Lowering peak volume

Hi, not sure how to ask this properly or even look up previous posts for what I’m after so apologies if this has already been asked or is blatantly obvious how to do. I’ve got sound files where majority of the sound is between the -.05 , 0 , +.05 range, but there are parts here and there that smash up passed the +1 range. I know you can use Normalize which lowers that, but the problem is that it lowers everything. Is there a way to like specify everything ONLY above +.05 to drop down to the same limit as majority of the sound, or do I need to do all of this slowly and manually. Thanks for the help.

Try the limiter set to hard limit.

But, if the file is already [u]clipped[/u] normalizing or limiting won’t fix the distortion.

but there are parts here and there that smash up passed the +1 range.

If you’re OK with the way it sounds now:

Effect > Limiter: Soft Limit, 0, 0, -3.5dB, 10, No > OK.

That’s the short version where I abbreviated the settings, but they’re basically top to bottom in the setup panel. That will gently lower the high points and not affect the low ones.

This is all happening in Audacity 2.2.2 or later.

We probably can’t make it sound any better.

Overload, or when the Audacity sound meter goes all the way up and turns red, or the blue waves increase to 100%, are not quality recoverable. Those are the locations where the recording system stopped following the show. If that’s all it did, you could almost live with that, but the system also starts making up its own sound and that’s where the clicks, ticks, pops and crunch come from.

The Clip Fix tool works on tiny portions of sound damage and tries to guess what the sound should have been if everything was OK. It stops working if you have many overload points or other damage in addition.


Thanks for the rpelies all. I’ll do a few tests with the tips I was given here. I also stumbled across the ‘compressor’ option which also does a pretty good job of things once I get the right settings. Going off on a video I found earlier, settings with Threshold -60, noise floor -40, ratio 10:1, attack time .20s, release time 1sec. And then normalizing to lower the entire peak volume. Good to find a few extra options to test and try out. Thanks again.