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Why Not?!
Old 16th March 2016
Lives for gear
I'm beginning to wonder if OP wants everything louder because our advice is falling on deaf ears. I hereby impose a ban on myself from this thread to preserve my brain cells from being wasted any further.
Old 16th March 2016
Lives for gear

There are a couple of concepts which seem to be being missed my some people in this thread.

The first is what "0" (which is actually 0 dBFS) means.

The second is that amplitude is not loudness.

When we see "dBV", "dBFS" the unit is in effect made up of two parts, "dB" is a relative measurement, the suffix tells us what it is relative to... in the case of "dBFS" that's "FS"... FULL SCALE.

Think about that for a moment, the very definition of the term is that it's the maximum amplitude that can exist without clipping.

How "loud" is that? Well it will depend on two things.. firstly what the limiting maximum value is, and where the listener has set his volume control.

In most DAW setups, the limiting factor is the maximum value the DAC can deliver, but limits exist in other scenarios, such as analogue radio, where the limiting factor is how great an amplitude the signal can have before modulation starts kicking into adjacent channels and the regulators come down on you like a ton of bricks... and arguably THIS is the reason for the "loudness wars", the song that sounds loudest on the radio is the one that people notice more, so how do you make thinks sound louder without increasing the peak amplitude, which is not an option?.. more on this later

So, firstly the very concept for making your DAW go to "more than 0" is missing the point, 0 is the limit of your delivery channel to the listener. With floating point you can output stuff with greater amplitude than FS, but further down the chain it would need to be reduced in amplitude, or clipped.

So, on to the second point, that loudness is not amplitude, and how it ties in with the comment about radio.

The maximum amplitude of your mix is constrained by the channel, whether that constraint is the maximum value your DAC can generate, the maximum deviation the groove on vinyl before the needle jumps out, or the maximum modulation signal allowed in radio.

But two different signals of the same peak amplitude can have very different perceived loudnesses. Harmonic content and dynamic range affect it for a start. So for example compression will result in the quieter bits having greater amplitude, and a greater overall perceived loudness, despite the peak amplitude staying the same.

Harmonic content too, a simple example being distorted guitar will generally sound louder than a clean one of the same peak amplitude, largely because of the increased harmonic content (also due to reduced dynamic range unless the clean one is compressed).

Those are generalizations, and things can get very complicated. Loudness Maximizers can have some very complicated algorithms based on how research has shown we perceive loudness.

So in summation
1) delivering a mix to the listener which is greater than 0dBFS is an oxymoron, since FS is the limit.
2) Making things louder is not just a case of boosting the amplitude.
Old 16th March 2016
Here for the gear

Watch this: and things will be much clearer
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