Pumping/noise problem with Levelator? Or something else?

I tried to record an audio book audition today using Audacity, LAME and Levelator. I’ve used this combination before, but never came up against this problem.

Everything sounded fine when I listened to the playback of the original recording. I exported it as a .wav file, then sent the file through Levelator. The results were so bad that I didn’t dare submit them. There was all sorts of pumping in the recording, and a whole bunch of noise that I didn’t hear in the original recording.

What’s even more interesting to me is that I have used the same equipment in the same location for about a dozen other auditions and never heard these effects.


the same equipment in the same location for about a dozen other auditions

I note you didn’t say: “My Equipment.”

If it’s shared equipment, then you need to go through and make sure the performer before you didn’t change something awkward.

Did you mean Effect > Leveller? Do you remember what settings you normally use? My leveller has default values of “Moderate” and -70dB. What does yours read? If it says “Heaviest” then that’s what’s probably wrong.


Sorry for the imprecise language. The equipment and studio (which doubles as a lovely walk-in closet) are mine and nobody else uses them.

Levelator isn’t part of Audacity or a plug-in that can be used with it. It is a stand-alone program that uses a drag-and-drop interface. There are no user-adjustable features. In formation for the curious here:


It has worked pretty well in the past, but really sucked this time.

I used the same equipment and software yesterday in the same closet to cut three or four auditions. All sounded fine, and I am now more puzzled than ever.

That would seem to point squarely at Levelator, which as you rightly say is nothing to do with Audacity. Unfortunately Levelator is no longer supported by its developers, but they encourage existing users to ensure they have the most recent version: The Levelator® from The Conversations Network