Amplify in relation to gain?

I’m working on a song, and for the vocals a gain of 9 is too loud and 6 isn’t loud enough. How might I amplify the vocals so it’s equivalent to a gain of about 7.5 (half way between 6 and 9)? I’m curious to find out how to be more specific about gain. Thanks a lot.

  • skey

You didn’t say where in the process you were changing the gain ( recording? pre, post, effects??) but I can give you a couple of fuzzy rules. If you’re talking about the bouncing lights sound meters (red or green), then you can barely hear a 3 dB change, 6 dB is getting more noticeable and by the time you get to 18 dB, the human ear hears roughly half volume.

You can change the blue waveform to dB instead of percentage so the bouncing lights and the timeline match. Little black down arrow on the left > Waveform (dB). Here’s one where I did that and floated the meters and made them bigger.

You can select a section of voice and Effects > Amplify. You can select any value you want up to the point where the tool runs out.


Aha, you want to set the ± slider on the track properly.
But the tracks slider jumps 3dB, I remember (not having Audacity here).
I think you have to press Shift (or Ctrl or something) to move the slider continuously.

(BTW you are right, 3dB is nothing for whole project, but 3dB difference between tracks is very too much.
The default 3dB jump for the slider is too much. Perhps it should be reversed:
mouse should change continuously, mouse+whatever(shift?) should jump 3dB ?)

Newer versions of Audacity have a gain slider increment of 1dB instead of 3dB, but jan.kolar is right about holding shift to get a finer adjustment.

Alternately, you can set the gain slider to 6 and then Effects → Amplify by 1.5 dB.

Audacity 1.3.4
Double click on thee slider and type in the required gain.