Can I adjust the volume when I export audio?

I record streaming music albums and export them to Mp3 files. Sometimes, the recorded audio plays back with abnormally low volume. Is it possible to adjust the default volume level when I export a recorded file to Mp3?

Better to see the audio as it will be exported. You could use the “Normalize” effect to boost the audio up to a safe level (default -1 dB).

You can run the Amplify or Normalize effect before exporting. Amplify defaults to maximized 0dB peaks, and the Normalize effect defaults to -1dB (very-slightly quieter).

Note that peaks don’t correlate well with perceived loudness so all 0dB peak-normalized (“maximized”) file sound equally loud.

…All of the popular streaming services use loudness matching (AKA loudness normalization) and that tends to turn-down most songs. And you can un-do that with regular (peak) normalization.

And MP3 (lossy compression) tends to make some peaks higher and some lower, so if you Amplify or Normalize to 0dB, the MP3 might go to +1dB or so. MP3 is not hard-limited to 0dB, but your digital-to-analog converter is, and you can get clipping (distortion) if you play the file at “full digital volume”. For that reason, many people normalize to -1dB when making MP3s. But as far as I know, that slight-clipping isn’t audible and personally I don’t worry about it.

Thanks! I attached a screenshot of the Amplify window that shows the settings that exist now. I’m no expert on audio, so if I just want to increase the loudness, and if so, how many dB should I go to?

Earlier in this thread Steve suggested -1.0 dB, personally I tend to use -2.0 dB

The original setting that Dominic Mazzoni (the original author of Audacity) set as default in the original Normalize effect was -3.0 dB. Normalize now defaults to -1.0 dB.


I don’t know much about the technical issues, but if I want the music to play louder by default, wouldn’t I increase the amplification? Perhaps from the current 2.881 in my pic to 5.0?

Signal levels are measured in negative dB.
0dB is the maximum level before distortion sets in, and is equivalent to the full track height. (half track height is about -6dB, that is “minus six decibels”).

It is generally recommended to keep the peak (maximum) level a little below 0dB, which is why the default for the “Normalize” effect is -1dB (just a little bit of headroom). Amplifying to 0dB is unlikely to cause any noticeable damage, but amplifying to above 0dB is very likely to ruin a high quality recording due to distortion.