Questions & Answers

Optional Safety Threshold to Protect Against Volume Spikes & 'Noise Blasts'

+9 votes
asked Feb 26, 2018 in Mixing by neiljordan1 (17,410 points)
edited Nov 6, 2020 by neiljordan1

Protect users' hearing by allowing them to switch on a customisable cap for master volume output.

Due to various issues (e.g. software bugs, feedback, unexpected plugin effects, unbalanced presets, etc.), it's always possible for any DAW to suddenly output audio at a much higher volume than expected. This can be very damaging to people's hearing & nerves, especially if using headphones.

It'd be great if S1's preferences included an option to turn on/off a user-configurable threshold (e.g. 0 dB, +1 dB, +10 dB; whatever the user wants), anything above which (on the master output only) will be automatically muted or capped at that level.

The meters should still accurately display the true level, preferably with some sort of indicator to show when the cap has kicked in.

A great example of this functionality is Cerberus Audio's Ice9 Automute. It does exactly what's needed, but this sort of protection should be out-of-box, rather than needing a third-party VST (especially one that's no longer maintained!).

3 Answers

0 votes
answered May 21, 2018 by AlexTinsley (909,940 points)
Best answer

Thank you for the feature request. 

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+1 vote
answered Feb 27, 2018 by robertgray3 (39,180 points)
Not sure why someone downvoted this. Ear safety is a real thing.

A few DAWs (REAPER is one) already have a threshold at which the mixing engine will put a temporary mute on your tracks when it detects a single sample going over the threshold. It's useful because it often indicates to the user (without a giant blast of noise) if there's a feedback issue due to some sort of routing mistake.
+1 vote
answered Feb 28, 2018 by neiljordan1 (17,410 points)

@robertgray3: Looks like whoever downvoted it also downvoted your answer and took it off 'best answer' too!