Measurement Relevant to Sound Intensity

I am not an expert in acoustics! Forgive me if this question is not proposed correctly, I will do my best to use the appropriate language and terminology

Right now I have a series of audio files that I want to find a value for that is proportional to their maximum Sound Intensity. I have read the some other posts about this and have gathered that measuring sound intensity is more complicated, and audacity isn’t going to help me with it. My initial approach was going to be to measure the greatest amplitude of each wav file and assume that the value is proportional to the greatest sound intensity value. However, my knowledge of the physics and the software are extraordinarily limited, and I do not know what the units for the scale of the amplitude are nor do I know if this is even a reasonable approach to this problem.

The purpose of all this is to find an experimental relationship between distance (I varied the distance of recording in each file) and sound intensity of a recording. I have a pretty surface level understanding of dimensional analysis, but I figured that I could produce some relationship this way. At this point I’m just looking for a way to measure the amplitude of my files with units, but would appreciate any general advice on the project.

Thanks in advance

You can draw a more-or-less straight line between the blue waves and bouncing sound meter in Audacity and Sound Intensity, as long as you never have to actually listen to the sound. Putting your ears in the mix is where it get sticky because your ears are biologically adaptive and they pick and choose what to listen to and how.

So can you flesh out the research? Radio Shack has a digital sound meter that can give Sound Pressure Level measurements without mortgaging the house and last I checked, it would measure things to both A and C weighing, with and without the statistically average ear involved.


To clarify a bit. If you put audio tones judged the same size by the Audacity instruments into a “flat, perfect” speaker system, they will all generate the same air movement. What you do with that air movement is where it goes downhill.