Percent volume increase to decibels

If I want to raise the volume of a track by 10%, how do I figure out how many decibels to raise it by? Does that change based on the original volume of the track?

It depends on what you mean by "volume". If you want to increase the sound energy by 10%, you'd increase by 10*log10(1.10) dB (0.4dB). If you want to increase the amplitude by 10%, you increase by double that.

If you want to increase the subjective logarithmic volume impression by 10%, you multiply the previous dB-value by 1.10 .

So what do you mean by "raise the volume"?

• I play my track in VLC for example, it's too low. When I bump it up to 110%, that's what I want. I go to make the edit, but the effect is only in dB. Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 15:34
• I assumed you meant .4*2 = .8dB; I raised it by a single dB and the desired volume was achieved. Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 16:15
• dB doesn't really mean anything. It's a comparison. Are you talking dBFS, dBV, dBa, dBM? I strongly assume dBFS because you are talking about VLC. But maybe you mean dB SPL? But I guess if you got your answer you can just ignore this :D
– user22688
Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 20:56
• That was all gibberish to me anyway, of course. Thanks anyway. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 16:19
• The problem you have here is that VLCs volume control is probably not linear, it is likely to work on a dB scale itself. Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 16:40

VLC's volume to dB curve is not linear. If you increased it from 100% to 110%, that is a change of +2.5 dB.

Source: I also wanted to know the dB for a given percent level, so I measured it:

• For future Googlers... this curve appears to be rougly modeled by 25ln(x/100) Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 1:00