Dynamic Expansion

I’m nearing the end of editing a recording of me playing a piece of classical piano music. The original recording was done on a relatively good cassette deck with moderately good mics several years ago. I subsequently rented a professional grade CD recorder to convert the music from cassette to digital.

Somewhere along the way the dynamic range was compressed, probably by the cassette deck or mics. I’m looking for a way to increase the dynamic range (without creating artifacts). Is there an Audacity plug-in that would do this?

Looking at this forum and other Q&A’s, I’ve found nothing suitable except maybe the SE4 plug-in or maybe a separate software called Goldwave.

Any assistance would be much appreciated

Have you tried Peak Limiter / Expander on https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/peak-limiter-expander/17790/3 ? See here for how to install Nyquist plug-ins http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Download_Nyquist_Plug-ins#install .

Have you tried Floorfish from http://www.digitalfishphones.com/main.php?item=2&subItem=5 ? See here for how to install VST plug-ins http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html#vst_install .

I have good success using the shipped Clip Fix in Audacity to add a little more dynamics and “openness” in classical music (as long as the audio is not clipped or only slightly so). See http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/clip_fix.html . It can also be used after an expander.

I think Goldwave’s expander is quite good too.


Gale, many thanks for your quick and helpful reply. I’ll check out the plug-in’s you refer to you. I’ve just discovered that SE4 is in the set of LADSPA plug-ins, which I’ve now installed.

The trick now will be trying to figure out what settings on these plug-ins will work best for what I want to do. I’ve found a few comments on the internet. Are you aware of any especially useful source of information? I suppose there’s always trial and error. :slight_smile:

Trial and error according to what your ears tell you is best.


Chris’ Dynamic compressor can be used as an expander too. The compression factor has to be negative for this purpose.

Robert, I’ll give Chris’ Dynamic Compressor a go as well.