Louder recordings without clipping

Hi folks,

I’m a newbie here, looking for some basic answers.

Our church uses audacity to record our services, and the video techs have been instructed to not let the audacity recording get squished flat at the top & bottom, as that would indicate possible clipping of the signal. However, most of the time our recordings end up being Way quieter than most mp3s. I’m guessing it has something to do with the way our input & output gain interact, or possibly we need to change a setting that allows a wider dynamic response without clipping.

Can someone give us some tips on how to overcome this?

Quite right.

See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war
and here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=Compressor
(and use Audacity 1.3.12)

It’s true, live recordings never sound as loud and punchy as a highly produced and filtered commercial music release. It’s one of the first surprises someone gets when they record live sound for the first time. Another is how loud and echo-filled their house is. “I can hear the couple next door having a marital argument in my guitar solo!”

Rather than apply the straight compressor, which would work, I think I would apply Chris’s Compressor.

Chris’s Compressor

Chris has the odd ability to make the performance louder and much more even without seeming to do anything.