DJ Software Feature Spotlight | Perceptual Automatic Gain

Automatic Gain in DJ software explained

Perceptual Automatic Gain is a feature found in both of our DJ mixing software platforms, DEX 3 and RED Mobile 3, but what is it?

Perceptual Automatic Gain can essentially be summed up in basic (although technically it’s far from “basic”) terms:  It makes all played tracks sound the same in intensity.

By definition “Perceptual” means: ‘of or relating to the ability to interpret or become aware of something through the senses.’

Humans do not perceive all sound frequencies to be equal. For example, you need a higher low (bass) power to create the same sensation as a middle (eg. 1000Hz) tone. So we (DJs) scan the track while keeping in mind the relationship between power and frequency and we dial in the best gain adjustment to set, so that all songs are ‘perceived’ to have the same intensity to the audience. Thus, sometimes you will see via the on-screen VU-meters that two tracks differ in ‘real’ power and intensity — but yet they sound equally loud to you and your audience.

This is why Perceptual Automatic Gain is an option in our DJ software. Using a fancy, complicated algorithm DEX 3 and RED Mobile 3 will automatically adjust gain based on perception. Got that? 

Yes, it’s even difficult for me to grasp on a technical level but the benefits are obvious. No need to keep reaching for the trim or gain on your mixer, or racing back from a break (while automix is mixing) because a track is playing much louder than the previous – DEX 3 and RED Mobile 3 will handle it for you.

Gain on DJ mixer

I find that with Perceptual Automatic Gain enabled in our DJ mixing programs tracks usually play within a couple decibels of each other, so transitions are seamless and you can focus on other aspects of your mix.  As with any ‘automatic’ based feature, you still may be required to make your own minute adjustments to gain from time to time.

Perceptual Automatic Gain is a feature we suggest customers utilize, but it’s off in options by default. Here’s how to enable it:


How-To Enable Perceptual Automatic Gain in PCDJ

  • Launch DEX 3 or RED Mobile 3
  • Click on Options (in RED Mobile 3 it’s the “gear/cog” button)
  • Under the General tab put a tick in the box for “Use Perceptual Automatic Gain”
  • You’re ready to mix.

Have questions about perceptual automatic gain found in our DJ mixing software? Please leave them in the comments section below!

2 replies
  1. Susan
    Susan says:

    This question is not relevant to the heading but my karaoke screen on my second monitor has disappeared. Any suggestions admit how to find it? (Using pcdj Dex 3)

    • Ryan Sherr
      Ryan Sherr says:

      Hello Susan,

      DEX 3 will always remember the last position you left screen 2 open at – so unless you remember how the screens were last configured (and reconnect that way), you can just reset settings like this so DEX 3 open with screen 2 closed again: Go to Documents -> PCDJ-DEX3 -> Settings. In the settings folder delete the file labeled “preferences” and re-start DEX 3. That should do it!

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