Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Lately I've been annoyed with Hulu as the commercials are significantly louder than the actual show. This has caused me to wonder if there existed any application either generic or specific to Hulu or Firefox to reduce the difference in sound volume between the show and commercials.

share|improve this question That might help you if you know C#... – Breakthrough Aug 21 '09 at 14:34
What OS are you running? – arathorn Aug 21 '09 at 15:40
Ubuntu 9.04 – soldier.moth Aug 21 '09 at 15:59
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The only way I know of:

Use the Virtual Audio Cable to loop back the sound into a sound processing server, like VSTHost or Console. Load a VST Plugin into VSTHost that implements a compressor/limiter. Set the output of VSTHost to your real soundcard.

Some of it is described here.

The compressor will increase the sound level of the quiet parts of hulu, but not the louder ones. Adjust the settings so that the shows and commercials are about even.

I know it sounds complicated, but there are many more things you can do with the VST host, depending on your CPU load.

share|improve this answer
you could do something similar with JACK: ... available for many platforms, Linux/Windows/OSX/etc – quack quixote Mar 25 '10 at 8:43

If you are on OSX you can use Soundflower (Audio-Driver), this works for some applications.

One example:

  1. Play a movie with VLC
  2. Set the audio > audiodevice > soundflower (2ch).
    • This will redirect the sound and you will at first not hear the sound
  3. Open garageband and create a new project
  4. Add a "real instrument"
  5. Set the input in garageband > settings > audio/midi > input to "Soundflower 2ch" and output to "integrated output" (real soundcard).
  6. Enable monitor for this track.
    • You should now hear sound again. You may need to hit the record-button once to initialize the soundcard and stop recording as you don't need recording (but can!).
  7. Choose [x] Compressor and maybe use "Extreme Compression".

Experiment with the settings.

That's it. Now you have compressed your sound in realtime.

Also you can apply any sound-effects as you like, e.g., a bit of reverb to make it more spacey, or apply some noise-filter (equalizer "remove s" (hiss)).

IMO the redirection to garageband has the best userinterface and no "hacking" involved. Minimize your garageband and enjoy.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .