Taking MP3s from various sources for a radio program I host. Want to use Audacity. How do I take these various MP3s and make them all the same loudness level, assuring a modicum of quality in the process?
- Import the files into Audacity (File menu > Import > Audio)
The imported audio will create one audio track from each file, one above the other.
- Use the Solo / Mute buttons to listen to one track at a time (easiest if you change the “Solo” button behaviour to “Simple”. See: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tracks_preferences.html#behaviors)
- and use the track “Gain” sliders to adjust the playback level for each track (See: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/audio_tracks.html#gain)
- keep an eye on the “Playback meter” to ensure that you don’t push the playback level beyond 0 dB (digital audio always distorts if you push it “into the red”, so best to allow some “headroom” and keep the playback level no higher than “orange”). See: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/meter_toolbar.html#playback
- Export the tracks as new files using “Export Multiple” and select the “based on tracks” option. See: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/export_multiple.html
Note that exporting in MP3 format requires that the audio is (re)encoded to MP3 format, which will reduce the sound quality to some extent. It is generally preferable to work with WAV format to achieve better sound quality.
Thanks! Good advice.
MP3s are the cheese, but if I could make them all sound better in one fell swoop, that’d be super. But you’ve helped me a great deal.
As of yet, I’ve imported all the tracks I planned to use, had them put end to end, then overlapped them manually, then exported as MP3 to icloud.