In 2.1.0 there was a plug-in called Leveler. It worked fairly well for what I need. It does not appear in 2.2 or 2.3. Where can I find that particular plug-in and install it in 2.3?
There is a a native Audacity effect called limiter which can do the same thing, but without distortion.
If you want a leveller which distorts the sound, that’s available in Audacity’s distortion effects …
And yes it always did that. Leveller was kept around after the effects shuffle because it’s a terrific way to create the Taxi Cab and Air Traffic Controller distortion by multiple pass applications at high settings.
“Air West 23 Clear for Departure two-four right, Good Day!”
It’s not recommended for good quality audio programming.
What’s the actual job?
The Leveler effect was designed to be used in Chains (now called Macros), and specifically for maximizing the loudness of speech recordings. Its advantage was that it maximized the volume of any source regardless of the original loudness (level) of the source. In other words it did not have “threshold” or “make-up gain” controls. This made it ideal for chains where one could be processing a wide variety of sources.
If you are interested in maximizing the loudness of your project there are many other options, all of which will give you a better result.
Audacity’s Compressor effect is very good but a bit complicated. Read the linked page for a brief description of how compressors work.
The Limiter effect may be more along the line of what you’re looking for.
Since you’re on Mac, you can use the Add / Remove Plug-Ins menu item to add some Audio Unit effects such as AUPeakLimiter, AUDynamicsProcessor and AUMultibandCompressor. The advantage of the Audio Unit effects is that they support real time preview: that is, you can play your audio while adjusting the controls.
I used to use the leveler because the levels were all different when I did phone interviews. I needed the levels adjusted so that it did not go up and down and it took too long to do that manually. What feature does Audacity have now that helps with this sort of adjustment?
As Trebor wrote in the first reply:
For more extreme “levelling”, there is a plug-in called “Level Speech” available here: https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Nyquist_Effect_Plug-ins#Level_Speech
Installation instructions are here: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/installing_effect_generator_and_analyzer_plug_ins_on_mac_os_x.html#nyquist_install
It’s worth a side trip to Chris’s Compressor. That’s an add-on with integrated compression and limiting. It’s design goal was make it so Chris could listen to opera in the car. So he wasn’t interested in very much distortion, either.
With a change of the first variable Compress ratio from 0.5 to 0.77, I can apply it to any wild recording and make it sound broadcast-ready. So you can create the show with the interviews just as they are and clean it up later using Chris. Or at least try one that way and see how it sounds.
Fair warning, the sound is unique. The final isn’t going to sound like any of your older shows.
One shortcoming: Chris doesn’t “like” either end of the performance, so leave extra content, compress and then cut off the extra. This will never be fixed because Chris reached End Of Life.
One odd note: If you have something you like, hang onto it with white knuckles. It’s your show and you have to live with it.