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    HEARING DAMAGE: WARNING REQUEST!


    Hello,

    This is a serious request to start having the website label sounds as "EXTREMELY LOUD" and/or "MAY DAMAGE YOUR HEARING AT LOUD VOLUMES." I browse many sounds at a time, and often I will have my computer's volume set at moderate volume to hear the site's quieter sounds. Even then, I ALWAYS end up clicking on an extremely loud, abrasive sound that REALLY messes with my hearing. It's starting to really bug me, especially considering the titles of the sounds often do not reveal the unexpected harshness they contain. All we need on the site is a small warning, such as an exclamation point, warning users that a sound could be damaging to one's hearing at higher volumes. Please, let us go through with this in order to ensure the safety and health of all of our users!

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    Totally agreed!

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    1896 sounds
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    A text warning is unnecessary :-

    as the appearance of the waveform display will tell you when a sound may be very loud ...


    Guess which one is loud ?

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    472 sounds
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    Loud/maximized levels should be encouraged on Freesound as a matter of fidelity and uniformity keeping in line with proper treatment of digital audio.

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    121 sounds
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    We've discussed this a few times and every time we reached the conclusion that automatic voluem decrease/increase would not be a good thing to do (on the server side, I mean).

    But, I guess we could have a simple "warning this sound is rather loud" warning in some kind of way...

    Then again... timbre is kind of right too wink

    - bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
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    48 sounds
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    Bram wrote:
    We've discussed this a few times and every time we reached the conclusion that automatic voluem decrease/increase would not be a good thing to do (on the server side, I mean).

    But, I guess we could have a simple "warning this sound is rather loud" warning in some kind of way...

    Then again... timbre is kind of right too wink

    - bram

    Except that the waveform sometimes becomes invisible when you are browsing through many sounds. Also, to new and unsuspecting users (who don't have much experience with waveforms, I mean), this may be an issue as well.

    Just out of curiosity I wonder how this could be automated. Different sounds at same sound levels (say 0 db) sound extremely loud or extremely silent. Surely sound levels would not be the only criterion used in judging the loudness of a sound. Be very interested in knowing how you guys would go about it.

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    121 sounds
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    There are certain loudness measures that can be used that take the spectral content into the calculation too, IIRC.
    If you are browsing a lot of sounds you wouldn't really see a "warning: loud content" marker either..

    - bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
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    228 sounds
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    i think a volume slider would be a great addition to the site, if you are anything approaching professional you want to be working at the same reference level most of the time.... so if I am in a dolby room - FSD really is 105 dB

    TV reference is suggested at 79 dB or 85 dB...

    so again those sounds are pretty loud.. I have to mute the main mons in some of the rooms I work in and use headphones which do have amore convenient level adjustment rather than throwing my refence level out..

    I can see how a rough loudness scale could be useful for less experienced, as long as it didnt take up much screen estate...

    zoom h4 sound pro binaural Red Audio Various Cap Mic's www.fork-media.com http://www.youtube.com/user/forksoundservices?ob=0&feature;=results_main
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    386 sounds
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    I very much agree with Timbre on this one.
    I am glad not every user compresses/maximises their sounds before uploading. But I guess normalizing would not be a bad way to go...

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    228 sounds
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    but its not appropriate for some sounds to normalise perhaps?

    for instance in my latest uploads you will find some quiet barefoot on carpet footsteps..

    to have these normalised would be very weird!

    perhaps something that is required to be full range - a gun shot -door slam, I could see the case.

    but for quiet sounds then a 'nod' to the recognised standards is the way... ( ie Dolby / AES /EBU references all hint at dialog peaking around -10 dBFS -- ie in a proper set up for film and television then pretty loud dialog would be around -10 on the digital scale..

    zoom h4 sound pro binaural Red Audio Various Cap Mic's www.fork-media.com http://www.youtube.com/user/forksoundservices?ob=0&feature;=results_main
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    121 sounds
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    'ello,

    we will never change the gain on the uploaded sounds, they are presented as they are, unchanged.

    what we might do is add a warning label to very loud sounds.

    a gain control on the players could be cool and possible, but it would require a lot of work on our side...

    - bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
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    83 sounds
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    Bram - Nice to see you being clear about not messing with volume of uploaded sounds. My own sounds all have carefully set levels for a reasonably accurate listening experience, and while some of mine have a very wide dynamic range and have to peak at 0dB, some others are very quiet, and it would be a hideous distortion for people to be listening to those at other than the intended level. Nowadays I have a note about volume setting in the description of every one of my recordings. Certainly if I ever posted something that was subjectively very loud or abrasive apart from a really brief peak, I would expect to head the description with a prominent caution to that effect as a matter of course, regardless of any Freesound rules or guidelines. I think it would be very reasonable to include a simple request in the guidelines for uploaders to think of the prospective listener and head their description with a caution as appropriate.

    It looks to me as though at least a good part of the problem is simply listeners having their playback volume set too high to start with, not understanding that quiet sounds are not meant to be listened to at augmented volume. Maybe a gentle caution could be visible against all recordings by default, recommending listeners to be cautious in their volume setting when browsing Freesound recordings.

    -- Philip Goddard
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    1896 sounds
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    Bram wrote:
    a gain control on the players could be cool and possible

    http://www.groovypost.com/reviews/soundlock-maximum-volume-cap/ [windows only]

    That volume-cap app looks like a downward compressor ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range_compression#Types

    NB: I have not tried this ear-defender app , so I can't tell you if it works, or if it's safe.

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