Adjusting audio levels in separate parts of a track

Here is another issue I have been grappling with…

I usually have two tracks: music and voice over. There are sections in the recording where the voice stops and the music is amplified to fill the space. Then the voice over returns and the music goes down to the background.

Since my music track is always exported (not recorded live), I use the envelope tool to vary the loudness of the audio over and between the voice sections. This tools is visual and flexible and perfectly suits my needs.

Except that I often find it difficult to set the exactly same loudness level of the separate sections of the track and even the slightest difference is reflected in the final project.

eg Section A (voice and music) - Section B (music only) - Section C - (voice and music )- all adjusted with the envelope tool.


  1. Can I verify the dB of the adjusted audio section somewhere so that I could then replicate it in other (non-conjoined) sections with the envelope tool?

  2. Is there another way to set the loudness of the separate audio sections (eg Sections A and C) to the same level?

Up until now, I have been adjusting those levels visually and by ear - which is not 100% accurate - and I like precision and accuracy!

Grateful for advice. :mrgreen:

There is an Auto Duck feature where a service automatically reduces the volume of a backing track in response to the presence of a voice.

Depending on how much backing music you need, I’ve become a fan of just leaving it low volume all the time. In real life “ducking” means the orchestra moves their seats toward you every time the narrator stops talking. Not likely, so ducking is an entirely artificial creation.

At intro and outro, yes. That’s where you change music volume, that’s the theatrical punctuation.

I can’t tell if I don’t like ducking because of the philosophical problem, or just because it’s usually so badly done.


Sounds like you need an envelope-follower.
Steve’s dynamic-mirror plugin for Audacity can follow or duck.

ok thank you both. That plugin is probably more than what I need.

I don’t duck the music during short speach pauses, only during long (5-10 min) music-only sections that I have in my guided meditations. I would not trust an auto duck, either. as it wouldn’t sound natural. Plus I like to have long fade-ins and fade-outs which can’t be controlled there.

to come back to my first question though -

Is it possible to determine the dB of the enveloped audio?

I have found the solution.

I highlight the enveloped audio section 1 (background music) and set the volume to say, 1dB or 2 dB in the Bass and Treble tool (which I always use for volume control). Then I do the same with section 2 (also background) on the other side of the music-only section - and end up with both sections set to exactly the same level.