How to reduce blaring dialogue pieces

Below are links to a sample file, before, and then what I did with envelope tool.

Is there another option to reduce this blare on certain words? I’ve just been reducing the max with envelope. Mostly it’s okay, but if I play with it too much you can tell the air sound is increasing.

I have lots of voice segments across a 10 minute sound board that max out like this. I’m trying to get the best volume I can without having blaring speakers/headphones. Hence why I’m sniping off only the max levels.


Two problems. It’s a weak recording so everything you do is going to cause room tone breathing as you noticed.

Effect > Compression is probably a good start, but you may need to get the show within range first with Effect > Amplify: New Peak -1dB.


So what I did is I ran a compression of -12 db 2:1, and that actually increased everything (I thought compression was supposed to decrease peaks). Then I deamplified it by -1db a half dozen to ten times and thats better.

What did you actually intend?

It’s probably fine. Compressor has gone through many changes since the last time I needed it. It used to be a very manual tool and you had to be a violinist to use it. I’m surprised it made you reset the output levels after it did its job. It’s possible your standard level and it’s target output level are different. Did it give you an output level slider?


I thought compression was supposed to decrease peaks

I bet it did. The old compressor would reduce the peaks, the show would vanish and everybody would complain about it. So I think this one bends the peaks and manages the overall volume as well.

I’m not the angel of compression. Did you read through this:


So I ended up just manually enveloping every spiked consonant in Sony Vegas. Doing 30 seconds took me about 15 minutes. But with copying dead air on another audio track that runs concurrently, you can’t even tell it was manipulated, since the air stays constant and only certain syllables are lowered.

Any reason not to do that in Audacity?

Envelope tool in the Audacity manual: Audacity Manual

I figured why not do it in Vegas since that’s where it’ll have to go anywhere. I also like Vegas’ envelope tool better than Audacity’s, the waypoints seem more straightforward and more intuitive to use.

Could you expand on that.
I’ve been interested for a long while in making the Audacity Envelope tool more user friendly but we get very little direct user feedback about it.

You know, it’s actually not that different. Vegas uses a single point, which is only aesthetically more reassuring. The four points Audacity uses is more visibly intimidating.

I did notice I couldn’t figure out how to delete a waypoint in Audacity. In vegas its easy, just hit delete. Also vegas has functions for thinning out waypoints, and just resetting them.

Also, in Vegas I can monitor exactly at what point the output maxes out on the master bus, I didn’t see that in Audacity, though maybe I just don’t have it set to view.