My version of Audacity is 2.1.1, and my OS is Windows 10 64 bit. I am trying to amplify audio tracks converted from YouTube. When I import the audio into Audacity and attempt to amplify it, I can’t make it any louder, only quieter. I’ve tried this with many tracks, and either they can’t be moved to the right at all without the OK button greying out, or they can be moved by like .2 at the most. So there is no way for me to make my tracks louder without clipping? What is the point of the amplifier if I can’t make any of my tracks louder without clipping, which is basically a kiss of death for the quality of your track. Of course I can make it quieter, but that’s not what I want and makes the name “amplifier” seem like an oxymoron. Am I doing something wrong? If there’s no way to make my tracks louder with the amplify effect, are there other effects I can use to achieve the desired result?
0dBFS is the “digital maximum”. Digital-to-analog converters, analog-to-digital converters, “regular” WAV files and CDs, etc. are all limited to 0dB. If you try to go over, you’ll get clipping. (Audacity uses floating-point internally, so it essentially has no upper limit and it won’t clip but the sound may be clipped when you play or export the file.)
The catch is - Perceived loudness does not correlate well with peak levels. So, it’s not unusual to find quiet sounding tracks that are digitally maximized/normalized. Most CDs and MP3s are 0dB normalized, yet some songs sound loud and other songs sound quiet.
Most modern music is highly (dynamically) compressed. Dynamic compression makes quiet parts louder and/or loud parts quieter. In practice it’s mostly used to make everything constantly-loud without boosting/clipping the peaks, although sometimes the levels are driven into clipping.
are there other effects I can use to achieve the desired result?
You can experiment with Audacity’s Compressor effect or the Limiter effect* to boost the loudness, but of course that changes the character of the sound. And if you have a homemade recording, you are unlikely to get the kind of loudness that the pros get without severely damaging the sound.
What is the point of the amplifier if I can’t make any of my tracks louder without clipping,
You can amplify files that are not maximized, or you can use the Amplify effect to reduce the volume (if you want to match the volume of another file, etc.).
…which is basically a kiss of death for the quality of your track.
That’s a matter of taste… Many of us are disappointed by what the [u]Loudness War[/u] has done to music. The constant-loudness gets boring and it makes me just want to turn down the volume. I prefer more dynamic contrast, and IMO the dynamics of live music are one of the things that makes live music sound better than recorded music.
I am trying to amplify audio tracks converted from YouTube.
Lossy compression changes the shape of the waveform making some peaks higher and some peaks lower without affecting the “loudness”. So, it’s not unusual to loose a couple of dB if you edit and re-normalized the boosted peaks down to 0dB.
- Limiters and compressors usually push-down the peaks, and then you have headroom to boost the overall volume.
There’s just enough holes in that question.
make my tracks louder without clipping?
What are you downloading? Post the addresses. Can we assume they’re not your tracks?
What are you comparing it to? Specifics, addresses.
As above posting, you can certainly make a track louder, but you have to change the quality to do it. Home recording artists are always unhappy with the volume of original work without processing.
There’s another possibility, too. You can’t compare different players. Audacity has its own playback management and volume controls. You can’t easily compare that directly against QuickTime Player or Windows Media.