Loudness Variation Between Songs Problem

Hi- [My computer: WinXP with Audacity 2.0.4, “.exe installer or the zip”? not sure / my experience level: LOW]

I’m looking to find a way to set my amplitude/gain to where my ‘songs’ are all the same ‘loudness’ when played (listened to)one after another (or random) like on an album… I’ve been doing this manually by ear and am wondering if there is an effect or feature on Audacity that can help me with this? --or possibly a seperate free (not trial-thanks) on-line download (ie. program, software) I can attain[?].

–thanks (great forum here/All or any replies appreciated),

–Ron (Online: The Ron Philip Blues Experiment, Ron Philip Blues, Ron Philip, RonPMxx)

Believe it or not, the best tool for the job is the one that you are using - your ears.

There are other tools available, but the best they can do is to try and emulate what your ears do best.
If you describe your working process then we may be able to suggest ways to streamline the job.

If you are listening to MP3s on an MP3 player (hardware or software), then you may be able to use “ReplayGain” or “Sound Check” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReplayGain

I wonder about Sound Check.

I listen to spoken word podcasts all the time on an iPod (oddly enough) and I’m constantly plagued with the missing broadcast compressor. Radio stations have to maintain strict volume limits, so they all have serious sound processing that makes sure of compliance. Download Podcasts have no such restriction and it’s not unusual for a host and an interview to be very seriously off volume from each other, a particular problem if you’re trying to walk/jog/run in a noisy environment. “Here comes the 357 bus. Better pause ‘This American Life’. RRRRROOOOOOM.”

As near as I can tell, Sound Check doesn’t do squat. I can’t tell that it’s doing anything at all since performances are every bit as unlistenable no matter what that setting is. Maybe I have unreasonable expectations, but I do appear to have the exact problem Sound Check was designed to solve.

When it gets to be a normal hour again, I’ll probably try to divine what’s supposed to be happening.

I do download one podcast that I run through Audacity/Chris’s Compressor because I also make CDs that I play in Lori, my lorry. That works perfectly. The podcast is indistinguishable from the radio broadcast of the same show and is enjoyable no matter which roadway I’m on.

But I routinely crank through many podcast each week and I would be living in Audacity if I tried to process them all. In addition, of course, I have to save the processed show at a very much larger filesize to avoid bubbling and honking compression distortion. So it would be nice if Sound Check actually worked.


I stand corrected. Sound Check is intended to solve the problem of variations between songs or clips, not within the performance. Since all my performances are completely erratic, I can’t tell if Sound Check is working or not. It might even make the presentations worse. Koz