Low volume problem

Post » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:05 pm

I just got Acid 3.0 and so far I'm happy with it. However, I'm having a problem getting reasonable volume out of it. I'm watching the Master meter, and making sure it doesn't go past 0 dB. The sound is very quiet when I do this. If I push it past 0 dB there is some clipping, but not very much. I've tried adding a compressor on the Master channel to boost the signal a bit. However, I find it very difficult to get any volume increase with this. I've tried both the track compressor and the 'Graphic Dynamics' effects. When I render my tracks (as .wav) and open them in Cool Edit Pro, I see the wave file is nowhere near being too loud. I am normalizing and then compressing in Cool Edit Pro. This gives me a huge volume increase with no clipping. (I'm not using overly extreme compression either). It's like the meters on the main channel in Acid are incorrect. It's frustrating because to hear a mix I'm having to guess at the mix of the channels in Acid, then render to a wave, then normalize and compress in Cool Edit Pro, then listen to the wave, then repeat the whole process if a track in the mix is too loud or soft. (Cool Edit Pro and Acid are using the same playback device, so I don't think it's a soundcard driver issue). How can I get Acid to playback my mixes at the proper volume, and to render wave files that are as loud as they should be?

User avatar
rheanna bruining
Posts: 554
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:00 am

Post » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:09 am


Right click your meters in between the two channels and select a lower resolution like -12 to 0Db or -24 to 0Db and you can adjust closer to the theshold.

See ya
User avatar
Posts: 528
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:46 pm

Post » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:31 am

Thanks. It helped a little, but I still can't get the volume I'd expect from Acid. Currently, I'm pumping the volume in Acid as loud as it will go, without going over 0 dB. I'm using no compression/limiting in Acid right now. I render the song to a wave. Then I open it in Cool Edit. I see that the amplitude of the wave is very small. When I normalize the wave to 100% it gets much louder. So, I know it's not like Acid is only finding one or two odd spikes in the volume and going over 0 dB just because of this. (Otherwise normalizing wouldn't give such a change). It's like the Master meter is giving incorrectly over-loud readings.
User avatar
Posts: 510
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:50 pm

Post » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:50 pm


I tried some experimentation for myself and found that you are correct. I peak out a song in Acid 3.0 and then render to MP3 and open the song in Sound Forge 5.0 and the volume is very low then I normalize to Peak RMS and no clipping in Sound Forge. Then open in Acid 3.0 and it clips to about 2.3-2.5, Is this a bug?

Hey Sonic Foundry Check this out.
User avatar
Rachel Hall
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:41 am

Post » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:02 pm

You shouldn't have to do all that to get the volume you need for mixing. I think it's a problem with their software. I am baffled at why the volume is so low. It's the only program I have that does this. Everything else about this program has worked great except for the low gain.
User avatar
Spooky Angel
Posts: 514
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:41 am

Post » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:49 am

Here's something interesting... I just made a new song (only my 2nd), using the Depeche Mode loops from the contest. That is able to produce a mix much louder than my original song in Acid. It's still not as loud as it could be, but it's pretty good. I still can't figure out what's wrong with my original song. I didn't do anything different when making the songs. The first song uses the Phat Trax XXL loops, so I think the loops should be ok.
User avatar
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:51 am

Post » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:47 pm

Thats because the depeche loops clip regularly
User avatar
roxanna matoorah
Posts: 510
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:01 am

Post » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:17 pm

Now that's weird. I have no such problems. I rendered various projects (ones that clip that I haven't gotten around to mixing yet) to MP3 in ACID 3 and then opened them in Sound Forge. They had pretty much the same levels and all them clipped as expected. (Note: I rendered to 128Kbps MP3 within ACID.)

So then I tried a project I know didn't clip within ACID 3 and did the same thing. I again had the same levels as in ACID. They were very faithful in sound level. :o/

*But*, I noticed with the Depeche Mode loops the same thing; a project using those loops gave me -3dB from clipping in ACID but the project clips when I rendered it to MP3 and opened it SF (not by much, but it clips).

User avatar
Alan Cutler
Posts: 507
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:59 am

Post » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:37 am

Hello Again

I rerendered some other tests and they came out fine I think it may have something to do with some kind of effect or bus. I'm going to experiment some more to see whats doing it.

See ya
User avatar
Undisclosed Desires
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:10 am

Post » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:44 pm

I'm noticing that projects with busses in them are not as loud when rendered. It's about a difference of -2dB for me.

Also, a certain project that I have ends with a roll-off that fades and decays quickly. When I render the project to 128Kbps MP3, the end just gets cut off and there's no decay at all. It's really noticable. Again, this is with a project that contains a bus effect. Kinda annoying.
User avatar
Sarah Unwin
Posts: 507
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:31 pm

Post » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:43 pm

I had a couple of songs just cut off at the end too, And I think it is the Busses
User avatar
Daniel Brown
Posts: 517
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 5:21 am

Post » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:07 pm

That's what we get, right? ;o)

Still, I don't regret buying the upgrade at all. I'm confident that SF will squish the cut-off bug and (related) bus bug. I'm going to submit a bug report to SF.

User avatar
Samantha Mitchell
Posts: 513
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:33 pm

Post » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:19 pm

I have also noticed that, when I render a project, all of the tracks sent to busses are very quiet, while all of the other tracks are fine. :=)
User avatar
Posts: 509
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:06 am

Post » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:53 am

We're looking into this, and the volume issue--if you have a good repro case, please send it.

Are you using effects that have a tail, such as reverb, and that's what's getting cut off?

If so, ACID cannot easily tell how long you've set your reverb decay to. To make this work, set the loop region slightly longer than your project, and render the project with the "Render Loop Region only" checkbox set.
User avatar
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 6:23 am

Post » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:06 am

The project does, in fact, have a tail from delay (multi-tap delay to be precise). As soon as the very last event it played through, that's when the rendered file stops. So, it's the reverb that's getting cut off.

I tried what you've suggested and it worked out very well. Thanks for the tip Joel!

User avatar
NIloufar Emporio
Posts: 515
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:18 pm


Return to ACID Pro and Music Studio