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Sound uploading much quiet than the clip actually is?


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I uploaded a sound clip of a beaded curtain. My old copy was nice and loud, just like the actual clip is on my computer- the new one, despite being just as loud on my computer- is barely audible in SL no matter how high my sound settings are. Is there any way to fix this? There's nothing wrong with the clip itself, but it plays SO quietly in SL.

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That's almost always the case.  You can make an uploaded sound play softer, but you can never play it louder its maximum in SL. I always create a sound at almost twice the volume that sounds right before upload, trying not to make it so loud that I get annoying clipping.  

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1 minute ago, Rolig Loon said:

That's almost always the case.  You can make an uploaded sound play softer, but you can never play it louder its maximum in SL. I always create a sound at almost twice the volume that sounds right before upload, trying not to make it so loud that I get annoying clipping.  

It's like, CRAZY loud on my computer! But I can still hardly hear it on SL. I didn't have this issue with the old one, but it was way too long.

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What can I say? In the end,  what counts is the volume you can get in world. So long as you don't make the sound so loud in Audacity ( or whatever) that you get nasty clipping, it really doesn't matter how super loud it is before it's uploaded. 

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I think you'd need to compare the two files in a tool like Audacity to see what's going on. It's possible your new file really is lower in amplitude, but your PC is "auto leveling" it up to the same playback volume as your longer clip. SL doesn't do that.

When exporting audio to SL, I always use the "normalize" function as the last step. That adjusts the amplitude such that the loudest portion of the track is right at maximum, or a set amount below it. I then examine the file visually, to make sure that the loudest passages don't dwarf the quieter ones. If that happens, I might "compress" the audio to soften the loud bits and strengthen the quiet bits. 

Some audio editors can be set to auto normalize. When that's enabled, the introduction of a pop or click can instantly reduce the rest of the file's amplitude substantially to bring that pop or click back within the bounds of the encoding format.

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Another thing to note is that most viewers are set by default to have sounds play back at only half their volume. If you change your viewer settings to play audio at max volume, it will probably sound a lot better.

That being said, you should always do what Madelaine said and normalize the audio so that the audio is always uploaded at the maximum possible volume within the track itself, without peaking.

Also, make sure to run a denoiser pass over your audio! A lot of sound effects in SL sound terrible because the creator just slapped some gain on the track before upload and called it a day. Any time you increase the volume of a track, you should always run a denoiser! Your audio will sound waay better!

Edited by Jenna Huntsman
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