By what proportion should I reduce wav file samples in order to get a sound half as loud?


Possibly I'm overthinking this, but it seems to me that when I multiply my wav file samples by 0.5, I don't get a sound that's half as loud but considerably louder than half as loud.

I have a feeling that it's something to do with logarithms (decibels is a logarithmic scale?) but I'm not clear how to adjust wave file values to get a sound that's half or a quarter as loud etc.

Many thanks for your help!


Posted 2020-11-18T14:42:45.627

Reputation: 103

I think that humans perceive the double volume of sound after 6dbs, so I think its 6db for each doubling (if i recall correctly..) – frcake – 2020-11-18T19:29:45.507

Thanks @frcake . Wav file samples aren't measured in db, they are (in 16-bit encoding) a number from -32767 to 32767. So my question is: would a value of 10,000 be half as loud as a value of 20,000 or is it more complicated than that? – Bruce – 2020-11-19T05:35:47.893

the bits are the amplitude of the signal, the louder the signal the more bits you are actually "using" so do the math and convert it and then you will know :) – frcake – 2020-11-19T09:37:28.823

These go to eleven. It's one louder,isn't it ? – audionuma – 2020-12-07T06:46:49.013



Use 0,25 instead (divide by 4). That will give you about half perceived volume.


Posted 2020-11-18T14:42:45.627

Reputation: 697

Very interesting - thank you! :-) – Bruce – 2020-12-07T06:33:04.083