How do I level the volume of all songs that I intend to burn to CD so I don’t have soft and loud songs? I tried using the volume meters for each song, however, that didn’t provide a close enough level for each when burned. Thanks
The best way is to load all of the songs into one Audacity project, then use the “Solo” buttons on the tracks so that you can listen to one track at a time, then use the Track Gain sliders to adjust the level of each track until you are happy that they all sound as you want them. Use the meters to ensure that you don’t push the level too high.
When you are happy they’re right, use “Export Multiple” to export each track as a separate file.
Setting the Solo button behaviour to “Simple” makes the task of listening to one track at a time easier: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tracks_preferences.html
The track gain slider is on the left end of the track: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/audio_tracks.html#gain
Information about "Export Multiple: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/export_multiple.html
For a slightly more “automated” approach, see this topic: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/equal-loudness-normalizing/19112/1
The human ear is the best tool for this, and as long as you are not trying to match hundreds or thousands of tracks, it’s not too hard…
If you do it by-ear, I recommend normalizing all of the tracks 1st. (Use the Normalize effect, or the Amplify effect to set the peaks of all of your files to 0dB.) That makes them all as loud as they can go (linearly) without clipping/distorting.
Then choose the quietest sounding track as your reference. Use Amplify again to adjust-down the other tracks (if needed) to match your reference track.
Now the whole CD is as “loud” as possble (without using dynamic compression) and all of the songs have the same perceived loudness.
If you’re doing a '“Mix Tape” of multiple artists and bands and dates, you may never get there. Newer performers produce much more dense, loud and highly produced shows than they did in earlier days. Older music is always going to sound wimpy compared to some of the newer stuff. Production tends to fake out the meters, so two shows that sound enormously different both have identical meters. So yes, ears are good.
You wanted a single button to press, right?
Actually, there’s one of those, too.
Chris’s Compressor is a tool designed to even out variations in music volume. It does change the music, no question, but if your goal is to never touch the volume control in your car, this is the way to go. Change the first value from 0.5 to 0.77 and apply it. That approximates the processing in the radio station.
Wow! Thanks for the great response guys. This should give me plenty of options to get what I want. Kozilowski, all of the songs are performed by me in my studio, so mulitple artists are not a problem.