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Author Topic: Usual Volume levels for .xm modules  (Read 3450 times)

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  • Devouring the Pies
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Usual Volume levels for .xm modules
« on: February 07, 2009, 16:02:23 »

hi people!
finally a tracker which is not only compatible to ft][, but also has an interface that looks & feels like ft][, and even the "same" keyboard commands. after years of abstinence from any .xm editor I have now motivation to dig into my collection of unfinished tunes, which lay dormant for so many years...

anyways this is just about  a simple question: how is by convention in the/this scene (or whatever) the usual volume of a .xm module (i.e. of the loudest sections in a whole song)?
I'm asking because I noticed that most of my own .xm files distort by mixer clipping in the standard mixer volume setup. i've had to toggle amplification to 25% and mixer volume to somewhere between 60% and 70% in order to play my works without clipping. this applies also to the .wav recorder. this seemed strange to me, as original ft2 never clipped, probably amplifying each channel by 100% / number_of_channel (which also meant that adding channels reduced overall volume of the whole song, can't remember correctly, since it's years since I last used original ft2, but I think it was this way). I'm using milkytracker under ubuntu 8.10 with SDL driver, as installed from original repositories.

I'm asking because, being treated with a free, open source piece of software that I really like I wish to share my music with other people from the scene associated with it, and nothing could be worse "first impression" for the listener of a tune than getting his ears bust by levels higher than he's used to listen, or having to listen to a distorted piece, probably thinking it was composed intentionally that way (...hmmm, sometimes it can fit nicely, but not always, you see...). with sharing in mind I wish to reduce levels of tunes I want to share to something that is usual, for example by de-amplifying the samples (instrument volume won't work, because it's overridden by volume commands...). back those days I seldom listened to other mods, and used "bad" technics like normalizing every sample to 100%, or doubling a bass channel to make it more present.

maybe you could treat me with links to .xm-files that you think are leveled properly, so I can compare and adopt my tunes.

thanks in advance :)


  • Pie Addict
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Re: Usual Volume levels for .xm modules
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 23:35:22 »

i'd say: no standard! it is a subjective thing in the first place. some people use all the 32 channels while you only hear a silent blur while others tend to distort at two channels only. it really depends on your taste, what kind of sound you want to create and, yes. even how many tracks your analytic heart (or ear) listened to.. sortof...

fancy filting (interpolation) can cause dramatic changes in volume. don't use it =)

most tracker people will at least have a quick glance at your instument text (info) where you can tell them to use xyz-tracker at volume X etc...

hmm, maybe a little OT, but i found this passage in zoptrack about anal musicians which you can adopt to volume as well:

[...]just don't go overboard with bass expansion and reverb!  You just want
to add a touch to your songs.. and don't worry about surround sound.
Try to keep your soundcard EQs at the same place.  Remember that most
people don't touch their BASS and TREBLE knobs to make a song sound
better.  That's for anal musicians!  (rightfully anal!)  So, if you EQ
your song with the treble all the way up, and make a tape and give to
your friend who has the treble in the middle, it might be so bassy his
head explodes, which would be messy.  If your music caused people's
heads to explode, you might become famous rather quick, however.
Keep that in mind.[....]

conclusion: EQs just dont wanna turn red
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