Is my setting right or wrong

Good afternoon

I am trying to make a recording this afternoon and my settings seem off when I am making a test

Can you see from the screenshot attachment what I mean

I thought the recording sat between -1+1 and this is sitting at 60

So I have no idea if I am recording correctly or not

I am not sure if I have changed a setting without realising.

I find the technical side of audacity quite a challenge. It is not the information available it is me… and I have looked for the information but I almost don’t know what I am looking for.

I have managed to work out audacity through sheer will power so far but this one defeats me.

I hope I am not being a lemon… so any help please would be lovely

Thank you so much

PS does my waveform look about right… I see them in audacity manual and they look much bigger than mine…

Screenshot 2020-02-11 15.22.11.png

You’ve turned on Waveform dB (logarithmic) for this track rather than Waveform (linear)

Just click on the trackname at the top if the Track Control Panel and select “Waveform” from the dropdown menu

See this page in the Audacity Manual:


Thank you WC

I thought that was the case… but when I now record with the other waveform I get a completely flat line with nothing on it although its moving along as it should be.

I am confused because up to yesterday I have been recording nicely without any problems at all

But now I can’t get a straight recording

Could I have changed any other settings by mistake do you think…


See this page in the Manual for how to reset your settings to Audacity’s default “factory” settings:



I followed the instructions you gave me

I cannot find any appdate/roaming only local so cannot find the files to deal with as per the manual instruction.
I promise you I have spent a whole morning trying to solve the problem.

Secondly, I have attached a copy of a recording I did prior to my problem from a while ago and reloaded it into audacity this morning
As you can see the waveform (now set to waveform and not waveform db) has the same problem.
I just dont understand why it is so small.

Does it really matter if the waveform is waveform or waveform DB… ? shall I just use waveform DB?

I must have altered a setting inadvertently… can anyone else chime in at all with their experience an in simple language if possible…

I can’t move forward and I have a deadline to meet…

My best wishes

Screenshot 2020-02-13 10.12.27.png

If sliding the mic gain to maximum (+) in Audacity isn’t enough,
you may have the option of adding “mic boost” in Windows microphone properties,
see …

Not really - but I find the linear Waveform easier to work with.

  1. For any track you already have, click on the track name or the little downward-pointing black triangle in its Track Control Panel and Choose “Waveform

  2. To ensure tha Waveform is your default choice go to Edit > Preferences > Tracks and in the Default view mode ensure that Waveform is selected.


Thank you both, I believe I have got things right now, please see attachment.

Although the microphone is set very high and the speaker is very low - does that seem right? If I turn up the speaker my recording is really loud in my ear which is why it is down so low!

Presumably, the listener will only hear the right sound? Because it is set to between +1 and -1 so neither too high or too low.
Is that correct?

The waveform became fatter when I did a little tweaking with amplify/normalise/compress.

Thank you for your help, I have got myself a half-decent recording on time.

Thank you both again


Typical settings for speech are RMS Normalize* to -20dB,
Then (soft) limit to -3dB, (no make-up gain), to attenuate any unusually loud peaks.

[ * “RMS Normalize” is not shipped with Audacity: it’s a plug-in you have to install into Audacity].

Thank you for the information

I think i am getting the hang of it now!

Although I am sure I will be back :wink: