A few seconds of RED in audio level OK?

Do I need to be concerned if my music has now and then 1 ~2 seconds of Red level?


Yes you should be “concerned”. [u]Clipping[/u] is distortion and it should be avoided. But if it sounds OK, maybe you can live with it.

Your analog-to-digital converter (recording), digital-to-analog converter (playback), regular WAV files, and CDs are all hard-limited to 0dB and they will clip if you “try” to go over. If you “see red” immediately after recording you should reduce the level and re-record (if possible).

Digital recording levels are not critical as long as you avoid clipping so you should leave plenty of headroom and then amplify after recording.

Note that Audacity shows potential clipping… Audacity uses floating-point internally so it can “temporarily” go over 0dB without clipping. For example, if you boost the bass, or mix, or do something to push the peaks over 0dB “inside Audacity” it might show red and go over 0dB but not actually be clipped. If you reduce the levels before exporting it will be OK.

On the other hand, if the waves are clipped and you reduce the volume Audacity will no longer show red but that doesn’t remove the distortion it just hides the clipping from Audacity. (Audacity isn’t looking at the actual wave shape.)


0dB (0dBFS = zero decibels full scale) is the “digital maximum”. It’s the highest you can “count” with a given number of bits. The numbers in a 24-bit file are bigger than the numbers in an 8-bit file but everything is automatically scaled during playback to match the bit-depth of the DAC so the 24-bit file isn’t louder. (Floating point uses a different 0dB reference and there is virtually no upper or lower limit.)

Thank you very much , I am new to this so I am trying to make sure the audio file is loud enough and on the other hand not going to red

Is there any image of a good audio file that I can take into consideration? I want to see the Hight of wave.

Happy new year every one :slight_smile:

If you’re live recording, the tips and peaks shouldn’t get much higher than about -6dB on the meter and 50% on the blue waves. That gives you enough room to get louder by accident without clipping (100% or 0dB).

The standard for audiobooks is no tips or peaks louder then -3dB or 70% — after you process it for sale.

After you record your work clean, it’s a snap to make it louder without sound damage and if it’s still not loud enough, you can apply effects, filters, and tricks to punch it up—without serious distortion.

Once you create red marks in the sound meters, or hit 100% on the blue waves, the distortion is forever.


Excellent . Thank you very much. I am attaching a sample here , If any body kindly have a look and tell me if
this level is acceptable or should it be louder or lower?

Thank you again :slight_smile: