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Topic Title: AGC automatic gain control and Dragon
Topic Summary:
Created On: 05/26/2021 05:14 PM
Status: Post and Reply
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 AGC automatic gain control and Dragon   - wristofdoom - 05/26/2021 05:14 PM  
 AGC automatic gain control and Dragon   - Lunis Orcutt - 05/26/2021 06:53 PM  
 05/26/2021 05:14 PM
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Some of my microphones have the option to check AGC (automatic gain control) in Additional Sound Settings.


Dragon (in my case, DPI 15 15.6) also has a checkbox for similar feature in the "manage dictation sources" section, where you can check or uncheck the "automatically adjust Microphone level as I speak" checkbox.


I did some testing to figure out what difference it makes if AGC is checked or unchecked in Dragon and Windows in various combinations.

To test, I dictated text into Notepad and all the various cases of AGC being checked, and then I played the audio back using the "play that back" command so I could hear what Dragon had heard me say.

I tested the four possible cases:

  • case 1: AGC enabled in Windows and Dragon
  • case 2: AGC enabled in Windows, disabled in Dragon
  • case 3: AGC enabled in Dragon, disabled in Windows
  • case 4: AGC disabled in both Dragon and Windows


 throughout all the tests, I watched the microphone volume in Windows settings, because sometimes it would adjust down from 100 to 70. Whenever it did adjust down, I would change it back to 100 and do another test.


I got the following results:

- in case 1, the playback volume is loud

- in cases 2, 3, and 4, the playback volume is quieter and it is the SAME.

it seems strange that the playback volume in case 4 would be the same as case 2 and case 3.

It's also surprising that in case 1, the playback volume is louder. I assumed that Dragon would either ignore Windows AGC entirely and do automatic volume adjustment within Dragon. But what seems to be happening is that the sound of my dictation gets louder when AGC is enabled in both places, as though gain is being added to the microphone by both Windows and Dragon. 

Note: This is using a headset that does not have a gain knob built in, nor any special sound drivers that would allow me to adjust again manually. The only way I have of manipulating the gain is through the microphone volume bar in Windows settings, and then the AGC button in Windows, and the "automatically adjust volume..." checkbox in Dragon. 

I feel like I get the same level of accuracy with dictation regardless of whether AGC is turned on or where it is turned on.


 I'm wondering...

  • What's going on behind the scenes on a technical level?
  • What is best practice for getting good dictation?  
  • Do you have AGC checked on your microphone in Windows and/or in Dragon? Why?



Dragon Professional Individual v15.6. Windows 10. Knowbrainer 2017.

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