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# Equivalent of "transpose" for volume

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### #1Sik_the_hedgehog  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1387

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 03:31 PM

Pretty much what the thread title says. When you take all the notes and offset all their tones (by an equal amount) it's called "transpose". Is there an equivalent term for doing the same for volume? Of course I could just say "offset volume" if really needed but if there's a proper term I'd rather use that instead.
Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

### #2Madhed  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1582

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 07:40 PM

attenuate maybe?

### #3Sik_the_hedgehog  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1387

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 10:18 PM

Isn't attenuation only for when the volume goes down, not up? (I suppose you could argue there could be negative "attenuation", but in the tool I'm making I'm expecting this to be used more commonly for volume going up instead of down)
Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

### #4jefferytitan  Members   -  Reputation: 1039

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:26 PM

It depends what you mean. Are you talking about increasing the volume (e.g. multiplying it) or shifting it (e.g. adding a value to each sample)? Example below, each number represents a value in a sound wave.

Original:

-2 -1 0 1 2 1 0 -1 -2

Multiplying:

-4 -2 0 2 4 2 0 -2 -4

0 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 0

The reason that I ask is that increasing the volume is... just that. Shifting is equivalent to adding a zero Hz square wave, which is both inaudible to the human ear and incredibly destructive to most speakers. So I'd suggest against it.

Edited by jefferytitan, 17 June 2012 - 11:26 PM.

### #5Sik_the_hedgehog  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1387

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:52 PM

Actually it's for a conversion tool to convert from MIDIs to a custom format using FM instruments (for an old console - yeah, homebrew). Sometimes the volume of the MIDI instrument doesn't match that of the FM instrument, so the idea is that you can tell the tool to adjust for that when doing the conversion (the tool can already do this for tones, since they're usually off by one or two octaves).

But yeah, I'm just trying to see if there's a good name for such an offset. I'm not editing a waveform at all, just the parameters of a MIDI note before it gets parsed.

Edited by Sik_the_hedgehog, 17 June 2012 - 11:53 PM.

Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

### #6Nyaanyaa  Members   -  Reputation: 517

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:17 AM

Hi there Silk,

Knobs/Sliders/Faders/etc. that increase or decrease volume are usually labeled 'Volume'... one that affects e.g. all tracks in a VSTi is commonly labeled 'Master Volume' or something along the line. So, do you just not like that term or am I not getting something here?

Otherwise.. a gradual increase in volume is called 'crescendo'. A gradual decrease in volume is called 'diminuendo' or 'decrescendo'. Sudden changes in volume are indicated by the prefix 'subito' before 'piano' (quiet), 'forte' (loud) etc. Those terms are all indicating 'dynamic changes' so maybe 'dynamics' is the word you're looking for?

Best regards,
Chris

EDIT: If you're adjusting MIDI parameters that control the volume of a note then 'velocity offset' is most likely what you're looking. Unless you're referring to CC#07 of a channel, then it's just 'volume'. I've never seen anything labeled 'volume offset' personally.

Edited by Nyaanyaa, 18 June 2012 - 12:28 AM.

Christian Hellerberg
Freelance Composer
http://soundcloud.com/nyaanyaa

### #7Sik_the_hedgehog  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1387

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:25 AM

The problem with the word "volume" is that it refers to the absolute value as far as I know, while what I need is a relative value (i.e. relative to the original volume). Otherwise I'd just use that. I know about crescendo and decrescendo, but besides being one-way meanings, they aren't exactly what I'm looking for (they're more akin to a volume slide).

I suppose I could just use a term like "volume scale" or something like that, does anybody have a better idea though? Or do you think that something like "volume 125%" instead of "volumescale 125%" would be clear enough?
Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

### #8jefferytitan  Members   -  Reputation: 1039

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:31 AM

Ah, I see. Maybe "instrument volume" or "track volume"? You're essentially re-mixing the music to account for differences between the software and hardware instrument volumes, right? So I guess look to audio mixing for your inspiration.

### #9Sik_the_hedgehog  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1387

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:41 AM

So, volume then? (the "instrument" part is implied) To give you an idea, this is how a real-life example would look like:

instrument fm 39 27 transpose 24 volume 133

What this tells is that:
• It's a FM instrument (there are PSG and PCM instruments too)
• The MIDI instrument is 39
• The output instrument is 27
• All notes are transposed 24 semitones up
• Volume is scaled by 133%
Think this would be clear enough? (information is provided in a text file in case it wasn't clear, the tool was made for batch building because building the ROM requires a lot of steps)
Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

### #10jefferytitan  Members   -  Reputation: 1039

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:23 AM

I would say that's clear enough. I was thinking of gain, but after checking the technical definition it's really incorrect for this purpose.

### #11GeneralQuery  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1263

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 03:27 AM

Adding would just be adding DC offset. Don't fo that.

### #12Tom Sloper  Moderators   -  Reputation: 6519

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 08:17 AM

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Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

### #13jbadams  Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 12244

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:11 AM

I'd probably go with "volume offset".

### #14bschmidt1962  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1587

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:01 AM

The very very short answer would probably be "Gain".. Gain can be greater than 1 (make it louder) or less than 1 (make it softer). Multiply every sample by the "Gain" and you change the loudness of the sound appropriately.

the longer answer is somewhat more interesting (or boring, depending on your perspective ).

Why does this seem not as straightforward for volume as it is for pitch?

First, you have to understand the difference between a physical parameter and a perceptual parameter.
A physical parameter is something you can objectively measure-- like "how high is the voltage", or "what is the frequency of the sin wave". All you need is some kind of meter. In contrast, perceptual parameters are how we (humans) perceive things. Is it a high pitch or a low pitch? How loud is does it sound?
Pitch is the perceptual parameter usually liked with frequency. Sounds with higher frequencies have a higher pitch.
Loudness is the perceptual parameter usually linked with amplitude. Sounds with bigger amplitudes generally sound 'louder'

Pitch and loudness are actually very different.
If you take a frequency value and multiple it by a constant (let's say 2.0), it's up an octave. You can do that on every track and it's always up exactly one octave. Everybody will hear the sound as exactly one octave higher. The perceived change (pitch) has a one to one mapping with the physical parameter (frequency). (yes, there are some pathological cases, but we can ignore those)

Loudness (volume) isn't so easy... even the meaning of making something "twice as loud" is very hard to define. while "up an octave" is the same for everybody, "twice as loud" isn't. Further complicating matters is that when you change the amplitude of a sound, it's change in "loudness" depends on the frequency content of the sound. (See Fletcher Munson curves http://en.wikipedia....r–Munson_curves). So how do you deal with that?
There isn't a nice clean mapping from Amplitude to Loudness like there is from frequency to pitch. That's why there is no "loudness" equivalent of "Middle C".

So that's a very long-winded way of saying why we generally label the "loudness" slider to be "Gain" (the physical parameter adjustment), while using the perceptual parameter (pitch or semitones) when we talk about transposing.

Brian Schmidt
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### #15nsmadsen  Moderators   -  Reputation: 3131

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:17 PM

Brian knocks it out of the park... again. Well stated!
Composer-Sound Designer

### #16Sik_the_hedgehog  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1387

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:25 PM

So, if the term is "gain", one question then: what would be 100% gain? Would it mean the volume remains unchanged or would it mean the sound would be double as loud? (always talking about perceived sound, that is)
Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

### #17Moritz P.G. Katz  Members   -  Reputation: 1041

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:00 AM

So, if the term is "gain", one question then: what would be 100% gain? Would it mean the volume remains unchanged or would it mean the sound would be double as loud? (always talking about perceived sound, that is)

Actually, it depends on whatever soft- or hardware you're using. Using percentages for something labeled "Gain" is pretty rare though, in my experience.
Either it's labeled with dB or - like on guitar amps and pedals - with a knob that just goes from a minimum to a maximum value.

When it's indeed labeled with a true relative value, it's like Brian said:
1 (or 100%) means the Gain stage isn't changing the volume.

Cheers,
Moritz

Check out my Music/Sound Design Reel on moritzpgkatz.de

### #18Sik_the_hedgehog  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1387

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 09:04 AM

Internet cable getting cut = one week without internet. Gah.

Actually, it depends on whatever soft- or hardware you're using. Using percentages for something labeled "Gain" is pretty rare though, in my experience.
Either it's labeled with dB or - like on guitar amps and pedals - with a knob that just goes from a minimum to a maximum value.

It's just to make up for the difference between MIDI and the FM instruments. The idea is to scale the original volume of the MIDI instrument to match that of the FM instrument (which in turn will affect proportionally all velocity parameters and such, which is why it must be relative - 0 must stay 0, for instance).

When it's indeed labeled with a true relative value, it's like Brian said:
1 (or 100%) means the Gain stage isn't changing the volume.

OK, so what I have right now. That's what I wanted to know.
Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

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