Handling Auto-Gain gives sudden level differences

Hi community,

I am having major issues with the way DJay Pro handles auto-gain. Let me explain:


  • Suppose you have a track loaded in your deck where the auto-gain has been set to +5 dB in the file.
    • (You can’t see the exact dB in DJay, but you can see the gain knob in the software turned a lot to the right.)
  • This track is playing.
  • The gain knob on your hardware controller is set to e.g. -2 dB (it was set this way from the previous track that was playing on this deck).


  • In this situation, if you move the gain knob on your controller even a millimeter, the volume of the playing track will suddenly drop by 7 dB.
  • This sudden drop is awful, as everyone hears it immediately.
  • It is very annoying for both the DJ and the audience.
  • Such a situation does easily happen. In fact, it has happened quite a few times lately.


  • This user experience is not very well thought through by the software designers.

Possible Workaround (not doable):

  • The DJ should set the gain to the central position every time a new track is loaded.
  • However, this isn’t a doable workaround for me and, I think, not for anyone. As a DJ, you have other things on your mind.

Suggested Solution:

  • A much more durable and desirable solution would be the way Traktor handles this.
  • They have an ‘extra layer’ for auto-gain which is independent of the ‘regular gain’.
  • These layers come ‘on top’ of each other, so that the regular gain and the auto-gain remain apart. This prevents the regular virtual gain knob in the software from moving and avoids the previously described situation.

I hope the Algoriddim team can take a second look at how Traktor has designed this elegant solution and soon give this important issue in DJay Pro a second thought.

  • Device model MacBook Pro 2019
  • Version of operating system Mac OS, Sanoma 14.4.1.
  • Version of djay: 5.1.6
  • Hardware/controllers used: Reloop Mixon 8 Pro
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If you’re using auto-gain then there’s no reason to move the gain knob. That’s the whole point of auto-gain. If you find it “awful” and “annoying” then don’t move the knob.

I had similar issues but like PK has said don’t touch the gains as the sound will drop. Either manually gain like most djs probably do or leave gains alone and the majority of the time Djay will get it right.

Hi @DJ_Big_Blender, you have two options:

  1. Turn Auto Gain OFF and always manually set the gain to the desired value. As I’ve shown in your other auto gain topic, you can also enable Save and Restore Manually Set Gain Values in the Settings>Sound.
  2. If you would like to use Auto Gain, but also be able to manually adjust the auto analyzed and set gains, then you could try modifying the MIDI mapping for your controller and enable Pickup Mode for all of your Gain Knobs. With this mode enabled, you will have to move the physical gain knobs on your controller to the same position as shown on screen in djay before any adjustments will take place. This should avoid the big jumps you are experiencing.

@DJ_Big_Blender, I have also shared your suggestions with the dev team for consideration. As such, I have changed this topic from a Question to a Suggestion so that other users can upvote the idea. Thanks!

Thanks, @Slak_Jaw, for your helpful reply.

Regarding the two options:

  1. This is not an option for me because it means you can’t make use of the useful auto-gain as a starting position, and you would have to pre-listen and check levels for every song beforehand. That’s not doable. Additionally, a temporary change in the gain will automatically (and too easily) lead to a new gain setting for the next time you play the track. This is not a desirable option and can lead to unwanted situations.
  2. This might be a good workaround for now in my case. However, the disadvantage is that you first have to match the current setting, and when you need to act very quickly, this won’t help much because you first have to find the little gain knob on the screen and try to match the controller knob to that setting.

In short, I believe that the proposed solution is still the best, and I hope it will be implemented sometime in the near future.

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Hi @Dysfunk_DJ

Thanks for sharing your opinion. Great to hear that auto-gain alone just works fine for you, but for me for me there are too many cases that it doesn’t. That’s why I came with this suggestion.

There can be many reasons for needing to add some gain to a track in a live DJ situation. Maybe not when you only play EDM, with its highly compressed and leveled sounds, but when you are a mobile all-round DJ playing a lot of different styles of music from various decades, you definitely need to be able to (perhaps only temporarily) give the music a little boost every now and then.

Here are a few situations:

  1. When you go from an EDM track to an older pop track. In these cases, the gains are theoretically the same, but due to high compression, the EDM track sounds much louder. You want the pop track to at least match a that louder experience a little.
  2. Vice versa.
  3. When you have a track with a quiet beginning and you want that beginning to be heard better.
  4. Etc.

In all these cases, you certainly want to use auto-gain as a basis-start, but also be able to (perhaps temporarily) adjust the gain a little to give that extra punch when necessary, without causing sudden level differences as described.

So that’s the background of this suggestion. Hope this makes a little sense for you.

You’re welcome @DJ_Big_Blender. I’ve already shared your suggestion with the dev team. In the meantime, please use the blue Vote button at the top left of this page so we can gauge user demand for this feature. Thanks!

I would call that a bug; Auto-gain should NOT fail that badly…

I’d like to do a deeper dive into this with algoriddim devs, because the logic they seem to have built in contributes to the bug. AFAIC, they should reference the same standards that film and broadcast do for loudness, LUFS, to make auto-gain decisions

Thanks for sharing your thoughts @heysoundude. I’ve passed this onto the dev team.

good good. Thank you. perhaps they’re unaware of LUFS, but the industry made decisions algoriddim should follow, not the least of which should make their logic coding somewhat more simple, and likely make OP’s bug disappear

So the whole idea of gain is to try and place the track as close to zero as possible. Gain is not a volume control. Gain is used to set a zero point in an incoming signal. If you mixed live sound, you do not push your fader to the max, and then use the gain to set the desired volume. You set the gain to 0 or -3db depending on your preference. Then you adjust the volume with your volume fader. Auto gain, and gain are not two separate pre-stages. It is all just gain, so if the software sets auto to +2db, and your knob is set to -5db, as soon as you move the gain knob the software will of course jump to the position of the knob, unless you change the mapping to pickup, No software on the planet automatically does the math and adjust auto gain down -1db for every +1 db you turn the knob up. That would defeat the purpose of manual gain and auto gain. I have used auto gain in VDJ and DJay for almost 2 decades, and barely have I ever made changes to the gain knobs, I adjust the volume accordingly with the faders designed to control volume. Just my 2 cents.

The only real solution I can see is to get every manufacturer in the world to make their gain knobs motorized to match the softwares calculated gain setting. I’m sure, Pioneer, Reloop, Rane etc will jump right on that.

that’s what the mastering stage of recording is all about, getting audio to use the entire range between the noise floor of the circuit and clipping…and the reason you’ve been able to get by with only faders rather than channel gain knobs. YOU have been the auto-gain circuit lol.

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This is how a sound engineer uses gain. DJ gain can be a very different thing.
Most tunes have been mastered and getting the right volume for the mix is the goal. (You should not get too close to 0 dbfs, that should happen after the mixer in the setup. To hot signal “guarantees” distortion later in that set)

Usually gain knobs have finer adjustments than channel faders
(i like my channel faders to cut, not fade at all)
So the gain knob is mainly for volume control.
The channel faders are for fitting the sounds in the mix . . . fast movements.

Many mixers will have “hardware gain” and then you can easily use both autogain/ preset gain values AND fine adjustments in the mix.

Not saying there is a right and wrong, but different backgrunds gives different needs. And djing is rather more messy than mixing live audio


Hi @heysoundude, the engineering team would like to know exactly what you are referring to here. Is there a certain example where you think the autogain value is incorrect or do you think that autogain should leave the visible gain knob alone? Or perhaps you have a specific examples of loading song XYZ next to song ABC, where one of them is louder/quieter than the other. If you have specific songs that don’t autogain well together, please share them so the team can evaluate them in detail.

Regarding LUFS, the engineering team confirmed that djay does use this to calculate its autogain. Thanks!

I’ve had the same problem and I found a non-manual way to address: plug-ins! DJay Pro allows you to apply a masster out effect so I insert my Native Instruments Solid Bus Comp, using the Mix Bus preset and set the make-up gain to -3dB. I had ZERO issues with the gain on my channels since doing that at my last gig a few weeks ago. I hope that helps. And I’m doing this while my mixer is still set to auto-gain. I may try things without auto-gain too and report back


Thanks for sharing @DJ_Louric

I havent had it happen to me in quite a long time, so I’ll defer to the auto-gain users here for their experiences recently.

Happy to hear about LUFS!!!

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@DJ_Big_Blender and @Dysfunk_DJ, the engineering team would like to know exactly what you are referring to here.

  1. Is there a certain example where you think the autogain value is incorrect or do you think that autogain should leave the visible gain knob alone?
  2. Or perhaps you have a specific examples of loading song XYZ next to song ABC, where one of them is louder/quieter than the other.
  3. If you have specific songs that don’t autogain well together, please share them so the team can evaluate them in detail.


Cheers buddy. It was a while ago for me when I had issues. Hasn’t happened for a while for me. I’ll keep monitoring and let you know.