Clipping and Limiter Settings

I am an occasional user of Audacity and have recently updated to 2.3.0 as I have some MP3’s I would like to increase the volume on. I see there is a lossless edit program mp3DirectCut that will do this however I have decided that Audacity will be the best and easiest option for me (I am only likely to play back the MP3’s on my PC speakers or my MP3 player). I realise the quality will reduce by re encoding the MP3’s in question however I will use the Preset Extreme or 320kbps option to limit that.

For some of these MP3’s I may need to allow clipping to get what I feel is a volume I am happy with. IF I feel I need to do this, I do not intend to exceed 1db and only envisage the clipping meter showing a maximum of 9 or 10 red lines.

My questions are: 1. Taking into consideration that I am likely to only listen to these MP3’s on my PC speakers or MP3 player, will the clipping be audible?

  1. If using the Limiter, would the best settings for my purposes be the default settings (Soft Limit and Apply Make-up Gain=No) along with the Input Gain I will be putting in?

  2. When re encoding the MP3’s, would using the Preset Extreme option be sufficient or would it be smarter to go the full 320kbps option?

IMO never allow clipping. If you use (soft) Limiter with a threshold of -10dB, with make-up gain, the results will be loud without clipping. If necessary apply (soft) Limiter repeatedly

repeated applications of (soft) Limiter - loud as you want without clipping.gif

If you want to avoid clipping when making an MP3 version, you need to leave headroom of -1 or -2dB,
as the conversion to MP3 process (encoding) can increase the peak volume a little.
e.g. After limiting with make-up gain is applied, normalize to -2dB before making an MP3 version.

Thanks for your response and the settings provided. It’s greatly appreciated.

Keeping in mind I am re encoding from an MP3 to an MP3 with these new settings (not ideal I know) would the Preset Extreme option be sufficient or would it be smarter to go the full 320kbps option?