How to create a loud tone?

Surely this is a very basic question to most–but I cannot figure out how to make a loud tone.

I open the program and go to Generate> Tone> and set the fields to Sine, 2670, 1 (amplitude), 1 (second). I play it on my Win7 laptop, whose speakers are set to moderately loud, and it plays moderately loud. I know that’s “all relative”, but that’s how it sounds to me.

My goal is to create a very loud tone, so I go to Effet> Amplify and set Amplitude to 15 and Peak to 15, for example, and click on Preview…and it sounds exactly the same to me. Why is this? How can I make it noticeably louder?

Granted, if I increase the volume on the speakers on my laptop, THEN it plays louder. But I am assuming that there must surely be a way to make a sound file be inherently louder. Is that what amplitude is all about? I would think that if I had a microphone attached and I blew an air horn up close, the file would be “loud”. I think of a typical musical composition, playing at a medium speaker setting…there are very soft sounds and very loud sounds and everything in between. How did the “loud” sounds get loud? Accordingly, how can I create a loud tone file? I assume that distortion could be a problem that I would have to deal with, but at this point I’m just trying to figure out how to make a loud 2670hz tone for one second. TIA

Laptop speakers rarely have the “oomph” to deliver stunningly loud sound. Try playing back through headphones (start the volume low to protect your hearing, then crank it up slowly) or through your hi-fi system’s speakers.

Further to that last post of mine…
Different frequencies seem louder than others. Although, generally speaking, there is a correlation between amplitude and loudness, it is not an absolute. Room acoustics can add reverbs which can make the sound seem louder or can take away reflections which can make the sound seem quieter.

OK, it will be a few days before I can try these tests, since I am traveling this week. But I still don’t understand why those settings I did in the software did not seem to affect the volume of the tone file I was creating. At a typical mid-volume setting on my laptop, I can play any audio file on the internet, and hear soft sounds sounds, mid-volume sounds, and loud sounds. This tone file I’m trying to create seems to be mid-volume, and no matter what I do in the settings that I described, it seems to get no louder and no softer, making me think I’m doing something wrong. Are there other steps I need to take to make it louder (or softer)?

Ultimately, I need to generate a loud 2670 hz .wav file to be used on a handheld barcode scanner, so in that case I won’t have the luxury of headphones or external speakers. I need to produce a file that is LOUD–just as if I recorded an air horn or an 18-wheeler blasting close up. Is there a way to do this? Or do I need to find a microphone and actually record such a noise? Surely I would then have a file that is clearly and obviously louder while playing on my speaker, right?

Audacity does not have “loudness” it has “signal level”. The same for all recorded audio. “Loudness” is the result of converting that signal back into sound.

I have a CD recording of the 1812 overture with two orchestras, a huge choir and real military cannons firing. It is silent. The CD is still in its case.
I also have a CD of English woodland bird song. If I play it through a 10,000 W sound system turned full up it will be deafeningly loud.

The maximum signal level is 0 dB, or +/- 1 on the normal Audacity scale. Digital audio signals do not go any higher than that. If your recorded waveform is the full height of the track, then that is as high as it can go. How “loud” that plays is entirely dependent on the playback system. Check the Windows sounds settings, the sound card settings and the speaker volume.