In the attached image you can see a track which I amplified with the “Effect > Amplify…”.
The problem is that those high peaks surpass the 1.0 level and the speakers produce an oversaturated sound.
Is there a way to limit the amplification so that nothing surpass the 1.0 level?
Or at least, is there a way to automatically reduce to 1.0 anything that goes beyond it?
Using the envelope tool to manually reduce each peak is too much work.
Run Effect > Amplify on the work and make sure “[_] Allow Clipping” is de-selected.
A note. Audacity works internally in a sound format that allows very high levels with no damage or distortion. The minute you have to export into a real-world sound format, you’re dead. Most of those will not go over 1.0 and the tops and bottoms of the blue waves are clipped off which, oddly enough, we call clipping. And yes it does sound terrible, pretty much right away.
I think I’m going to stop there because that answers the question. I’m sure that’s not your real question, however.
Yes, but really there are two parts to your question:
How to amplify to a peak level of no more than 1.0 (0 dB):
Answer: Don’t select the “Allow Clipping” option in the Amplify effect (default).
The default “Amplification (dB)” amount in the Amplify effect will always bring the peak level to 0 dB and no higher.
“Yes, but I want to amplify more than that”
To do that, you need to suppress those peaks. That is done with a “Limiter”.
Gentle application of a Limiter effect will suppress peaks with little or no detrimental affect on the sound quality (as with most effects, if you apply it too much it will have a detrimental effect.
Try “Limiter (2)” from here: Missing features - Audacity Support
Instructions for installing: Missing features - Audacity Support
That was exactly my point.
Uncheking “Allow clipping” puts a limit on every part of the wave proportionaly to its volume. But what I want is to limit only the parts that surpass my desired limit.
That Limiter plug-in did the trick.