when importing MOGG files, if I play everything at the same time, the sound is distorted and there’s clipping which forces me to lower the gain (under 0). This however seems kind of odd because I thought the original levels would be just right and not yield any distortion. Anyways, since I don’t know how the audacity gain feature works, I’d like to know how I should export the tracks as wavs. the first thing I do it merge the mono tracks into stereo. Then, should I lower it until there’s no distortion ? or Should I lower it to the minimum (which is -35db I think) ? Since I’ll be using these wavs as sources for something else, I just want the best sound quality for them
im unsure, it’s a guitar part and it’s hard to tell. Does that mean that track is might be slightly distorted at that moment ? when something is played at 0db gain (on the meter on the left) does that mean I am hearing exactly what the file sounds like ?
-15 dB is quite a lot.
There is a small theoretical loss by reducing the level that much, but probably more significant is the fact that you will probably need to push the playback volume quite high on your playback equipment, which will probably make a bit of hiss.
Reducing the level by a “few” dB will have no noticeable effect on the quality - it’ll just make it a little quieter.
Re-encoding the track to MOGG (or any other lossy format) will also reduce the quality a bit. To preserver the sound quality you need to use a lossless format such as WAV or FLAC.
I see, apart from the hiss from pushing up the volume, is the quality loss because it has to re-encode to a volume level different from the original? basically the same way you’d apply a gain and lose quality (even if it’s not hitting red)? which wouldn’t happen if I leave it at 0…
The loss of quality due to amplifying is very small. The loss due to encoding in OGG (or MOGG or any other “lossy” format such as MP3, WMA or AAC) is much greater.
The small loss dues to amplifying is because at low level you are not making use of the full “16 bits” of data. If the peak level is -15 dB then that is equivalent to recording in 14 bit format rather than 16 bit format.