Amplify when exporting to mp3 from wav

I have Audacity 2.0.3
I am converting wav files to mp3 and want the resulting mp3 file to be louder. I open the wav file and export and save to mp3. When I play the mp3 it is somehow already set to highest volume and I therefore cannot make it louder. Can I set it to save at the volume setting which allows me to play it louder and/or can I make the resulting mp3 file louder at the time I save it? thanks!

Where are you opening the MP3? Audacity and stand-alone music players have their own volume controls, so you have to compare it to something. “My friend gave me an MP3 and his is much louder than mine – on the same player

What’s the show? If this is your personal performance like guitar playing or singing, then it’s never going to match music you bought on iTunes. Those performances have volume compression and post production to force them louder.

You could also have minor problems with the original WAV file. So bring us in.


It is a recording of a meeting. It is plenty loud when I listen to the wav file. Some participants asked for copies in mp3 format. I am therefore exporting to save it in that format. For whatever reason when I open the mp3 file in any player it is not loud enough. It seems there ought to be a way to amplify it at the time of export or saving. Any ideas?

What players? Physical MP3 players made of plastic with small, tinny speakers that lack bass? Those will inevitably not sound as loud as reasonably good external speakers connected to a computer.

Or do you mean Windows Media Player or iTunes?

Have you turned up the volume control on these players?

MP3 files may lose (or occasionally gain) a little volume on export because MP3 is a lossy format.

If you need the files to be louder, try Effect > Amplify before export. Just click OK on Amplify - that makes the audio as loud as it currently can be made without distortion.

If that is still not loud enough, try Effect > Compressor to reduce the dynamic range (difference between loud and soft) with the “Make-up gain” box checked to make the result as loud as it can be.

Effect > Leveller can be used to produce a similar result, but you may find it creates distortion. If so, Edit > Undo it then try a lesser degree of “leveling”.


For some reason when I try to amplify using effects, it will not allow me to increase it: when I click to increase it, and listen to the preview, it is in fact louder, however the “OK” button is not clickable which I believe is the way to ‘save’ the effect.

Does the “Amplification (dB)” box in Amplify say “0.0” when you open Amplify? If so, then the audio is already as loud as it can be without distortion, perhaps because there is some loud cough that is at maximum volume somewhere. This prevents you making the audio louder without distorting it, even though most of the audio may be below the maximum 0.0 dB.

If you want to risk distortion then use Amplify to make the audio loud enough on preview, then put a checkmark in the “Allow clipping” box to ungrey the OK button. This is not recommended. You will need to listen to the entire audio to judge if it is distorted.

Otherwise if you cannot Amplify without allowing clipping, you should use Compressor or Leveller to even out the dynamics (as already suggested).

Or you can zoom out to see if you can find what part of the blue waves are going to top or bottom of the scale, select those parts then use Amplify to make them quieter. Having done that, the highest volume in the track will be below 0.0 dB and you can Effect > Amplify and just hit OK to make the whole track louder.

It would help if you would answer about what type of players have the volume problem you are complaining about. We’ve asked you twice now. There may be some other solution with those players.


I am playing both the wav and the mp3 files on my PC using Windows Media.
When I use leveler and compressor, I lose some of the file entirely.
When I open amplify box, it says: Amplification (dB): 13.9.
In the box showing L and R sound the bar moves between -48 and -12.

Then there is no reason for a dramatic change in volume.

Might you have turned down the gain on the Audacity track? If so, double-click on the -…+ scale to left of the blue waves, type “0” (number zero, without quotes) then click OK to set the gain to no volume change.

Have you clicked where it stays stereo or mono in the track (above -…+) to select all of that track before applying Leveler or Compressor then exporting?

If you only select some of the track, then the effect only applies to that selection and if you choose File > Export Selection, only the selected part is exported.

If that is not the problem please explain what happens when you lose some of the file.

OK, so how about clicking the OK button while “Amplification (dB)” says “13.9”? If that works, next time you open “Amplify” the "Amplification (dB) box should say “0.0” to show the file is as loud as it can be without distortion.

Is that still too soft (with the -…+ gain slider on zero)?