I’m using Audacity latest version on my Win10 PC.

The exported .wav file I’ve created from my project is coming out way hotter than the levels in the project.

The project levels peak at -9dB, but when I convert it to a mono/.wav/16-bit file, the levels are going all of the way up to 0dB.

I have made NO enhancements at all (no effects) to the project before exporting.

Is there a way to control the levels of the exported file?

If the project contains more than one audio track, the tracks are added together (“mixing” = “adding”) on export.

The “Track gain” sliders affect both the playback level in Audacity, and the level in the exported files.
(see: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/audio_tracks.html#gain)

Most media players have their own volume control, so the level when playing a file in a media player may be higher or lower than the waveform in Audacity.

Thank you. I played around with the gain on both channels before mixing it down to a mono/.wav file and was able to get the final levels to where I wanted.

I think it’s still weird that the final product’s levels are way hotter than they are in the project file.

I think it’s still weird that the final product’s levels are way hotter than they are in the project file.

Like Steve said, mixing is done by summation. The digital audio samples are literally summed together sample-by-sample.

You can’t always predict how the peaks are going to line-up so sometimes the best solution is to export the mix as 32-bit floating-point WAV which can go over 0dB without clipping. Then, re-import the mix and normalize before exporting to your desired format.

Analog mixers are actually built-around a summing amplifier, but of course mixers have a level control for each input and a master level control so it’s actually more of a weighted average.

I use Tracks > Mix > Mix and Render to a New Track.

This will produce a new track which should be an exact copy of the Export. You can even select that one and use it for export rather than make Audacity mix and export your many show tracks.

Select > File > Export > Export Selected Audio.

If his neat, orderly process fails, then there may be something broken.