With volume levelling enabled (at the default setting of -14LUFS), occasionally some albums play with a volume levelling value of +0.0dB.
This happens with albums from Tidal, and when it does, there are usually multiple versions and only some are played too loudly.
Roon radio will occasionally pick these badly levelled albums instead of the sensibly levelled versions, and suddenly I’m listening to very loud music (which was what I was hoping to avoid by turning on levelling in the first place).
One album I see this with is “Not in Chronological Order” by Julia Michaels, which has 5 different versions on Tidal, 2 of which have incorrect volume levelling for me. There are many more.
For this particular album (and I’m too lazy to hunt for others right now, so can’t necessarily generalize), if I apply progressively stronger volume levelling, the level adjustment shown in signal path will remain at 0.0 until I pass -18LUFS, at which point properly levelled tracks are quite quiet.
With volume levelling turned off, the different versions sound the same to me, so it doesn’t really make sense to me that there would be a roughly 10dB difference in volume after levelling…
I don’t use Roon radio, but if it works similar to a playlist, then it would be better to use the “track” setting, not “album”. The “auto” setting should also work, if Roon correctly detects track/album sequences.
I suspect that the problem is caused by the erroneous tags in Tidal / Qobuz. Roon uses track / album gain which are put in the track tags. I suspect that for albums with problems, instead of the tag being missing (and Roon applying the setting “if loudness is unknown”), the value “0” appears in the tags and then Roon applies this value.
Unfortunately, I can’t check this, because Roon only displays information about tags for local files, not Tidal / Qobuz ones.
I’ve noticed that occasionally when this happens (but not always), when a song in my playlist is followed by a song with the levelling problem, that the signal path doesn’t properly update on the song transition. It will show the blue “enhanced” star, and the volume levelling values from the previous song, but it will be very loud. If I restart the song it will still sound the same but it will now show the purple “lossless” star, and +0.0dB.
Unsure if that’s a useful data point or not.
If there’s any more information I can provide to help, just let me know.