Clipping warning

I recently installed Audacity on a new laptop. On my old system, when opening a file to amplify/de-amplify a track, there would be red in the areas where the track was over-amp’d and would clip. On this new install, it no longer shows this. I can’t find a preference to change to bring this back. Any help is appreciated.

That was actually a defect. I think this is the change that fixed a problem we complained about for a long time. The old clipping indicator would turn red when a wave would just kiss the overload point, but would not actually create any damage or distortion. I believe the new one has a more comprehensive inspection process and is likely to be more truthful. I can’t point to the change, but I think that’s what happened.

So you want the broken clip indicator back.

It’s certainly possible to get clipping damage before Audacity, such as overloading a microphone amplifier before recording in Audacity. There’s no good way for Audacity to analyze that kind of damage. It can only sense digital overload and clipping.

And as a complete afterthought, you can turn the clipping indicator on and off.
View > [X] Show Clipping.


Thanks for the info, Koz. I like seeing this as it gives me some consistency from track-to-track. Amazing how much difference in amplitude you can get, even within the same album. Also, I find that the L and R channels can have significant differences. Sometimes it’s done for effect, I understand that, but often it’s the way a particular track gets ripped. I have a =lot= of tracks I have to re-do from when I first started ripping and storing for my Zune player, where I’m having to split the tracks, amp each channel, then re-join them. Makes a =huge= difference. Now, another question. I have noticed that if I load a track, massage it, save it, then re-open it, I can get different results. Is this just the nature of the beast because Audacity is so sensitive?


I have noticed that if I load a track, massage it, save it, then re-open it, I can get different results.

I don’t think I understand that. You get a different song?

No. I’ll adjust the track amplitude on each channel until I get an “OK” from Audacity (it greys out if it’s out of whack), export, close, then re-open the same track and re-check the Effect>Amplify and it may be a touch different. Might show clipping or might allow for a hair more amplitude the 2nd time. Not a big deal, but just something I noticed.


If you are exporting as a lossy format which removes audio content to save space, especially MP3, the amplitude may well be changed after export. Audacity does not re-compensate the amplitude to allow for what a lossy encoder does.

Tracks which are compressed (little difference between loud and soft) will probably clip after MP3 export if they are already amplified to 0 dB. It is usually better to amplify tracks for MP3 export to -1 dB.

Aside from how close the amplitude has to be to 0 dB to trigger a warning, View > Show Clipping will show a red line when there is only one sample reaching the trigger level.

Meter Toolbar does not show clipping until four or more consecutive samples reach the trigger level.