Volume leveling, Sound quality, digital attenuation, resolution loss

Basic question need a true precise answer please:
The volume leveling refer roon is a feature to avoid SPL jumps during of different albums/artists/tracks. It “helps” the listener to adjust the playback level to be on a certain/limited/similar SPL. That goal is NOT for music lover, its an approach for “playback music” , over-forced said, a way to produce acoustical garbage.
Its a different way to make a similar goal as the “loudness war”.
When a music lover want to listen to his particular artist/track/composition, he want to hear that as it “thought and generated” by the musician. So when the theme is dunamic, then it have to be dynamic, when it it was generated as a silent piece, then it have to be silent! All other playback is simply destroy the idea,the goal of the producer !!!
But thats not the point here for my request- as the listener can simply turn the leveling off and thats it !
My request, my question is to get a real technical answer and not “other” answers WHAT happens with the music in terms of quality, dynamics, simply enjoying.
When the music is compressed/limited in dynamics follow the idea of the “loudness war” then the correct way is to expand that music to get back the dynamics of the SPL.
As i simply understood, ROON is using/processing the dynamic level information to adjust finally the playback level.
Doing that, the digital volume levels of the whole music have to be shifted from full scale(or which level the music is stored) to a lower level.All that happens on the digital domain with many tricks and knowledge not to loss to much resolution or not make a dynamic limitation/ compression.
So, when i want to have the BEST audio playback, the “volume leveling” have to be NOT activated.
Here are my questions:
1)Are you confirm my statement or what is your point and when its different, explain it please in pure technical terms.strong text
2) How Roon avoid or minimize all that disadvantages and how BIG/STRONG they are ?
3) A practical question- i can adjust the volume leveling to e.g -14dB and e.g. to -23dB and simply compensate that difference with the playback SPL from my speaker. So to get the same SPL for -23dB i have to “amplify” the music more coarse. BUT, to have a quieter signal/music (with -23dB), the signal/noise ratio is more worst and also the music dynamic resolution is limited/compressed.
4) So beside the “feature” to get a better matched SPL between different music/playback, i only see disadvantages.
Can you please give me your technical comment/ expertise about all that.
My concern is sensitive as i have Meridian speakers with just digital inputs, so every lost on the digital domain is lost forever…

Thanks for your support and keep going your fantastic way and dont get demotivated from stupid and “bought” people …

A big thank from Robert to the whole team

I think that’s related to the process of Dynamic Compression, not Volume Levelling (as in Roon).

Don’t think roon is doing any dynamic compression or “loudness” type eq.

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Thanks for your comments here.
Sorry about my english, also i should have make split the digital attentuation and the idea of volume levelling.
All my posting here now is for the digital domain only.
So digital attentuation(Volume change):

  • HOW ROON can change the volume of the music without loose resolution?

To make a “loud” music more quiet on the digital domain ,there are that possibilities:

– The loudest(highest bits) peaks of the music have to get lower values, but what happened that with the lowest bits ?

a)The lowest bit cant be get smaller-as there are no more bits, so their values get changed less, or doensnt get changed at all to avoid to loose it. >> That mean, the different between the highest and lowest peaks are now reduced ,so its an compression per definition.

b) Change all the bits, means simply “subtract” some bit-counts from each sample of the music.
So the lowest bits get lossed because there are no lower bits as the lowest bit.

c)EXPAND a eg. 16bit signal to 24 bit, the result is to get more,smaller steps between each 16-bit sample as before.So smaller steps, but NOT more information.
Now the volume change without loss is possible.

For a) and b) some processing of the bits is usual as eg. quantization
The option c) is very usual , differences are here the “bit depth of the process” eg. 32,48,72 .

Volume levelling:
1)One point is the choice from the user to have a playback level that is “matched” independend which type of music is playing OR get what the artist/producer… want to transport. So the user decide what he likes.
2)The “volume levelling” depending how its made, can either decrease(see above for bad processing) or even improve the sound.Improves happen, when a compressed music(loudness war) get expandet,
so it get more dynamics what clearly sounds better.

So-still be digital-
HOW i get the best sound with well recorded dynamic music(not compressed loudness war music) -
NOT take care of volume levelling in the sense of constant SPL during playback ?
X) Adjust the volume level not at all
Y) less dB like -10dB or similar
Z) more, means below eg -20dB

Again, iam NOT take care to get the same playback level !

Or just another way:
Why not analyze the music track by tarck or album, maximize/expand the dynamic range as much is possible to have the maximum dynamic range.
Then the user decide when he adjust the playback level with the volume knob on his audio equipment,
what is practically “left” to his ears ?
MAYBE, ROON already do that similar and we(i) dont know that.

Please support give us here some info to get the best sound as possible and keep the decission for the “comfort” feature .

Sorry to be maybe to pedantic here, but all that is important at least for me.

Hopefully roon staff will explain in more detail, but I believe it converts everything to 64 bit float before performing any dsp.

Yes, Roon converts everything to 64 bit float before performing any DSP, so there should be no loss of resolution when digitally controlling volume. 64 bit has 2^48 (~281.5 trillion) more volume steps than 16 bit.

Thanks for the infos.
The final question is when all that is “true”- what ROON should please confirm/explain-
there are NOW “enough” steps are available through all that processing,
that the user can decide to use more or less dB levelling without comprise.
So when the user decide the level is-
eg now -23dB compared to another choice of eg. -10dB ,
the playback-level have to adjust (via the volume knob on the audio equipment) to compensate that difference.
So what is finally left in sound quality difference ?
And follow the “loudness war” compensation processing(as i understand it), more minus dB means finally more dynamic and better sound within a certain/unknown limit?

So, please ROON, give us some help here-AGAIN for well recorded music only.

I think the volume leveling and DSP works exellent i Roon. For the first time with digital sound software, I DON’T hear a degrade in Soundqality. The 64 bit conversion does the trick. I absolute love it, and it really has a positive effect on the “Loundness War” tracks you refer to. You get rid of clipping in your DAC.
That said. It is still the best way to Master quieter in the first place. The Volume levelling feature, maybe will help Us with that in the future. If volume levelling turns down the bad tracks anyway, there is really no need to master them this way… BIG THUMPS UP for the Roon leveling/DSP…

No matter what horrible damage volume leveling might be doing, I don’t notice. I have it on 100% of the time and relative to having to attenuate all day long, it’s a no brainer. I want to enjoy music, not endlessly pursue some ideal of perfection.

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