Volume got reduced after installing ver. 3.1.0

I downloaded the recent update provided by Audacity (ver. 3.1.0). Since then, the volume is reduced >60% Only if I raise the playback volume to 1.0 (max) I can hear well. Interestingly, the playback volume slider level shows to -12 ! The problem is not with my system since I hear YouTube channels well enough.
I removed ver 3.1.0 and reinstalled 3.0.2, and, the volume returned to normal.

Any suggestions??

Audacity has a volume slider which previously would affect system volume. In 3.1, it instead works like every app-specific volume slider ever. If you’re in 3.1, make sure to put it to 100% to hear Audacity as loudly as it can be.

(if you’re not on 3.1 or later, this will set your system volume to 100%. Be careful!)

Although technically correct that on the new version, it only affects Audacity volume, there is a gotcha like you say…
On Mac (don’t know about Windows), sound drivers like Soundflower don’t have a volume control,
so it’s handy to use Audacity as the volume control.

Is this clearly noted to the user? (Only asked as I haven’t looked on the website and haven’t updated).
It could have some draw backs:

  1. As the OP wrote, volume is now too low.

  2. Using latest version on Mac (with Soundflower), you lose volume control and thus
    it plays at full volume.

To overcome this, would it not be possible to allow an option in Preferences,
where the user could select between “global volume” or just Audacity volume?

This way, the user can select between the new behaviour or just keep things as they were.

I’ve put it in the release notes.

My assumption to why this is happening is that if before, you had your system volume at 20%, with a 3.1 update, you now would have both your system volume at 20% and Audacity’s volume at 20% of that, so you’re at 4% volume total for Audacity instead. Correct me if this isn’t what’s actually happening here.

Audacity would still have an app-specific volume control (like a browser video/YouTube would work like), so you could always make it quieter than max volume

I don’t believe we’re looking to bringing this back, because:

  • Having a global volume control inside a program is/was unique to Audacity, there’s nothing else to my knowledge which does this.
  • Unexpectedly setting system volume 100% (as opposed to just the in-app volume to whatever the system volume is) has caused hearing damage.
  • It was highly platform-dependent, with some platforms not allowing random apps to mess with the system volume at all. In those cases, the current behavior was used anyway.

Many thanks for your feedback.

Yes, I was mis-using the Audacity “feature” of setting the global volume control.
Indeed, it is quite unique, as have never come across another application that does this,
however I must add, it’s very handy.

I must point out that this is specific to Mac with Soundflower.
On Linux, I always use Jack Audio with Audacity so I have individual level control.
Hardly ever use Audacity on Windows, so can’t really comment there.

This uniqueness of Audacity being able to control global volume,
can be very handy under certain circumstances.
Since I can’t be the only one using this, and the fact that the code already exists,
hence my question/request to create an option to decide which behaviour to chose.

Thank you guys for the highly technical input. Unfortunately I am a 75+ year old retired doctor trying to pick up some guitar playing/ recording after retirement. I have no technical background about audio-engineering!!
I found that the App (ver 3.1.0) reduced the playback volume. Already hard of hearing, it’s going to be a problem! I use Audacity because I play lead guitar on one channel and a suitable backing track to accompany me.
By the way I had also noticed another problem. While recording, there is latency problem with the backing track lagging a few milliseconds behind. So I tend to go off time. I did adjust the latency from 100 to 0 to 50, but, it didn’t help me. I am not experiencing any problems after I downgraded back to Ver 3.0.2.

Since, unfortunately, I can’t follow your jargon much, I can not give you any further information to help you to understand my problems.

Dr Idiculla, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Did you set your system volume to something loud, too?

Yes, Had to increase the system volume, which, I keep around 20 - 30 had to be raised 50 - 60.

As a layman with absolutely no knowledge about audio-science, I just wonder, if the slider automatically moves to 100% and does not require any adjustment, why have it at all?

If I asked a raving stupid question to pundits like you, kindly forgive me. I AM IGNORANT!!

Dr Idiculla

Very good question. Audacity’s UI is currently being looked into for its sense and nonsense; there’s a decently high chance that the volume slider will be removed (or maybe replaced by a master mix volume slider) in an upcoming version.

Audacity’s volume control has been present since at least version 1.0.0 (about 20 years ago). This predates “per application” volume controls in Windows. At that time, the only way to adjust the output level from an app was to adjust the “master / PCM” level of the sound card. Audacity’s volume control has remained as an alias for the sound cards output level (for hardware / drivers that support it) ever since.

Other than a few complaints about hardware / drivers that do not support the master volume control, I don’t recall seeing any requests for it to be changed until a couple of months ago.