General Volume Setting

I have externally powered speakers connected to my Mac.  When I boot up, the startup chime sounds loud and clear.  So I set the volume accordingly.  However, when I listen to any type of audio played on the Mac, the same setting is way too soft.  For months now, I've been manually turning the volume up (on the external speaker controls) whenever I listened to audio, played back digital video, or just listened to stuff from the Internet.  Then I must remember to manually turn the volume back down again for regular computer use.  And if I forget, the next time I start up the CHIME becomes SUPER LOUD!  Annoying!  Especially for my sleeping roomate!  All the combinations of software and hardware volume controls don't seem to strike a general setting.  Am I missing something?  How can I modify the boot-up chime so that it's softer?  Or how can I eliminate it altogether?  Its loud volume is the only one that's WAY out of proportion with everything else.  Is there any other way to establish a general volume setting?
archkenAsked:
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weedCommented:
When youre listening to audio and such remember that the programs youre using to play it have their own volume control. What i usually do is set my system volume to 1 (the lowest it can go while still being heard). Then i adjust my audio apps to a mid-high range. Now when playing audio through them set the volume on your speakers so that its a comfortable listening volume.
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forkbeardCommented:
I'm in the habit of turning everything off after I shut down the computer (monitor, speakers, printer, scanner, etc...) Next time I want to use the computer I start it up first (because it takes so long) then turn on everything I plan to use.  By the time I get to the speakers I have already missed the start up sound and after a while forget it even exists.

It doesn't fix the problem but its a work around.
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archkenAuthor Commented:
Well, that's exactly what I've tried, and it doesn't work.  It's an issue of proportions.

The Control Panel volume setting is at the smallest tick above audible.  All my audio software are ramped up in their volume settings for the loudest possible.  Apple's Audio CD Player and Quicktime Player don't keep their volume settings between launches.  Adaptec Toast and Internet Explorer do not have a volume control.  SoundEdit 16 doesn't have a volume control in its import preview window.  RealPlayer 5.0 is the only software that keeps its volume setting, but it's still relatively soft compared to the System alerts.

If I can describe it in numbers, the settings are still like music/video audio at 5 (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the loudest), the computer system alerts at 9, and the bootup chime at 10!

At default, the music is at 1, the system at 5, and the bootup chime at 6.

I think I can live with all system alerts turned off, but how can I TURN OFF the boot-up chime?  Is there a way to hack the System file?  Is there anything I can do with ResEdit?

Forkbeard's suggestion may work, but I have the convenience (or habit) of using just one button for booting up and shutting down.  Both my monitors and the cooling fan are powered by the Mac, and the speakers are silent when the computer is powered off.  Besides, the power on/off button for my speakers are at the back of the subwoofer, which is placed in a corner.
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weedCommented:
Well...If youre using OS9 there are separate volume controls for "Output" and "Alert Sounds"...If your alert sounds are ramped up but your Output is way down youll get the problem described. There is also a setting for "Speaker Setup" which if left down will cause soft sound too. There is a similar setup with a different layout in 8.6 as well but minus the Speaker Setup.
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archkenAuthor Commented:
Well, I really don't want to upgrade to OS9 until I'm ready to get a G4 or G5 with OSX.  My current G3/333 is plenty fast, and OS8.6 may be all I need at the present time.  IMHO, there are few improvements in OS9 worthy of making the change.

However, that new volume control feature may be the answer for me.  But still, all I really need is to turn down the boot-up chime.  I think.

Can you confirm (if you're running OS9) that you can turn down ONLY this boot-up chime with those new controls and affect nothing else?
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weedCommented:
No you cant turn down only the bootup chime. But as described earlier there are separate volume controls for system alerts (of which the startup chime is) and for output to speakers. This applies to 8.6 as well.
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archkenAuthor Commented:
Well, that's the thing.  If you are familiar with the Macintosh and have noticed my point, it is simply this:

When  *all*  system alerts and computer sounds are turned down with control panels and other software controls, the boot-up chime is still very LOUD -- if the speakers are set to regular volume for listening to audio.  It is independent of the system alerts volume control.

Thanks for your comments.  Have a great holiday season.
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andyringCommented:
Well, on my PowerBook G3, if I mute the speakers, the startup chime will not sound. But, adjusting the volume is so easy on a PowerBook, with the buttons on the keyboard. I suppose you could try uting the speakers when you shutdown and see if that prevents the startup chime from going.
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brian_bCommented:
Well, unfortunately the startup sound cant be modified as it does come from rom, so you couldn't even modify the sound and soften it. If adjusting your alert volume to small under "Alerts" tab in the monitors and sound control panel, and Coputer system volume to wherever in the "Sound" tab. Then I'm not sure what you can do. The alert volume should adjust this. Only other option is to write a simple applescript to drop in your system folder shutdown items that sets the volume to min for you on restart or shutdown.
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archkenAuthor Commented:
Regarding the "applescript" to lower system sounds upon shutdown, you're talking hypothetical, no?  Have you tried it?  If this is possible, I'd create a second one to turn volume back up again after startup.
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TheHubCommented:
The Sound Control Panel (cdev) is not scriptable. If it were, you would be able to open its dictionary from the Script Editor, but it does not have one. The Boot Sound lives in ROM, as brian_b pointed out, so you are hosed and must select from the list of workaround options.

The Finder is scriptable, however. You can write a script that will open the Sound Control Panel. Place that in the Shutdown Items Folder. This will force you to do something before your machine will shut down. You would probably check the mute box. The Same script will work in the Startup Items Folder because all it does is open the cdev.

This will work because of the order of events leading to shut down, the last event is checking the Shutdown Items Folder.

Launch Script Editor
Hit the Record button
Open the Sound Control Panel
Hit the Stop button
Save the script

The script should look like this when you are done:
tell application "Finder"
      activate
      select file "Sound" of folder "Control Panels" of folder "System Folder" of startup disk
      open selection
end tell

Good Luck,
-TheHub
http://www.MacintoshMagician.com/
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archkenAuthor Commented:
Well, yes.  But it becomes a tedious procedure at every shut-down and start-up if I use an Applescript like that.  So you are absolutely correct that I am hosed.  It's unfortunate that the cdev is not scriptable for its volume settings.  But, fundamentally, it's more unfortunate that the startup chime resides in uneditable ROM (by end user, that is).  This is not the solution I seek, but it's a good answer.  Thanks.
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TheHubCommented:
There are many things we must live with here on the Penal Colony known as Earth.

< sigh >
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archkenAuthor Commented:
And with our beloved Macs no less.
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