I am not very experienced using Audacity, and I realize that this is a very elementary question. I am using Windows 10, and my version of Audacity is 2.1.3. I have a question about normalization. I used Audacity to make a 2 channel recording of a streaming talk show which is about 1 hour and 18 minutes long. The recording level shown by the wave form on the screen, which is centered at “0”, never gets above about +/- 0.4 on the vertical scale. I selected and highlighted the entire waveform using “Edit”, “Select All”. I then selected the “Effect” drop down menu, and selected “Normalize”. “Remove DC Offset” and “Normalize Maximum Amplitude to -1.0 dB” were both checked. I then hit “OK”. The normalization process started. It took about 5 minutes. There were no error messages. The problem is that I expected the waveform on the screen to get bigger vertically when the normalization process was finished. But it did not get any bigger. It remained exactly the same amplitude as it was before normalization was applied. I tried the normalization again, and the same thing happened.

Am I correct to think that the amplitude of the waveform should become larger when normalization is complete? Or am I not correct about this? Could I be thinking wrong about this? How can I know if the normalization worked? Any help would be appreciated.

Carl Lewandowski

Somewhere in your file there is a higher peak. And, normalization is pretty foolproof so after normalizing there’s at least one -1dB peak.

If you don’t want to find the loud parts and adjust manually before normalizing, you might try the [u]Leveller Effect[/u]. Or try the Limiter Effect (with make-up gain).

It’s good to know what Normalization (and Amplify) are thinking about. They are both peak-only tools. In your case, Normalize would increase the volume of the show until something in the show reaches the goal. If the show didn’t move, then something in the performance is already at -1dB.

Doesn’t have to be much. One tall click or tick or spike anywhere can cause Normalize to assume that’s the end of the job and stop.

I use a trick. Select the whole show and Amplify 3dB. [X] Allow clipping.

Now select View > Show Clipping. The tall spike or blue wave(s) or other possible damage will show up bright red.

Note where the damage is and Edit > UNDO your way back to the beginning so you don’t permanently damage any sound. Use the notes to fix the damage and then apply Normalization as you intended.