Loss of volume when attaching mp3 file to an e-mail


Absolute neophyte to this whole universe of recording and to Audacity. My first attempt at recording my own voice, reciting a poem, yesterday was successful–a major accomplishment in and of itself–years in the making. (I am of a certain age–68) However when I excitedly shared the recording by attaching it to an e-mail and sending it to two friends, both told me that the volume was too low.

When I forwarded the same attachment to myself, the volume was adequate. Also, on my own computer (Dell 1501 laptop), I posted the mp3 file to my website with no volume issues–played fine.

Am I missing a step somewhere? Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!


Congratulations :slight_smile:

Some media players are able to automatically adjust the volume of quiet MP3, so perhaps that is what is happening.
Modern music recordings are often made very “loud” by compressing the dynamics and clipping off the highest peaks, so it is common (and not a bad thing) that “live” recordings sound a bit quieter than some other recordings.

Before you Export the recording as an MP3 file, use the “Amplify” effect and set the “New Peak Level” to -1 dB (minus one).
When you export the file it should be close to the maximum volume without distorting.

A combination of weak tinny sound from laptop speakers and the poor hearing of silver-surfers may be the explanation.

If after trying Steve’s advice, (to “amplify” to -1dB before exporting as mp3) , your friends still complain the sound is not loud enough you could suggest that they try using headphones, as they provide a much louder and clearer sound than laptop speakers.

Silver Surfers. I like that.

There are tools to make your performance louder through dynamic compression as well. It boosts the quiet parts without affecting the parts already loud enough.

Chris’s Compressor


Koz, Trebor, Steve,

Gratitude–as in “Thanks for the tips!”

As an aside, not all my friends are silver-surfers–though I did appreciate the designation once I figured it out–though your advice certainly fits me–too many miter cuts and rips with out ear protection has left me a bit hard of hearing when there is ambient noise and my ears do ring!

I feel a little bit like the starship Enterprise–at least, going where I’ve never gone before–a whole new universe–even very explicit directions–like the compression program download instructions–leave me scratching my head sometimes and might take me hours to figure out rather than minutes or seconds for someone more computer literate than I.

So for your time and attention and your ethic of helpfulness, let me, perhaps, balance the account by entertaining a little . . . perhaps . . . we’ll see . . .

Going for the gold

It’s harder, now,
in one way,
to keep my balance
through these late rounds.
For though I have avoided a knock-out punch—
a quick, unseen upper-cut to my unprotected chin—
the constant body blows begin to take their toll on me
and I stagger just a little bit more each time one lands, full force.
Now, you must understand, dear listener, I am no more a quitter
than Ty’Sheoma Bethea is but I do have some years on her
and years do cut two ways, the midriff muscles tighten
just a little less as the mind grows sharper,
the feet move just a little slower
as the heart grows more open
and then there is often now
that shortness of breath
that wasn’t there before
yet the spirit strikes,
lightening-like, now,
at the very core
of what
is true.

So bring ‘em on,
these last rounds.
I ain’t goin’ for no
split decision here.
I’m goin’ for the gold.
BD 3/13/09

Ty’Sheoma Bethea–see President Obama’s state of the union address

I’ll keep you posted but don’t hold your breath.