Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

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Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

josephcreed7
Roadie

     What is the proper way to control the volume of the music without reducing the quality? Which method does spotify use to control the volume via. built in software control? 

 

    It is my understanding that in order to keep the music in its original state of quality that the listener must leave all software volume controls at 100% and use Hardware volume knobs to reduce the volume of the music without disturbing the bit-depth.

 

    For many people, the only option to control volume is to use the built in Spotify volume control, or the Windows/Mac volume control on their pc. In other cases, people are using DAC (Digital Analog Converters) boxes connected to their PC via USB cable. Some speakers have their own volume control knob(s), especially studio monitors. When using a Digital Analog Converter (DAC) you will have the option to adjust the volume with the analog control build into the hardware, or with a separate dedicated volume control knob. 

 

    Is it true that Spotify reduces the bit-depth of the music to acheive volume reduction, and what is the best way to control volume without reducing the quality of the music? Thanks, Joseph. 

 

 

sample rate bit depth.jpg
9 Replies

Re: Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

1241692522
Regular

I believe it applies range correction on a variable level, but I too wonder this as I've seemingly been able to use the volume control to tweak the range vs the gain knob on my DAC to allow me to hear an even amount of volume and detail per the acoustics of my listening room..but I want to know if thats just something I'm imagining or not i.e. louder passages or deep rich bass can be heard easier with my gain up and the spotify volume down about 1/4

Re: Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

josephcreed7
Roadie
It is possible that you're experiencing a high frequency reduction and
possibly at the same time A reduction In overall distortion of The
speakers causing the bass to sound more clear.

To achieve the highest sound quality possible, you will need to adjust
several variables on the hardware level, As well as designing your room for
optimal acoustics.

This is why using a hardware volume knob is so important. Without it
you're unable to tune your speakers individually While ruling out software
volume controls as a variable in your set up.

Ideally you want a subwoofer to handle frequencies below 80 Hz, and studio
monitors To handle frequencies above 80 Hz..

With a volume control knob and a decibel Meter, You can now set your
software volume to 100% and adjust the volume from your speakers and sub
woofer independently to achieve an even stereo field, and a flat response
between the sub, bass, mid range, and high frequencies Without reducing the
bit depth of the sound.


Re: Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

josephcreed7
Roadie

As you mentioned, spotify uses a specific method to control levels, I too am curious about Spotifys approach and if there is indeed a way to predict based on volume levels which frequencies are favored if any at all. 

Re: Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

1241692522
Regular
I greatly appreciate your generous effort to provide me with the essential
basics but I'm fortunate to be greatly experience with those aspects I
would like to understand the mechanism by which the software volume
functions I would imagine it must downsample to reduce volume but I suspect
it effects dynamic range as well.

Re: Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

josephcreed7
Roadie

I suppose it would be possible to test the frequencies manually with a graphic equalizer ;) 

Re: Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

1241692522
Regular

I dont believe that spotify favors and particular frequencies at varying levels, my mistake in describing there. I'm morseo thinking if a room is overpowered dynamically at high volume, one can squeeze the signal a bit to lessen the difference between loud and quiet and I would think therefore a fuller image/ better audibility without the same dramatic and horrible effect as say "night listening mode" on a HT receiver. 

Re: Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

1241692522
Regular

what I'm working with atm

20180321_161442.jpg

Re: Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

1241692522
Regular

I also utilize Equalizer APO to tweak the bottom end for HT content but it is usually left untouched and inactive when listening

Re: Hardware volume control Vs. Software volume control

josephcreed7
Roadie

are those far field monitors? very fun looking setup! 

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