windows xp (asus notebook, cheap usb mic):
Does the ‘wave’-volume level effect the (mic)-recording volume level?
I can not find a thorough easy to understand explanation as to what exactly wave-volume is and what it’s recommended volume levels would be for any given activities. I would appreciate any info anyone can share on this function, thank you.
No. “Wave” only affects the sounds coming from “inside the computer”. And, generally you are not recording these sounds.
Windows has two “mixers”. One for recording and the other for playback. The exception is when you record “Stereo Mix” or “What-U-Hear”. In that case, you are recording what’s going to the speakers, so of course the playback mixer (including the “wave” control) affects recording too.
If you double-click the WinXP speaker icon, you will bring-up the playback mixer. Then, if you click Options → Properties you can select the recording device and the recording mixer. With most soundcards/drivers the recording “mixer” is not a true mixer because you can only select one recording-input at a time.
…what it’s recommended volume levels would be for any given activities?
The idea is to get as strong of a signal as possible without clipping/distorting. If the signal is too strong, the analog-to-digital converter get’s maxed-out and you get clipping (flat-top waves). If the signal is too low, you get a poor signal-to-noise ratio.
For live recordings where you can’t predict the exact signal level you can shoot-for -6dB peaks. 0dBFS is the “digital maximum”, and 6dB of headroom is reasonable. (Pros with low-noise 24-bit analog-to-digital converters often record at -18dB.)
thanks -dvddoug (much appreciated)
I was hoping for some more feedback on this from the community, wave volume control specific but maybe as is on the internet there’s a general lack of info, even microsoft had little I could find. So I’ll try to pick the-brains here.
So for usb mic recording (plugged into an asus brand notebook comp. using audacity [2.0] [windows xp]) the wave volume control has no effect (on the actual recording levels/outcome). okay, since this is the only type recording I am doing at this point, that settles that part of the query.
Now, as usual the answer stimulates more question(s).
Wave volume: So for general sounds coming from the computer, like say listening to stuff on the internet or my own mp3’s through windows media player, or even things coming out of an open audacity program, the wave volume control matters. Okay so what is the best level? For this type activity where clipping is not an issue, right? so would max be best? or is there still a clipping/distortion factor even for playback?
Input level I understand, output/playback level I understand, waveform (expressed in a variety of ways) I understand, but I have no idea what, in the context of audio, this “wave volume” is. I always thought it was associated with ladies’ hairstyling! Please point me to the relevant pages in the Audacity manual or wiki for the audio definition. I’d love to chip in with my 5 cents worth.
i think you might be right, an old feature from the 50’s. no body seems to go for the big hairstyles anymore so I guess ‘wave volume’ just sort of gets overlooked. “wave volume” wazz that? i dunno?
Anyway I keep mine about 7 - I read once that was a good level - for stuff in general. 10 might contribute to distortion but heck if I know – and not getting any feedback on this [?].