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Subject: Re: rockbox-recorder-20061122 - volume representation messed up

Re: rockbox-recorder-20061122 - volume representation messed up

From: Paul Louden <>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 18:13:39 -0600

Well, firstly decibels are a relative scale. So 0 would be "not reduced or
amplified." In that context, 90% could actually be considered the same as
-10%, as they're both "10% less than the full level" but since you don't
have an absolute point of reference with dB, the negative numbers make
perfect sense.

Secondly, -10 is still less than 0, so I still don't really understand where
it's confusing. Higher numbers are still louder, right?

The comparison to -10K is irrelevant because you're comparing an absolute
scale to a relative scale.

On 11/27/06, Nix <> wrote:
> On 23 Nov 2006, Linus Nielsen Feltzing told this:
> > mat holton wrote:
> >> You see, this is the problem when you let audiophiles or programmers
> >> design User Interfaces.
> >
> > Actually, the dB scale solves a very old issue on the Archos, namely
> > the question what volume to set to avoid clipping (0dB). The MAS chip
> > can set the volume above 0dB, you see.
> >
> > In the old Rockbox version, the answer was 92% (if I recall
> > correctly). I think "0dB" conveys that information much better than
> > "92%".
> Personally, being a mere programmer and not any sort of audio geek, I
> don't understand why 0dB doesn't mean `dead silence'. I mean, that's
> what decibels are, right, a unit of sound intensity? So how can you have
> a negative sound intensity? -10dB reads to me like -10K on an absolute
> temperature scale would (and, yes, I know that -10K really does have a
> meaning, but it's a rather obscure one that doesn't relate to
> *thermodynamic* temperature, i.e. to what most people understand as
> `temperature').
> I'm an extreme geek compared to pretty much everyone else I know
> off-net. I don't think I know *anyone* who wouldn't be confused by a
> negative volume. (It confused me enough that I hunted through the source
> to fix the bug, saw that it was intentional, and left it alone, shaking
> my head over the apparent bizarreness of this scale.)
> --
> `The main high-level difference between Emacs and (say) UNIX, Windows,
> or BeOS... is that Emacs boots quicker.' --- PdS
Received on 2006-11-28

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