Level Volume on Cheap Speakers vs High-Quality Speakers

I’m stringing together a series of sound files into big composite files. Most of the little files are me talking in a rumbly baritone. Alternating with my voice is transitional music, much of it flutes and other high instruments. I want my listeners to perceive the same volume across all the files, so that they can set the volume once and relax.

So I’ll be making a close study of Chris’s dynamic compressor, which seems to be the favorite. I’m not trying to suppress any sneezes or gunshots. I want to smooth out small volume shifts in my voice between files, which it sounds like the compressor will handle very easily for me. And then I want to match my voice volume to the music volume, which seems trickier.

Some of my audience will be listening on ear buds and cheapie $20 boom boxes that will probably only catch the top half of my voice, but all the high notes in the music. Others listeners will have higher-end sound equipment with more bass response. Is it possible to set Chris’s compressor to make a composite file with a level volume on the cheap speakers, and then run it again to make a separate file with a level volume on the good speakers? And if it’s possible, how hard is it?

<<<And then I want to match my voice volume to the music volume, which seems trickier.>>

It’s very tricky. All the effects tools work on waveform construction, not loudness. One of the advantages of the old-school US VU meters was that they did, more or less, respond to loudness in the show. The specification for the BBC-PPM meters, on the other hand, requires that the operator not only watch the meter, but listen on good quality speakers.

The Audacity meters are digital peak. They only meter the top half of the digital waveform. If you have a voice that goes mostly negative, your presentation may be significantly mis-metered.

<<<is it possible to set Chris’s compressor>>>

I doubt it, but you can ask him yourself.


Most people compose for full-range sound and then listen to the show on a cheap system and tweak slightly so most of the quality comes through. The problem is nailing down the cheap system. How cheap, and by whom? Do you tune for a 300 pound,battery operated ghetto blaster turned up to ear splitting overload?


If I remember correctly, Chris’s compressor takes into account the frequency content such that the processed signal is levelled out (approximately) by loudness (taking into account the varying sensitivity of “average” human hearing). If I’m right about that (but it’s been quite a while since I looked into it) it should be possible to remap the frequency bias so that it responds more to middle frequencies (which are typically more prominent with cheap speakers. However I don’t think that it will necessarily be worth the trouble. If you find that your voice sounds a bit quiet using cheap PC speakers after applying the compressor, you can use the Equalizer effect to roll off the very low frequencies and apply just a little boost the mid-low so as to bring more of your voice within the range of the cheap speakers.

It is worth considering that recording close to a microphone will often boost bass frequencies, so it is often a good idea to apply a subtle reduction to the bass so as to produce a more natural and intelligible voice recording (on good speakers and poor ones alike).


Or back off from the microphone which has the same affect, sounds better, and is faster. Also that Pop and Blast filter is good.

Shucks. I keep forgetting to write down that links about how to build your own.

Here it is.

– Pop and blast filters are really desirable.
http://www.jakeludington.com/project_st … creen.html


Stupid computer.



Not quite the same, As you say the effect is subtly different. I think it depends on exactly what effect you want.
Good suggestions though.