Question / Help Mixer lowers volume output of individual sources


New Member 18-48-56.mkv
(used audacity to generate a tone at 220Hz for better accuracy and just said a few words to test)

Here are the audio channels that matter:
  • channel 1: all audio (desktop + mic)
  • channel 3 (mic only)
  • channel 4 (desktop audio only)
Here are the issues I notice:
  • at the very start, on channel 1, the audio starts low before reaching a stable volume. It's stable right from the start on channel 4
  • whenever there's audio from the mic (I'm using a noise gate so mic only activates when I talk here), desktop audio sounds quieter and goes back to normal after a while. It's stable on channel 4.
So, basically, when the audio mixer detects multiple audio sources, it sounds like it's making the individual audio sources quieter before mixing them?
I'd want audio to sound stable, always. I get that some might want volumes to "adapt" but that's not what I currently want.
I'm not sure this is a bug (well I guess more people would have experienced this?) so I set the prefix to question. I've tried to go through my settings and I don't know what can affect this.
I've tried disabling the named sources "desktop" and "mic" and adding them back as "external" audio sources, or using another channel to mix them, got a similar result.


Active Member
There exists a Windows setting that will lower all audio if mic activity is detected.
To disable it, go into the sound configuration of Windows, Tab Communication, select the last item "do nothing".


New Member
Thanks for the reply but:
  • it was already set that way
  • I think letting checked "Disable Windows audio ducking" is meant to prevent it to activate if sound settings aren't set to "do nothing"? (I tried unticking it just to see and noticed no difference)
  • if it were that, I may notice sound from the desktop getting quieter when I talk but I don't (well you can argue that's how I perceive things and this is not accurate measurement)
  • if it were that, I believe channel 4 (desktop audio only) would suffer the same issues as channel 1 (desktop audio + mic audio mixed)?


Active Member
Unless you explicitly add filters to your audio sources, OBS does not alter the gain of audio sources dynamically in any way.

This behavior would be consistent with adding a Compressor filter and selecting another audio source as a Sidechain.


New Member
Despite being in not very good English, I guess this person had the same issue as myself (found the thread by searching info on sidechain) but unfortunately didn't get any help.
Currently the only compressor filter I'm using is on the mic and sidechain/ducking source is set to None.
If I understand correctly, the behavior I'm experiencing would be consistent if there was a compressor filter to desktop audio with mic source as sidechain (but there currently isn't)?
It seems "dirty" to me but does it mean a hacky way to solve my problem would be to add such a filter and setting some positive "good" value for the gain setting of the compressor filter? (but to be honest I'd rather not use a dirty/hacky solution if there's a better way)


Active Member
I don't think that would not achieve what you want. You can add gain to a compressor filter but I believe the action of the sidechain will always be to increase compression, not to increase gain.


New Member
Hi, I registered just to say that I have the same or very similar problem and no amount of hunting through the settings had solved it. Every time I started OBS it would reduce my individual apps' volumes to 13% (not 20%) and I had to go into the mixer and slide them up.

I disabled the "When Windows detects your are using your Mic" setting and this solved it, even though I AM NOT USING A MIC. Clearly Windows has its knickers in a twist because the mic is not being used.

However I solved the issue for my purposes when I really am not using a mic by disabling the 1st mic/ audio device in OBS. I'll add it back if and when I need it.

Did you ever resolve this to work as desired for your specific circumstances?


New Member

My issue about the volume being low at the very beginning was just the playback software I was using.
I haven't solved my issue with multiple audio sources, I'm just putting up with it.