", so why are they even called "Base Volume".

It's all about context. While "Gain" may be a more accurate terminology,
the vast majority of users wont really understand this. The term
"Volume" is much more readily understandable by the unwashed masses.

At the end of the day, "relative volume adjustments" and "gain" are the
same thing but I guess people who understand and appreicate what 0dB
means would think of gain as the net change of a system of controls from
input to output, but think of volume as something absolute - e.g. a
volume of 11 would sound the same regardless of source, where as a gain
of +4dB would be meaningless in itself and be entirely dependant on the
level of the source..... but trying to explain all this in a simple GUI
you grannie can use is not really worth the effort IMHO.



Colin Guthrie

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