import MP3, then edit: export (as MP3) distorted

If I import some MP3 files, then normalize/amplify parts, and then Export multiple as MP3, I notice the result is somewhat distorted. Since I assume that I am in effect attempting to compress an already compressed file, that probably shouldn’t be unexpected.

So what I have done to work around that distortion problem is this:

  • Import MP3s
  • edit as desired
  • export as WAVE files <=== !!!
  • re-import WAVE files
  • and NOW export as MP3 files

Does this sound reasonable (it does seem to work), or is there a better way?
(if there isn’t, this might be a good tip?)


Audacity’s default normalize and amplify settings seem not to compress audio, but to amplify just short of clipping. Perhaps the multiple mp3 export is slightly amplifying the tracks for some reason, especially if it is set to amplify all exported tracks to the same gain level, a common option meant to keep your playlist from having drastic volume differences from song to song. You may want to find whatever setting that multiple exported tracks to the same level and uncheck it and/or normalize the tracks to -3dB before exporting to give you some headroom and avoid distortion. Hope that helps!

Thanks, I’ll give it a try. But your reply made me realize that I usually just allow clipping, so maybe that’s really all the problem is! :blush:


Ding ding ding!

Clipping = bad. Do not allow it unless you like distortion.

Ha ha! :slight_smile:

Yeah, makes sense, I’m just doing stuff for home use, and usually it isn’t noticible, but this time it was, & I thought it was from compressing a compressed wave form at first.

When I allow clipping, it’s so I can get a recording segment loud enough in comparison to other parts, but maybe I need to look at normalizing stuff first & see how that works.

Thanks, :slight_smile: