Help With Reducing Volume when Loading Tracks

Hi everyone. It’s my first time posting here - I did have a look to see if my topic was covered before and couldn’t find it - apologies if I’ve missed it

To explain what I’m trying to do and what I think my problem is:
I’m putting together a 2.5 hour mix set to play at my wedding, and am essentially using Audacity as a tool to mix the set, rather than just to record sound out of a mixer (the way I would usually use it). I want to do this so I can edit tracks down to make them shorter in places by cutting out the unwanted parts of the track (long outro’s etc), and using the fade out / fade in features to avoid any gaps in between tracks. I also want to avoid standing in front of my decks for 2.5 hours playing wedding music!

My idea was that I would be able to use the amplify feature to gain up the tracks so they are all the same volume as the loudest track in the mix.

The problem I’m having is that when I load an MP3 directly into Audacity, they load incredibly loudly. When I record music from my decks I would reduce the record volume to ensure against clipping and have the levels way below +1 to avoid distortion. I can’t seem to do this when loading mp3’s directly in. I’m therefore having to use amplify feature to input a negative value to bring the levels back down, and I’m pretty sure I’m losing a lot of sound quality by doing this, which won’t be good enough!

Is there any way of loading MP3s up at a reduced volume without compromising quality? Am I simply using this programme for something that it’s not intended for? I really want to avoid having to record the whole thing out of my decks if I can help it - any advice would be greatly appreciated!

You will not lose quality by de(amplifying) the audio - Amplfy is a purley arithmetiacl mutiplication effect.

BUT you will lose quality by importing MP3s and then later re-exporting as MP3 - as that way you will get the MP3 compression damage twice. Can you either:
a) use WAV copies for your source material,
b) use WAVs for your output and work with those for peroduction usage?

Sorry no, no automatic volume change. But no you’re fine here this is a fairly typical project for Audacity.

Good luck with the project - and best wishes the wedding.


Thanks very much for the reply. Great to hear I’m not actually losing quality by using the -amplify function. Will ensure I export to .wav for the final copy :slight_smile:

I would bring each track in to audacity, normalize, then mix it into the master. I’ve done this for long mixes. I find that some mp3 files import with peak amplitudes above the maximum, these require the amplify filter to bring the peaks back into the usable range. I more often than not, export as flac to aviod mp3 re-compression issues.