Reduce audio that is clipped deliberately but not saved

Hi everyone,
This is my first post here so I hope it’s in the right place :slight_smile:

I’m using Audacity 2.4.2 on Windows 10 20H2.

I have used Audacity on & off over the years but found myself using Audacity more & more over the last year or so.

In the last year or so I now do a lot of video editing for my Plex system & need to look at the audio in case it needs to be boosted on some files.

My query I think is about sound normalisation & I haven’t found the exact answer to my query.

My question is if I deliberately boost the audio to clipping point then can I reduce the clipped parts back to non-clipped levels before saving it?

I do not want to clip the audio & sometimes find myself going after spikes in the audio & reducing them one by one but sometimes this is like a whack-a-mole experience in so far as you reduce on & two or three appear.

It’s becomes totally unmanageable.

Sorry for the long explanation & thanks you for your time if you can help me.


Audacity preserves any sound that goes over 100% (0dB) as long as the show is open and Audacity is running. There are some tools, filters, and effects that accidentally create overload and you need to be able to fix that before the production goes out the door.

My vote is for Effect > Limiter.

Set for Soft Limit, 0.00, 0.00, [wherever you want the limit to be], 10 > OK.

The Audiobook people use it like this.

Screen Shot 2021-03-16 at 7.28.52 PM.png
Their maximum volume is -3dB and this setting has a little slop room built in. You should not be able to hear this working.


Just adding something -

When Audacity shows red for clipping it’s showing possible clipping. It’s not necessarily clipped (yet). It might just go over 0dB.

And if you do have a clipped file it won’t show red if the levels have been reduced… It’s not analyzing the wave shape.

Thanks to you both for your responses.

I will certainly give this a try & let you know how I get on.

Thanks again for the advice.


To sum it up for you:

The best ways of refurbishing a clipped recording through editing are using equalization and applying compression. There are also a few good De-Clippers in audio repair software out there. This will usually help to make your clipped track sound at least a little more natural.

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