# Deafness from noise is out of control

Yeah but a lot of people don’t get that DB is exponential or have trouble understanding just how quickly it grows (160db is 2x the volume of 150db). I think the power suggestion might be a good one.

Separately I think most of the deafness issues are sound not dropping off quickly enough though. I did some research and it seems that (not accounting for echo, focusing, or sympathetic effects) sound drops off logarithmically not linearly (drops very quickly at first then slower the farther away you are)

“The sound intensity decreases inversely proportional to the squared distance, that is, with 1/r² from the measuring point to the sound source, so that doubling of the distance deceases the sound intensity to a quarter of its initial value.”

So while a gunshot is deafeningly loud right next to your ear and can be hear a mile or more away, being 25+ feet away drops the volume enough not to be dangerous.

The distinction between linear and logarithmic falloff is exactly the distinction i2amroy is getting at by saying we should be representing sound intensity in dB.
Something you might be confused about is the way sound levels are represented in the game (which should DEFINITELY be in dB) versus how it’s displayed to the player, which is a completely separate issue.
I’m leaning toward dB for both, or perhaps an option to toggle the units used for display. I don’t know if there’s a common, non-logarithmic scale for sound intensity though.

Good call.

I missed i2amroy’s post, I think I thought it was a signature and skipped over it. Looks like both those points were made already… whoops. ^-^

[quote=“Kevin Granade, post:22, topic:9464”]The distinction between linear and logarithmic falloff is exactly the distinction i2amroy is getting at by saying we should be representing sound intensity in dB.
Something you might be confused about is the way sound levels are represented in the game (which should DEFINITELY be in dB) versus how it’s displayed to the player, which is a completely separate issue.
I’m leaning toward dB for both, or perhaps an option to toggle the units used for display. I don’t know if there’s a common, non-logarithmic scale for sound intensity though.[/quote]

Sound power (which is what dB represents) is represented in watts, although this isn’t common even in relevant fields.

dB is actually a unitless unit, as it represents a logarithm of a ratio of the sound power (in watts) to a reference value (10^-12 watts).

for Sound power W in watts, decibel level D in dB

W = D^10 * 10^-22

Maybe instead of having multiple options for outputs, you could color the output numbers. Red for deafening sounds, down through yellow all the way to dark green for quiet sounds.

Coloring would probably be a good idea and wouldn’t be too hard to implement. Personally I’m not above putting a bit of a “blur” factor on the exact decibel levels that could decrease as your hearing got better or if you had a decibel-measuring tool (I know that I certainly can’t listen to a sound and go “oh, that’s exactly 56.8 dB” :P).