I created an MP3 of my song using the Export Audio Mixdown dialog. I selected one audio track in the channels section on the left for export. I had the level for the track set pretty high, and the meters showed that the output level was almost all the way to the top. I opened the MP3 in Audacity, and the waveform filled the vertical space without clipping, so the level in the MP3 looked correct.
But when I played the MP3, the volume level was extremely low. This makes me wonder if there is a volume setting in an MP3 file that’s distinct from the height of the waveform.
I noticed that in the MixConsole window, the level for Stereo Out was set really low. So I set it higher to see what effect that would have and did the export again. Everything was the same except now the MP3 played back at an acceptably high level. This is odd because I did not have Stereo Out selected as an export channel. I just had the one audio track selected.
Can someone explain these strange MP3 and Cubase behaviors?