Playback volume

Linux Mint 17.3, using Audacity 2.1.2

I’m editing and mastering spoken word audio (mono). Reducing the Audacity playback volume (NOT GAIN) to my monitor down to .50 pins the meter in the red. If I hover over the playback volume control it says “Playback Volume .50 (emulated).”

Emulated? What the heck does that mean? And why does it bury the meter? It doesn’t seem to be affecting the audio in any way but it’s damned annoying.

Any insights would be appreciated, especially if I am unwittingly fouling up my audio somehow. :wink:


“Emulated” means that the Audacity slider does not control the master device slider directly. This is normal if you have selected the “default” device (PulseAudio) in Audacity’s Device Toolbar.

Use the master slider for direct control of the playback level.

I don’t understand the question “why does it bury the meter?”.


When I reduce the playback volume slider from the max (1.0) to .50 there is a corresponding rise in the reading of the meter (and only on the meter, the waveform and actual gain are unaffected) to the point where the meter is “buried” in the red.

Thank you for the answer on emulation with regard to the playback device. I guess I hadn’t previously experienced that because I was running playback through a Scarlet Solo interface, whereas now I just connected my monitors directly to my computer.

Thanks again,


The Audacity Playback Meter shows the level of the mix present in the project. Moving the Audacity playback slider should not change the level of the Audacity Playback Meter.