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!

  • 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
    Nov 18, 2020 at 19:29
  • 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
    Nov 19, 2020 at 5:35
  • 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
    Nov 19, 2020 at 9:37
  • These go to eleven. It's one louder,isn't it ? youtube.com/watch?v=4xgx4k83zzc
    – audionuma
    Dec 7, 2020 at 6:46

1 Answer 1


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

  • Very interesting - thank you! :-)
    – Bruce
    Dec 7, 2020 at 6:33

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