Master volume

D. Michael McIntyre michael.mcintyre at
Sat Jun 9 19:02:57 UTC 2007

On Saturday 09 June 2007, damian wrote:
> Is a pre-amp a piece of hardware or software?

Hardware.  A pre-amplifier.  If the signal going into an amp is too weak, you 
can use a pre-amp to boost it.

The other suggestion that you're having mixer trouble is quite possible too.  
My answer is literally correct, in that you can't raise the master volume 
higher than 100%, but there are all kinds of reasons why you might not be 
getting enough signal at 100%.  Soundcard mixers are very complicated and 
counterintuitive these days, in my experience.  There are too many variations 
to try to describe every possible scenario you might encounter.  I *have* 
seen at least one card where the master volume had no effect whatsoever, 
whether it was set at 0 or 100.  Before you buy a pre-amp, you should try 
diddling all your mixer sliders.

I'd like to spell out a nice recipe for how to do that, but frankly I find 
soundcard mixers on computers to be endlessly frustrating.  I've even found 
this to be true under Windows.

I long ago reached the point where if I weren't so broke all the time, I would 
have chucked it all and bought a Mac.  I'm assuming such exorbitantly 
expensive hardware and software simply MUST be less frustrating to use, 
although I have no experience with them.
D. Michael McIntyre 

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