ChristoC wrote on 5/15/2015, 5:39 PM
You didn't mention where you are seeing the extra level in CDA - if it's the Output Meters,
- check that the Master Fader is still at 0.0,
- that you have not added some gain in a plugin in Master or event(s),
- that there isn't some gain added by way of the event(s) Volume Envelope.
Greenmonkey wrote on 5/16/2015, 11:21 AM
I am seeing the extra level on the Output Meters. Master fader is zero. No plugins used other than dither. No volume envelope being used. Just opening up a 46 minute file mastered in Protools and adding track markers. I got it to stop over-peaking once by opening the file with Sound Forge (audio editor) while in CDA - searching to highest peak in SF to check, when I went back CDA did not go over. That only happened once or twice. Have looked for all preference stuff I can reset to defaults without improving the situation. I do have both SF & CDA installed on a separate computer and will try that as a test, but it is rather annoying.
Greenmonkey wrote on 5/16/2015, 1:32 PM
I checked on the other computer - basically the same result. SE shows -0.5 when CDA is showing +0.5 levels for the same section of the file.
ChristoC wrote on 5/16/2015, 5:32 PM
Then I am at a loss to explain that behaviour or offer a solution; here, on 4 PCs, all apps show same levels....
Greenmonkey wrote on 5/16/2015, 6:00 PM
Will try a reinstall
Greenmonkey wrote on 5/17/2015, 10:26 AM
I reinstalled on one computer both Sound Forge and CDA - same result as previously. Now I am in the interesting position of trying to decide what I trust. I can put a hard limiter on CDA and it has no peaks of course, but I can hear it and don't like it. I can in theory turn the whole master down and avoid any peaks or reduction of dynamic range, but will have less volume. If I am truly over 0dB, that seems logical. If it is not truly over, it is undesirable. Trying to get a fix on things, yesterday I downloaded Hofa CD Burn and DDP. It did not detect any peaks going over 0. It also made a slightly brighter master. When I A/Bed the CDA and Hofa masters against the unmastered track, the CDA seemed truer. Keep in mind, all I am trying to do in this mastering is add track numbers and meta data, not trying to do anything to the audio - did that in Pro Tools. Have searched the web and I am pretty much out of ideas other than paying Sony for a tech support to see if they can reconcile.
ChristoC wrote on 5/17/2015, 3:20 PM
Is the situation improved if you switch out the Dither plugin?

I just had another look at this: Here I'm noticing a file with peaks "on the edge" can slightly increase in level occasionally when Dither is present .... maybe you need to reduce your overall level ever so slightly e.g. - 0.1dB to -0.2dB .... you can do that with the Master Fader as the Master plugins are post-fader.

There is actually no need to go for such extreme levels, especially on peaks - Google for "intersample peaks" to learn why.....

[I dither in the DAW where I created the original file, which I feel has a superior sonic result - thus CDA becomes a neutral exercise, purely for PQ and CDTEXT encoding]

Greenmonkey wrote on 5/17/2015, 11:09 PM
Good thoughtful comments - thanks. I will go dither in the daw and then take that to CDA and see what I get.
Greenmonkey wrote on 5/18/2015, 12:43 AM
Dithering first worked great -all good -thanks!
Geoff_Wood wrote on 5/18/2015, 8:06 PM
If you turn it down the half dB the reduction in volume will be barely perceptible, and easily compensated for as most playback chains have a thing called a volume control ! Doesn't solve or explain the problem, but a remedy that takes a second or two, with resultant peace of mind.

What you can also do is burn a CD with the supposed 'overs', then suck the CD back into SF to analyse, to see if there really are overs happening. Also, does CDA give an 'overs' warning before burning ?

FWIW I never burn anything close to 0dBFS, because D-A converters in CD players can get really nasty up there. I find a max level of -0.5dB is better. Many commercial CDs have peaks even a few dB or more lower than zero, which is not considered a problem at all.