Find out what effects have been applied

I’m trying to figure out what effects have been applied to the second song below, with little success besides that it might be compression or purposeful clipping. How would I find out exactly what they are?

How would I find out exactly what they are?

Contact the production agency or the artist. There’s no way to work it back from the finished song.

That’s unfortunate. The original poster is gone…

You can get something similar with multiple passes through Effect > Leveler at its highest setting. Intentionally creating clipping distortion in Audacity is a little rough because it was designed internally not to overload.
Or try Effect > Simple Distortion.


We don’t currently ship a distortion effect, that is a feature request.
Please add your vote here if you think that Audacity should include (at least) one distortion effect.

Yes, leveler gets a similar effect, but a frequency analysis shows that there’s something else in a higher frequency that I can’t seem to replicate.

You can get clipping by using Amplify to push the peaks above 0dB. (Click the Allow Clipping check box.) Then export to 16-bit WAV. The WAV file will be clipped at 0dB. (Audacity will happily go above 0dB internally without clipping, so it’s not clipped 'till you export to an integer WAV format.)

The higher you go the more distortion you’ll get. You may not hear the distortion with a couple dB of clipping, but with 20 dB of clipping it should sound absolutely terrible! :smiley:

Clipping will generate higher frequency harmonics (harmonic distortion) but I don’t know if you’ll get the same high frequencies as your example.

Effect - Hard Limiter can also introduce clipping (at whatever level you set). If you use the limiter, you may want to Amplify afterwards to re-boost the volume.

A little bit of code that can be run in the Nyquist Prompt ( to add distortion:

(setq amount 4) ; bigger number for more distortion

(defun hardclip (s amount)
  (setq amount (db-to-linear (- amount)))
  (mult (/ 0.99 amount)(clip s amount)))
(multichan-expand #'hardclip s amount)

The second YouTube sounds hideous , but if you want to replicate it maybe try decimation , (which does add high frequencies) …

If you want that, go here Audacity Manual and use the links for “Additional LADSPA plug-ins can be downloaded”.