Volume On Rendered File

I experience my exported wavs have a lower volume compared to other digital music. For example, when comparing to other tracks on soundcloud.

According to the master VU meter in renoise it’s very close to 0 dB and it does not clip at all.

Does this have something to do with the track headroom setting? (Available in renoise 2.7). Or am I just doing things wrong?

How can I boost the volume so it meets the “normal” level found on other tracks?


I think that pre 2.7 there’s a -6dB headroom by default.

An easy solution is to load your wav file into an audio editor (audacity will do) and use the editor’s Normalize function. In audacity you can set a value for this.

The default in 2.7 is still -6dB headroom. But krixa already said that the output is pretty much peaking at 0dB anyway, so normalising isn’t going to give much of a boost in this case.

The problem here is not peak loudness, it’s perceived loudness. You can increase the perceived loudness of a sound by carefully (or not so carefully) using tools like limiters and compressors, in order to boost the body of the sound and make it more full, while keeping the peaks below a certain threshold. You essentially ‘squash’ the dynamic range of the sound while simultaneously normalising the results, giving you a louder overall signal. But if you push it too far then you end up with muddy crap that has no dynamic range whatsoever and sounds like every other boring piece of shit on the radio, so you should try not to go too crazy with it (unless that’s the specific sound you want, I guess).

A very quick (but perhaps not very elegant) way of boosting your overall levels is to add a Maximizer (Track DSPs > Native > Maximizer) to your master track. Choose a preset such as ‘Master Boost Fast’ and then play around with the Boost parameter until it sounds a bit nicer to you. Depending on the type of music you’re writing it may be necessary to adjust the other parameters to get more subtle results, but if you don’t really understand what you’re doing then you should simply stick to a preset and make small adjustments, otherwise you can easily create a horrible-sounding mess with extreme settings.

You should be looking at the RMS level not just the peaks, try to get it up to -10 to -6. Most people’s tracks on soundcloud are mastered you know.

Thanks for you replies guys! :)

Very interesting read about the history of loudness on 7" recordings for jukeboxes.

dblue: I tried the Maximizer with that preset you mentioned and yes, it actually got louder and didn’t sound damaged in any way I could hear of.

I’ll dig into the normalizing/etc on audacity when I have more than just a 34 second loop to play around with.