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?

2 Answers 2


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"?

  • 1
    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.
    – 650aa6a2
    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.
    – 650aa6a2
    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
    Oct 2, 2017 at 20:56
  • That was all gibberish to me anyway, of course. Thanks anyway.
    – 650aa6a2
    Oct 5, 2017 at 16:19
  • 1
    The problem you have here is that VLCs volume control is probably not linear, it is likely to work on a dB scale itself. 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:

enter image description here

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

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