Need to lower vol of one loud singer in a group.

I need to lower the volume of one loud singer (he was to close to the recorder) in a group song. How do I do this without affecting the other singer’s recorded volume? I tried to use the Envelope command to lower the top of the sound wave, and I could set it where I wanted it, but could not find a tool to Trim off the top of the sound wave based on the adjusted Envelope line.

You’re a candidate for the compressor tool. It is a little involved to use, but it can be set to reduce volumes in the performance only if the performance goes over a set volume.

I would be using the tools in 1.3. You can have 1.2 ands 1.3 on your machine at the same time as long as you don’t open them both at once.

Set the threshold, the knee of the curve, for the point that the loud guy is louder than he needs to be. The ratio is the amount of squeezing he gets after he gets there.

If you’re gong to do surgery like this, sometimes it’s helpful to abandon the Audacity layout.

Float the Meter Toolbar to give you broad clear meters, convert the timeline to dB with the black down arrow on the left, and expand the waveform by pulling down on the bottom of the window. Now all the tools and displays are the same–they’re all in audio standard dB.


I’m assuming that this is recorded with a single microphone.

This kind of problem is difficult (impossible) to correct in post production.
Compression, as suggested by koz, may help reduce some of the worst effects, but you are not going to be able to make that one voice blend in with the others without turning the whole show into mush. This is precisely why studio engineers take great care in positioning (multiple) microphones in the correct place.

You could also try using a bit of Equalization and reverberation (reverb) - mushing up the sound a bit may help give a smoother blend, albeit at the expense of clarity.

Howdy Koz
I want to thank you for the “Compressor” command idea available in 1.3.5 under Effects. It compressed the high volume voices down to the top of the middle volume voices. BUT…I did it first with a sample file, in a long drawn out step by step process, and it worked just like I hoped it would. Soooooo, I tried it on the big end-product file, with as many step-adjustments made in the initial compression…and that gets an unsatisfactory result. For instance, for an excellent result on a huge file, set the desired threshold (or the knee of the curve), then compress, next set the ratio, then compress. At least for my desired results, it needed to compress more than once and seems a bit confused unless you give it some other reason to process after the first compression. BTW, after the first compression, I needed to reduce the gain…so it you got a gain problem, compression will help get it closer to the middle of the gauge.

As for your setup recommendations of floating the Meter toolbar…I floated all of them, but probably didnt need to…but I sure looked like I knew what I was doing… For what it is worth, I just noticed I forgot to convert the timeline to dB like you suggested, when I worked the larger file (had a feeling some adjustment was missing, as the wave pattern didn’t exactly adjust the same as the first time…oh well, I still got there, probably with an extra compression).

Anyway, thanks for great advice…happy trails, Bruce

Thanks, stevethefiddle. I did try some out some of the other Effect, such as Equalization, on my sample file, and as you say, at a cost of clarity. Almost did that with Compression too. No, I was using 4 mikes in an H2 in a 2 track file. The problem was being to close to what turned out to be the lead singer…wasn’t supposed to be that guy…and not close enough to the other singers…and this was a live recording, not something you can go back and do again. The end result is fair for the first-time I did a recording…got a whole bunch of customers for the produced CD…and about half done to there (the last half will be much easier then the first half was…).

Anyway, thanks for responding…I really was lost of this one, and so was an experienced partner. Happy trails, Bruce