Amplitude Analysis

I was hoping someone would be able to give me some insight on a problem I am running into. When I find the amplitude of a set audio using the method described in the following post by Steve: Know the amplitude (volume) of a file. , I get -20.616 dB. When I go to analyze → plot spectrum I get -28.9 dB for the peak frequency of the audio. Does anyone know why these values are 1) differing from one another 2) the peak frequency is registering a lower amplitude? Which of these readings is more reliable? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

I tried to answer your question in the other thread.

In the spectrum you breaking the audio into frequency bands and any one band doesn’t contain all of the audio. There’s also some complicated math that’s “not perfect” (for complicated reasons that I only-partly understand).

Using the Amplify effect will show you the peak level relative to “full scale” (a waveform that reaches the top or bottom of the track is 0 dBFS).

In Plot Spectrum, the peaks are scaled such that a sine wave that is 0dBFS will be displayed as 0 dB. However, you need to keep in mind that most sounds are not pure sine waves, so their energy is spread across multiple frequency bands. For example, white noise is spread across all of the frequency bands, so 0dBFS white noise will show as a much lower level in Plot Spectrum as there is only a small fraction of the sound in each frequency band. It also means that the levels will be different depending on how many frequency bands are being analyzed (The number of frequency bands is half of the “Size” setting).

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.