Importing Audio

I imported a CD but most of the songs are cliped. I tried to reduce de-amplify
the songs but the songs are still cliped. Is there a fix for this…Thanks

A lot of “modern” [u]Loudness War[/u] CDs have some [u]clipping[/u] or a lot of clipping.

And did you rip to WAV or to MP3?*****

Does it sound OK? You can have a lot of “slight-clipping” (maybe less than 1dB clipped-off) and it might not damage the sound.

Audacity has a [u]Clip Fix Effect[/u]. It can make the waveform “look better” but in my (limited) experience it didn’t improve the sound quality.

It’s impossible to know the height or shape of the waveform before it was clipped so Clip Fix is approximating.

And usually a CD produced this way has a lot of limiting and compression so there are no dynamics left and it might sound distorted before they add that extra couple of dB and push it into clipping. Amplifying and clipping the peaks does make the overall-average volume louder even though the peaks can’t go higher, and the distortion can add to the impression of more loudness and that’s probably why they did it.

I tried to reduce de-amplify the songs

That can “hide” the clipping from Audacity but it won’t change the wave shape.

Audacity “shows red” for potential clipping when the peaks go over 0dB or when several peaks in a row hit 0dB. It’s not checking the wave shape. (CDs use an integer format similar to “regular” WAV files and they cannot go over 0dB but you can have several 0dB sample sin a row.) So if you have clipping and you lower the level so the peaks are below 0dB Audacity won’t show clipping.

Or, it will also show red if you start with a non-clipped file and you amplify, or boost the bass, or do anything to push the peaks over 0dB. But, it’s not really clipped (yet) because Audacity uses floating-point processing internally and there is virtually no upper (or lower) limit. That means you can reduce the level and everything will be OK.

***** A couple of things can happen with MP3. MP3 can go over 0dB without clipping.

And, MP3 is lossy compression and it changes the wave shape making some peaks higher and some lower (without changing “loudness”) and some of those higher peaks can go over 0dB, even when the original uncompressed audio didn’t.

Probably half of my MP3s that I ripped from CD go over 0dB and show red in Audacity. (They wouldn’t look so bad as WAV.) Since they do go over 0dB, they aren’t actually clipped. Those WILL clip your DAC if you play them at “full digital volume” but it’s only slight clipping, MP3 is lossy compression anyway, and as far as I know the slight-clipping isn’t audible (even if other compression artifacts are audible).

Can Audacity even import tracks straight from the CD?

No. And I know of no current plans to offer this feature in Audacity.

Instead you will have to download “CD ripper” software, some of which is available for free. Do a Google search.

CD sales peaked in the late '90’s (close to 1,000m album sales per year in the US). By then there were already many good CD rippers, and little need for more. The number of sales has declined massively since then (around 30m album sales per year 2021). I very much doubt that CD ripping would be added to Audacity (or any other audio editor) these days - it would be like adding support for 78’s to a modern record player - it’s not impossible, but I doubt that the current level of demand can justify the cost.

When I used Windows, “Exact Audio Copy” (“EAC”) was my preferred ripper due to it’s focus on achieving highest possible accuracy.

Another vote for EAC :sunglasses: