Applying Amplify effect results in no audio

Audacity 2.0.3 on Windows 7 64bit.

I have recorded an LP and want to boost the volume. I selected the Amplify effect and set the new peak amplitude to -1.0. When I click OK, the progress bar displays. When it completes, my track display shows a blank line. Selecting Undo restores the audio track. What am I doing wrong?


Effect > Amplify (and Effect > Normalize) have no idea what sound is. They’re strictly math tools.

Given there’s nothing broken, the tool changes the size of the blue waves so the highest peak lands on your target value, -1 in this case. So somewhere in your timeline, there is a serious loud click or pop that is now at -1 pushing the rest of the show down beyond the timeline.

That’s why Amplify is dangerous on “wild” audio. If the highest peak is a gunshot, the rest of the show will get really quiet to let the gunshot through.

Usually the other window, Amplification will tell you what Audacity is going to try and do. If it says -30, that’s the end of the show.

There are a number of things you can do to “clean” LPs so they’re well behaved and don’t do that.


You may have deleted a file that was being used in the Audacity project.
Go to “File > Check Dependencies” and check that all dependent files exist.
See here for an explanation of how Audacity projects work and how to avoid trashing your own work:

I believe I found the cause of the problem and it is me.

I have been capturing the audio on my 32 bit laptop with WinXP. To speed up the process, I wanted to move the labeling and exporting to my 64 bit desktop using Win7. Therefore I moved the folder of data files and the project (.aup) file from one to the other. It seems that you cannot do that since various odd things happen if you do. Aside from the amplify problem, there are also problems with clipping segments of the of the track as what is clipped is not what was marked.

Thanks for all the assistance and sorry to have bothered you. I should have known better.


Audacity projects can be moved from one computer to another, but you need to be a bit careful how you do it. If you don’t do it right the project will be broken (as you discovered). The manual describes how to successfully move a project:

Thanks. I decided to use Export as a WAV file which appears to be in keeping with the documentation you cited. Doing the amplify, labeling and export on my desktop makes things a lot less painful. It can do in seconds what takes the laptop minutes. I still use the laptop for audio capture as it is easier to place next to my stereo. The transportation was the problem and now that is solved.

Thanks to all who assisted.