Tips and Tricks: Manually Adjusting Custom Soundtrack Volume


As you know, I’ve been a Smackdown game fan since they first came out. Although I’m not into wrestling as much now as I was when I was a kid, I still enjoy these games. Over the past few years, the games allowed for you to use custom soundtracks for the wrestlers, which is a neat feature (and on PS3, works better since you don’t have to create playlists or anything).

With this year’s giving you the ability to download created superstars, with editing options (finally), the use of custom soundtracks and theme music is definitely more rampant. The only downside is that, more often than not (and likely on any other game that supports custom soundtracks and no way to adjust volume), the music is far too loud and drowns out the game’s audio (even if the in-game audio is maxed out on the volume). With no way to adjust it in-game, we have to manually do so. Luckily, I have a solution to that problem.

First off, you will need to download these two things:

  • GoldWave

    • This is a very good/useful audio editor. Evaluation version has everything unlocked, too, and I don’t think it expires; feel free to try it out
  • MP3Gain

    • This little utility is helpful in determining the volume level (dB) of an MP3, something we need to use to know the volume level of the unedited file.

After download, simply install the files to your computer. I’m not sure if these will work on Mac or Linux, so, for now, consider these options PC-only.

Now for the next part, determining your MP3′s volume level. This is easily done. When you open the program, simply click “Add file(s)”. Search for the MP3 you want to upload, and click open. It will add the MP3 to the list. Now, click on “Track Analysis”. The image below shows you where the volume level is located.

Now that you know the dB of your sound file, it’s time to adjust the actual volume of the sound accordingly. Open up GoldWave, and open the MP3 that you plan to use as theme music. You will see either one or two different graphs that show the volume level throughout the song file (depending on if it’s stereo or mono). We don’t really need to worry about this.

From here, go to “Effect->Volume->Change Volume” (image here). This will bring you to the screen where you adjust the volume level of the song to fit the volume level of the in-game theme music. Every Smackdown vs Raw game seems to handle volume outputs for music differently, but in 2011′s case, the dB output you need to set it at is 88 (anywhere between 88 and 92 will work, but I would recommend doing 88, in case you find anything higher to be too loud; if this is too low, turn the in game volume levels down in options).

In my example, you know the song I selected (in my case, the Stroke by Billy Squier) had a dB level of 97.4. In order to get the volume level down to 88, I will have to subtract it by 9.4 dB. The image below shows where you would type that in.

After clicking on OK, you will see the new volume level reflected on the graph. All that is left now is to save the MP3, put it onto a storage device, and transfer it to your PS3. Keep in mind, you can always do this to any MP3 if you find custom soundtrack volume in any game to be too loud (and no way to adjust it in-game). I used the Smackdown vs Raw series as an example, since I know for sure you can’t adjust the volume level of the custom tracks in-game.


Written by: Jay - Community Manager / Editor-In-Chief


  1. #1 by EdEN on November 23rd, 2010 [ 139651 Points ]

    Interesting tip Jay. Very handy when going the custom soundtrack route.

  2. #2 by premiersoupir on November 24th, 2010 [ 17020 Points ]

    Great idea, but way too much work for my taste! I think you’ve identified an issue that Sony needs to address in the O/S architecture. I also wish that one could play custom soundtracks through media servers. I know that feature isn’t really a likelihood as games will want access to all the bandwidth possible. But when one isn’t playing online, maybe…? Anyway, I don’t put much music on my console, even though it’s my major media hub; I stream music instead from one of my PCs.

  3. #3 by Oly on November 24th, 2010 [ 132130 Points ]

    premiersoupir:

    Great idea, but way too much work for my taste! I think you’ve identified an issue that Sony needs to address in the O/S architecture. I also wish that one could play custom soundtracks through media servers. I know that feature isn’t really a likelihood as games will want access to all the bandwidth possible. But when one isn’t playing online, maybe…? Anyway, I don’t put much music on my console, even though it’s my major media hub; I stream music instead from one of my PCs.  

    ^

    I’m almost with u on everything u said here..lol

    Jay, great guide tho.. I will also use this for the music I play in my office that sometimes gets too loud!

  4. #4 by derrickgott007 on November 25th, 2010

    Oh, I thought it was using some setting on the XMB in game. My desktop computer sucks so these programs would probably chug,barely working. I do 100% of my browsing and web stuff on my iPhone 4 as it’s 4000% faster than my desktop.


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