How low, in dB, does the "monitor" meter go?

By default, it looks like it can “display” lower than -57dB. But can it display numbers lower than that? I’m curious.

Also, why are the monitor and other levels measured in negative numbers?

I use “Quieter” rather than “Lower.” Higher and Lower can cause problems.

I use -96dB as the meter setting mostly because I work in “CD Quality” and the 16-bit numbers run out of poop (technical phrase) at -96dB.

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Audacity Preferences > Interface > Meter Range.

Also, if you stretch the meters the whole length of your work window, the space between values works out to be about the same as the default 60dB numbers. It doesn’t let you hide values quieter than -60dB which can be a problem in audiobook readings.

0dB is where the numbering system runs out of numbers on the loud side and the system gets quieter from there. Most of the numbering schemes keep the 0dB thing and expand the quiet end.

That’s different from Sound Pressure Level (dBSPL) which starts 0dB at the sound so quiet you can’t hear it any more and works up. That one has positive numbers. That’s the one that can measure thunder, explosions, and jets.

No, there’s no fixed relationship between the two.

This is where you ask why the meters are in dB and the blue waves are in Percent.


Thanks! That’s what I was looking for!

thanks here as well…this helpful