Raise (amplify) the peaks

Novice using Using 2.0.2. I want to raise the peaks in my project so as to exaggerate the peaks. What’s best way to do this?


Since there is no easy way to do that, we should ask what you’re trying to do. What’s the goal?

Does the result need to sound “musical”? If it is something like a science experiment then it may be quite easy to do, but if you want it to sound like a high quality recording then the task becomes more difficult.

This is called dynamic expansion and it’s the opposite of dynamic compression. Expansion is actually rather rare in audio production, whereas compression is very common. One exception would be a noise gate (a special kind of downward expansion).

Some compressor plug-ins can be configured to expand, but I don’t know of one off-hand… Maybe Audacity’s compressor can do it… I don’t know.

GoldWave ($60 after free trial) has a Compressor/Expander effect. There is a preset called Boost Loud Parts which may do what you want, or at least it’s a starting-point for what you want.

Note that the current version of GoldWave requires 64-bit Windows. If you have 32-bit Windows, you can download an older version. If you buy a GoldWave license, you can use it with any version including any future versions, since there are free lifetime upgrades.

You shouldn’t have to buy GoldWave. There are probably free compressor/Expander VST plug-ins that will work with Audacity, I just don’t know of any… But, it might still be worthwhile experimenting with the GoldWave free trial since it’s easy to get the effect you’re asking for.

Novice using Using 2.0.2.

The current version is 2.0.6. It’s FREE, so you might as well be using the latest version! :wink:

Chris’s Compressor can expand if you use a negative value for “compression ratio”.

Steve did make a “peak processor” nyquist plugin which will expand (or compress) peaks, see …

There is a VST plugin called “FloorFish” which is an expander … http://www.digitalfishphones.com/main.php?item=2&subItem=5

[ other expander VSTs plugins are available ]

No, it can’t.

You can try the Expander in Antress Modern Plug-ins. There is also the Expander/Noise Gate in Floorfish. See How do I install VST plug-ins?

Steve wrote a very smooth Expander as part of a Compressor/Expander. I often use that for expansion, though combining the two effects seems to create some problems for the compressor. I hope eventually we can either include that Compressor/Expander in Audacity or if necessary include them separately.


Just want to thank y’all for your suggestions. This weekend I will have time to try them all, then I’ll report back what works.


I recall that one version worked surprisingly nicely as an expander, but I don’t recall which version it was. Could you post a link, or post the plug-in, and I’ll put the expander part on the wiki.