Too many volume controls, please help (and laugh!)

Christopher Burke

New member
Jun 21, 2018
Brighton Sussex UK
Dear Anyone.

My last speakers didn't have any volume controls actually on them, so I was just sliding the Windows controls around. But they died noisily and these new ones DO have their own volume controls and I'm confused dot com.

I'm going to be using them to mix music on. They've got their own volume knob and a separate pair of knobs to boost just the highs and/or just the lows. So of course the higher I have the Windows sliders, the lower the speaker volume (main!) needs to be and visa-versa. But of course I want the mixed tracks to sound good in other people's speakers without them having to turn the speakers up massively high or anything.

So do I think of the internal Windows volume sliders as GAIN? In other words, do I keep the internal sliders on full,the volume control on the actual speakers low (as it wouldn't need to be that high with the internal ones on full) and mix according to that? That's question 1, here's the second associated one.

Remember the second pair of knobs to boost highs and lows? Where would you set them as standard? I mean I can envisage setting them to a level which sounds good to me, mixing to those levels - and discovering the tracks sound muffled on everyone else's speakers because I've set the highs and lows (bass/treble) too extreme on my speakers. I don't have anything to calibrate them against, you see, I don't have a decent CD player or anything (just a REALLY bad ancient one!) so I've only got the computer speakers to judge the mixes on and I don't want to have them sound good to me, hopeless to anyone else, just because I've got the speaker external settings wrong, or the internal Windows settings wrong.

I'm still really learning how to mix so if the above sounds dumbass, that's why!

Yours respectfully


Ben Lawrence

Mar 2, 2011
Sounds like experimentation will be your friend. I usually keep the windows audio no higher than 80%. I find when all the way up it can become distorted right out of the computer. Your best bet will be to export your project and listen on multiple playback systems ie: car,boom box,nice home stereo, headphones.
Run your work station audio at it's optimum level, as Ben said run the overall Windows level about 80% and then adjust the speakers level control for a comfortable mixing volume.
There are many outboard monitor selectors and level controls available.

You may want to consider getting a USB to analog output interface, that would be cleaner than using the headphone jack for an output.