For example, my peak volume is -4dB, but I want to increase it to -1dB (as per youtube recommendation). In the mixer master volume, which increase should I set? +3dB does not produce a -1dB peak.

Thank you in advance.

  • What application are you using? Premiere has loudness tools that can help with this.
    – tomh
    Nov 1, 2021 at 9:41

1 Answer 1


It depends on your application, your project setup, and how it is metering signals.

If you are playing a mono source through a mono project, and metering using VU meters, playing a continuous sine wave tone at -4dB would meter at -4dBFS. If you increase the gain by 3dB, it should meter at -1dBFS.

Different metering systems use different ways to average the signal over time (eg PPM meters).

Different metering systems also use different loudness curves to try to approximate human loudness perception.

Real-world audio signals have more energy across different parts of the frequency spectrum, so may not meter as precisely as sine tones through the metering system of your application.

Premiere has a loudness radar tool that can help with this.

  • Seconding using the loudness radar and focusing on hitting your target loudness instead of worrying about peak levels. Nov 1, 2021 at 17:46
  • Absolutely. You would drive using only the speedometer! But clipping is important to avoid.
    – tomh
    Nov 1, 2021 at 18:01

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