It is common even for experts in the music industry to get confused as to what the different between gain and volume is during the production process. Volume specifically illustrates how loud a track is, and this directly surrounds the output within the production piece. Gain, however, has to do with the input in which how loud the sound was before any processing had been done to the track. Knowing these two differences is imperative in understanding the ins and outs of production.
- Volume generally refers to the decibel level of a recording, or the specific loudness of a recording after processing.
- Although ‘gain’ is often substituted for volume interchangeably, it actually refers to pre-processing loudness, or decibel input.
- Gain, or how loud something is before processing, is important to the tone of a recording in a way that the post-processing loudness, or volume, is not.
“Knowing the difference between gain and volume could change the tone of your instruments forever.”