Loss of leveller effect in 2.1.3

Is there any reason why the Leveller effect has been removed in 2.1.3? One of the handiest effects for live recordings! Just to make sure, i uninstalled 2.1.3 and reinstalled to 2.1.2 and it reappeared. It is a built-in effect.

It is now available as presets in the Distortion effect: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/distortion.html

The replacement of Leveller with Distortion was mentioned in the Release Notes for 2.1.3.

If you were using Leveller to reduce dynamic range, use the Limiter effect instead. Soft Limit and Hard Limit do not distort.


Thanks guys, will check that out - I was not aware of the Leveller actually introducing distortion!

Thanks Gale - the “problem” I note sometimes when i need to use Audacity is that if there is a spike because someone unplugs something, the Normalise does not work very well. In two of the other editors I use, the normalise seems to cope with this much better. I find running it through the leveller helps with the Normalise.

Normalize takes no account of isolated peaks, so if there is a peak at -1 dB, Normalize to -1 dB will do nothing.

Compressors/limiters often include make-up gain.

I notice our feature requests page Missing features - Audacity Support has some ideas for “Smarter Normalize when isolated peaks are much higher than others”:

-Ignore isolated peaks: > (3 votes) An adjustable percentage of the highest peaks are ignored for purposes of calculation, simply being left at the original level
- Sacrifice quality in isolated peaks: > (1 votes) Create histogram of levels that lets user choose normalisation dB or percentage and a percentage (or per thousand/million/billion) of peaks allowed to exceed the normalisation level
- Choose whether to ignore any peaks over 0 dB or not: > (1 votes) (some intersample peaks may be deliberate).


Leveler was going to be dropped but for the chorus of special effects editors who still wanted it—but not for leveling. Multiple passes through Leveler is perfect for creating the distorted Air Traffic Controller, Taxi Cab and 2-Way Radio voice.

Normalize and Amplify are sisters and all they do is one-pass volume control. They don’t process or change the shapes of the blue waves. Effect > Limiter might be useful for you. Limiter can actually identify specific parts of the waves and can be used to bang down troublesome peaks.

One of the newer AudioBook correction suites has RMS Normalize (custom software) to set overall show volume and then Limiter to squash blue wave peaks that go over.