Since 1.1 instrument volume automatically reduced by 4.2dB

Not sure if it’s me or 1.1 but since last Wednesday, on my MacBook Pro, when I create a new Solo Piano project, and input notes, whatever instrument I use, it’s volume is automatically reduced by 4.2dB (Halion, Kontakt).
It seems like a MIDI setting, like the sequenced notes are also sending CC7, but I am not sure where that is set…
If I change dynamics, it doesn’t do much in that project either when it comes to playback.

Again, I might have done something stupid and not remember it.

I don’t think you’ve done anything stupid, but I also don’t think we’ve done anything specifically to cause this. Check perhaps what expression map is chosen for your instrument: click the little cog icon next to the instance of the VST plug-in you’re using in the VST Instruments panel in Play mode and see what is chosen there. You can check the settings of the chosen expression map via the Play > Expression Maps Setup dialog.

The expression map is set to Default. And there is nothing added in Actions.
I tried to use another Expression Map and it has the same behavior: I bring the level to 0.0 dB, as soon as play starts (either “P” or play button), the instrument volume is automatically adjusted by 4.2 dB.
From that point, playing/stopping does not further reduce the volume

The interesting thing is that project created BEFORE the 1.1 updates are fine when playing.

Let me see if I can decode the MIDI file export and see what’s in there.

Am I the only one to experience this?

I have same problem.

MacOS 10.12.5

Yeah, me too, MacOS 10.12.5.

The midi exploration doesn’t show anything suspicious (to me). I used a midi to csv converter found online.

0, 0, Header, 1, 2, 480
1, 0, Start_track
1, 0, Title_t, "tempo track"
1, 0, Tempo, 555555
1, 0, Time_signature, 2, 1, 24, 8
1, 0, End_track
2, 0, Start_track
2, 0, Title_t, "Piano"
2, 0, Program_c, 0, 0
2, 0, Note_on_c, 0, 64, 70
2, 0, Note_on_c, 0, 48, 68
2, 0, Note_on_c, 0, 55, 67
2, 1, Note_on_c, 0, 72, 67
2, 816, Note_off_c, 0, 64, 0
2, 816, Note_off_c, 0, 48, 0
2, 816, Note_off_c, 0, 55, 0
2, 816, Note_off_c, 0, 72, 0
2, 958, Note_on_c, 0, 55, 64


This might be a bug. But I’ll let the Steinberg team confirm.
Let me know if you need anything from me to debug further.

AFAIK if the MIDI controllers for volume and expression are not set, the default value according to the MIDI spec is 100, not the maximum 127.

The MIDI spec doesn’t actually define how to convert controller values into dB, but the implementation guidelines for in the General Midi and DLS (which is basically a MIDI file containing its own sound samples) give 100 as -4.2dB compared with 127.

So that’s probably where the -4.2dB is coming from, but of course it doesn’t explain what has changed.

This is good to know Rob Tuley however yes it doesn’t explain why the behavior is very different between 1.0 files and 1.1 files.

Well, if I had to guess, I’d go for “originally somebody just used 127 as the default controller level, then later they read the documentation and changed it to the recommended value of 100”. (In other words 1.0 was “wrong”, and 1.1 is “right”.)

But that’s just my guess - I don’t know if it’s the right explanation!

This is so annoying.

Is this a bug? Is there a know workaround?

I am thinking of opening 1.0 projects and erase the content to avoid this behavior…

Yeah… back to 1.0 projects, works like a charm