PLEASE for the love of all things - LIMIT THE GAIN VOLUME

I have been on vatsim over a decade, made a number of forum posts on this subject.

Please can a dev, put an auto gain on the volume? I am sick to death of getting my eardrums blown out because a lot of pilots have high gain. There is surely a software solution that limits the DB on peoples mic

Windows 11 volume mixer v pilot = 15 (out of 100)
v pilot output = -5.

I then can’t hear a lot of controllers who correctly set up their mics.

I am beyond sick and tired of this.


1000% agree. Audio on vatsim needs to be inspected closely, its very broken currently.

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I agree also. The divergence in the quality of pilots’ audio setups is astounding, compared to Controllers who are usually well balanced. In Unicom airspace particularly, low quality audio matters a lot for spatial awareness. Particularly in approach phases of flight, we need to know what are the intentions of pilots in the airspace around us are, to avoid conflicts and to create adequate separation for landing.

On a related sound matter, I’d also like to say that when Controllers look for me to contact them when I’m coming from outside their sectors, the volume of the incoming ‘pips’ through my headset is so loud I think my eardrums are in danger of perforation! I don’t know if this is experienced widely by pilots, or just me?


What about using the PC loudness equalisation feature?

This is absolutley not a solution as it effects the whole pcs volume (I use a lot of audio programs, guitar etc)

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So just switch it on when using Vatsim? Treat it as part of your startup checks?

Serious question. Is dynamic range compression an option at the back end an option? This should even out the volume of both loud and soft broadcasts, although it can’t do much for distortion.

A software ompressor or limiter built in to AFV would be a good option, but it would introduce distortion. Although that may be preferable to blown eardrums!

I would rather this or go back to the old system than what we have now.

Meanwhile, why not try my suggestion?

Toning down the VHF effects could help limit the distortion.

VHF effect is a form of distortion, as you point out. But if an audio signal is arriving at 20dB above the average, which is extreme but possible, at least according to the reports I’ve seen, the distortion caused by compressing, or especially clipping, that signal by 20dB will be much greater than that caused by the VHF effect, which, AFAIK, tailors the frequency response but doesn’t affect overall signal volume much. So with VHF effect, only some frequencies are attenuated, instead of them all.

In fact, two of the attenuated frequency ranges with VHF effect are those fequencies below 300 Hz and those above about 3KHz. Outside that is typically where most of the ear-crunching noise resides in a high-volume audio signal. The bottoms distort bcause of overdriving, causing the appearance of nasty highs, and the highs melt your eardrums.

Now, I don’t know whether this is actually possible to put into the software, but there are several options that exist.

1: Add a hard DB limit. Such a filter will simply limit the output from the mic. Often these are used to avoid clipping, but they can also be used in this way. It is a bit of an unelegant solution, though.
2: A more elegant solution would be to add a compressor filter. In this way, the software will always try to reach a certain preset volume. Any volume too loud will be brought down to that level and any volume too low will be brought up.

I also recognize the issue. With X Pilot I can control the volume from within the plane, in my ToLiss planes, but I am stil moving the volume up and down constantly because one pilot is blowing my eardrums out and the next is so low that I can’t hear it.

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I like the sound of option 2 but how do we get there? No one from vatsim has contributed to this thread so how do we achieve this proposal?

I suggested your option 2 two days ago. By the way, inserting a hard dB limit is exactly the same as clipping, with all its associated high frequency distortion.

I absolutely second this. Quite often, there are pilots extremely loud for me. Then I ask the ATC if it’s loud for him aswell, he replied “no”. :frowning:
Tried everything I could: disable/enable realistic VHF effects, and tried the other sound option in vPilot aswell (can’t remember right now which the other option is though)…

Limiting the max. dB(A) volume with windows setting is only able for the speakers I use but not for the Logitech G935 I’m using. It comes with separate software and not even with it, I can’t limit it. Then I had looked for external 3rd party software but as it seems there’s nothing available on the internet.

I tried to raise awareness for this health threatening issue quite some time ago but I felt like I was almost the only one seeing this as an issue: Limit max. Volume of vPilot Audio?

So do vatsim developers read the forums? What can we do to raise awareness?

Hello there!

Yes, we do read the forums, not every day but we’re here :slight_smile:

I’m not sure if you’re talking about the audio spike issue. It happens fairly infrequently, but this issue is where a transmission comes through at ear-piercing volume. This has been an issue for quite a while, and a considerable amount of time and effort (I’m talking months+) has been spent trying to diagnose why this happens. The best advice I can give for this specific issue is to leave your vPilot settings set at zero for output volume (keep the slider in the middle). This seems to reduce the likelihood of it happening quite considerably. If vPilot is too loud, try using the Windows audio mixer to reduce the volume. You can get to this by going to the bottom right on your taskbar to the volume symbol, right-clicking, and selecting “open volume mixer”. From there, find vPilot and change the output volume slider.

On the request for audio normalisation, the guidance is there for pilots, and ATC to use the virtual “VU meter” in the client to achieve a “green bar indicator” when speaking normally. There might be something we can do there to be a little tighter on that but since the pilot clients are maintained by @887155, @1215759, and a few other developers, I can’t comment on whether it’s on the roadmap. Some kind of audio processing might be possible, but I’ll leave it for them to comment.