We all have experienced hardware/software combinations where the same setting can be adjusted at several places and at several levels.
One many of us are familiar with is soundcard settings on PCs or Macs. When running iTunes on my MacBook using a USB Headset I think there are no less than four places to adjust volume, and two or three levels of sound settings. The headset has a manual control that adjusts the master output volume of the machine, that same setting is adjustable from System Preferences and a drop-down from the status bar, iTunes has a volume adjustment, and if a person really wanted to mess with things each iTunes track has a relative volume configuration!
Set up a digital mode interface and you will find the same tiers with several influences in Windows.
I was reminded that many desk microphones have an independent “mic gain” setting, usually a manual pot adjustment, that can badly interact with if the rig’s master mic gain is set incompatibly.
One of our club members asked for help testing his desk mic, as with the desk mic he was receiving very poor audio reports, but with the fancy rigs original hand mic people were complementing the audio. Another club member offered to check out the desk mic by using it with his rig. When the mic was brought over he had a small screwdriver out and ready, as he knew their was the double-mic-gain adjustment issue to check first. Happily once the desk mic’s mic gain was adjusted to mimic the gain of the original hand mic all was well!
One wonders why system designers and manufacturers seldom take the time to identify “chains of interacting adjustments” in manuals and in user interfaces? Certainly it would be cost effective to eliminate the needless support calls.
USB aware software identifies to the model which of my USB headsets I have plugged in, shouldn’t they be aware enough to have coded in the logic that the headset itself can control volume?
Many Digital Interface manufacturers supply software with their product. Couldn’t they have that software explain the chain, or even take some control of it?
There is the issue of settings that don’t stay set when several programs all adjust settings to suit them, without returning the settings to how they were found at program termination, but that is for another post.