Volume level with track solo

I really like to solo a track to hear it on its own. Like everybody. Now I’ve only just noticed this; when I solo a track, that’s quite low on (pre and post) volume, it sounds much louder than when everything is on. Does this have something to do with the Track Headroom setting?

On a new song with no effects, with just a few test sounds playing on different tracks, I’m not experiencing any difference in volume whether a track is solo’ed or not. Doesn’t make a difference if I change my track headroom, either.

Are you possibly using effects somewhere which could be altering the levels?

Do you have any kind of compressor, maximizer, or something similar which is affecting the solo’ed track? It could be on the track itself, or a group, or on the master, etc. Or perhaps you’re riding the output levels pretty hard by really cranking all your tracks, and then using something like soft clipping on the master to squash it all together?

Seems like something else is at play here anyway, rather just the basic solo behaviour. Track headroom definitely shouldn’t be affecting it in the way you’ve described.

I’m pretty sure that what you’re describing is a psychological effect. When an instrument’s frequencies are quashed by everything else going on in the track, it will sound ‘quieter’ than when you play it solo and all those frequencies are being freed up. For example, sub basses tend to have this property as the rest of the instruments take precedence over its upper frequencies, but when solo’d it seems louder, but only because it is by itself and unencumbered.

You’re right. It’s probably me with the awesomest 20 bucks monitors… will try on speakers in the morning when the neighbours kids are not asleep.