So i’ve been using Audacity for ages, and recently i started noticing something that hasn’t happened to my other recordings. Basically i’m getting clipping when i’ve got too many loud instruments playing at once, it’s easier for me to show you an example:

You can hear it clearly at the start on the bass, then throughout the rest of the song.

I’ve never had this issue, although i am starting to get better at recording, therefore all of my tracks are a bit louder… Would this issue be solved using professional software? Or is it something to do with the levels/EQ?

Any help would be appreciated,


View menu > Show Clipping.
This will produce a thin red vertical line at each place where the audio clips at 0 dB.

As you can from your audio sample, the clipping is severe:
“Mixing” tracks “adds” the waveforms together, causing the mix to have a higher peak level than the additional tracks. Use the “Amplify” effect or the sliders on the Mixer board to keep the overall level below 0 dB.

No. The same problem will occur in all software. If the mix level is too high it will distort.

Ok, so i just need to bring all the instruments down in the mix? That would make it a very quiet recording… Any idea how to solve this without losing volume?

Thanks for the replies!

Also, i tried using the mixer board, and there is no clipping at the start on the bass at all, i assume this is a combination of the feedback and the bass, but why would that happen if on their own they are fine? Sorry about the double post.

The idea is to use the gain sliders in the Track Control Panel (or in Mixer Board) so that none of the audio peaks in the combined result clip above 0 dB.

As Steve already explained, mixing tracks increases the overall volume. If the contents of two tracks are identical, it doubles the volume. If the track contents are very different, it does not increase the overall volume so much. See Mixing Audio Tracks .

Do you want to vote for a feature so that Audacity automatically scales the mix so that it does not clip?

If keeping the loud bits below 0 dB makes the quiet bits too quiet, try dynamic compression .



Sorry i just realised that second post was stupid, and i already realised why it was clipping…

It is very difficult making this type of music, where you want everything to sound distorted, and be loud, but not actually clip. If i lowered everything so that it nothing was clipping, is there a way of upping the volume of the track without making it clip after i have exported it?

Thanks again for the help!

Entirely up to you. Are you saying “I want to have 10 tracks, and be able to balance them correctly without having to turn each track down by the same amount until it doesn’t clip”? If so, I would guess you would like a feature so that Audacity automatically scales the amplification back to a safe level for you, and we would count your wish as a “vote”. It lets us take into account how many users think a particular feature would be useful.

This is digital audio. It clips above 0 dB. If you think it sounds better slightly clipped so that the peaks are at + 1 dB, go for it.

Otherwise, I suggest your read my last link about dynamic compression. That is the point of it, to make the quiet bits somewhat louder (without taking the loud bits over 0 dB). This makes the overall volume sound louder.


Thanks so much for all your help guys, i’ve been playing with compression and panning and it seems to be doing an OK job. I am still confused about how to make tracks louder in general, my tracks always seem a little quieter than a lot of other music i listen to, any idea why? Is it just because of my recording quality?

Thanks again!

  • Oscar

Have you tried Steve’s Brick Wall Limiter?

See here for how to install Nyquist plug-ins .