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When I automate my track with gain control, in the upper left corner of the FL studio I can only see the change in percentage scale and I would really like it to be decibels as every other DAW does. Is it possible? I don't know why they did that this way, seeing changes in dB feels just clearer to me.

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I've never used FL Studio, but I did look through the program preference documentation and couldn't find anything. (Alternate Meter Scale looked promising, but that's something else.)

Regardless, if you're taking on the role of a recording engineer, it is a good idea to keep some notion of dB FS / percentage conversions in your head, regardless of the DAW you're using. Here is a reference:

  dB FS     Percent
    0.0   100.000000
   -0.5    94.406088
   -1.0    89.125094
   -2.0    79.432823
   -3.0    70.794578
   -4.0    63.095734
   -5.0    56.234133
   -6.0    50.118723
  -12.0    25.118864
  -18.0    12.589254
  -24.0     6.309573
  -30.0     3.162278
  -60.0     0.100000
  -90.0     0.003162
   -∞       0.000000

Notice that for the first few integer dB FS, the percentages correspond pretty closely (0 = 100%, -1 ≈ 90%, -2 ≈ 80%, -3 ≈ 70%). The volume is nearly halved every -6 dB FS. It may be easier to think of the relationship visually:

Chart relating % to dB FS

You can calculate any specific value for yourself. Take the base 10 logarithm of the percentage and multiply by twenty to get dB FS. Or take the dB FS, divide by twenty, and raise ten to the power of the quotient to get the percentage. Here are the formulas:

dB FS = 20 × Log10(Percentage)

Percentage = 10 ^ (dB FS ÷ 20)

The percentages above relate to dB FS on any meter in any DAW, at any bit depth. They also relate to a reduction or boost in gain. So, in your automation track, if you set an automation point and it shows 26% as it does in the screenshot below:

FL Studio Gain Automation Screenshot

...then you know, at that point, the gain will be reduced by roughly 11.7 dB FS. (You arrive at -11.7 by putting 0.26 into a calculator, hitting the Log10 button, and multiplying by 20.)

  • Thank you for your answer. The percentages here relate to the volume on the master channel? – Raven322 Feb 26 at 19:33
  • @Raven322 You're welcome. Does the addition to the answer help? – trw Feb 26 at 23:04
  • Yeah that helped a lot! It's so nice of you that you explained it so well with pictures and everything! I hope more people was like that. :) Have a great day Trw. :) – Raven322 Feb 26 at 23:14
  • I'm sure you thought something with it, but I find the selection of values in the comparison chart rather confusing and un-insightful. IMO rather than trying to memorise a bunch of example values it's much more useful to just keep in mind that every 6dB you go down halves the amplitude. Yeah that base-10 nonsense is the official definition, but log₁₀(2) is 0.3 to good approximation and doubling factors are objectively more relevant to music production, as well as other application. – leftaroundabout Feb 26 at 23:36
  • @leftaroundabout The OP has percents and wanted dB FS. When you deal with gain envelopes in percents, you do tend to think of them in increments of 10 (I do, anyway) so I provided those values along with the round dB FS numbers as percents. That's what drove the selection. I put most of the values up high just as meters and sliders do, because those upper values are where the action is. I definitely should have pointed out the 6 dB thing; it's now part of the answer along with a smaller chart and graph. I hope you think it's clearer. Thanks for the feedback. – trw Feb 27 at 0:56

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