You can also try the [u]Envelope Tool[/u] to manually fade up and down the volume where needed. Or, you can try the [u]Leveler Effect[/u].
There is also an application called [u]The Levelator[/u] that you can try. It automatically applies compression and automatic volume control. The Levelator is no longer supported but you can still download it.
I wanted the peaks to be at -12db because I read online that’s the standard for broadcasters and radio presenters.
The peaks will usually be at or near 0dB. -12dB peaks will be too quiet. (Compare that to any commercial MP3 you have.) I assume that -12dB recommendation is RMS or average (not peak). -12dB RMS is rather “hot”. Note that without compression, the ratio* between peak & average doesn’t change… If you boost the volume by +6dB, the peak & average will both increase by +6dB. Note that clipping is a kind of compression (the worst kind)… Once you are clipping, you can’t boost the peaks any more but you can still boost the overall/average volume (to a point).
Note that you can check the peaks by running the Amplify effect. Amplify scans your file and defaults to whatever gain is needed to reach 0dB. So for example, if Amplify defaults to +12dB, your current peaks are -12dB. (You can cancel the effect if you just want to check the peaks.) Finding the RMS or average is not so straightforward in Audacity.
I am recording a speech for a friend’s short game that’s going on the App Store. What would you say is the optimum dB level for the voice recording? It’s going to play over the top of a piano song.
The piano & voice together should peak at or near 0dB. Are they going to be mixed internally in the game in real-time, or will they be mixed in advanced? the mix/balance between the two needs to be adjusted ear. Obviously, the voice needs to be louder than the background music.
The gain on the mic is at 3/10
Windows mic level is at 26
Using the cardioid setting on the mic
About 6 inches away from the mic with a pop filter in front.
The settings don’t tell us much. For “home recording” the signal should generally be recorded for -3 to -6dB peaks. That allows headroom for unexpected peaks (your analog-to-digital converter will clip if you “try” to go over 0dB), but it gives you a strong signal for a good signal-to-noise ratio.
Pros often record at -12 to -18dB at 24-bits, with good low-noise preamps. This allows headroom for mixing and effects as well as unexpected peaks. (In reality, you don’t need headroom for mixing & effects because the software doesn’t clip.)
A few times in the track (6 or 7), the sound peaks at 2dB. It doesn’t distort or clip,
Audacity itself uses floating-point so it can go over 0dB internally/temporarily without clipping.
Your analog-to-digital converter and digital-to-analog converter will clip if you go over 0dB. “Normal” WAV files and CDs will clip if you try to go over 0dB (so you should make sure the peaks are at 0dB or less before rendering/exporting.
Nothing bad happens when you get near 0dB.
The reverb is the preset vocal 1.
Of course, that’s an entirely artistic choice.
- Since decibels are logarithmic, the difference (subtraction) is a ratio.