Reducing sound just for clipping?

Hello fellow audacity users! I have a question. So I’m trying to make my songs louder. And I’ve been doing this by amplifying the songs. This leaves a lot of clipping. So what I’ve been doing is clicking the “show clipping” button and zooming in real far: by using the pencil tool I’ll go up to wherever the red lines exist and move the “dots of sound” slightly away from the edge of the grey so that the portion of audio is pretty much the same volume but no longer clipping. It works marvelously, but it takes HOURS to go through the entire song and do this. Is there a way that I can do this to all the clipping points in one shot?

(btw sorry if this is a repost, I couldn’t find the other one I posted, apparently it doesn’t exist)

Try the [u]Limiter[/u] effect set to Hard Limit.

Make sure you’ve got the latest version of Audacity because there older version of the limiter that was just a clipper.

Depending on the amount of limiting (or compression*) you may begin to notice the loss of dynamics and if you over-do it, it will begin to sound like distortion. That’s true even if you do it “by hand”.


  • Limiting is a type of “fast” dynamic compression. Clipping is also a type of dynamic compression.

If you would just as soon your music sound more natural, Amplify everything as you’re doing now and Effect > Limiter > Soft Limit as in the illustration. It should fix all the red lines in the timeline and should sound less harsh. This is a cousin to a recommended compression scheme for reading audiobooks without sounding harsh or unreal.
Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 20.50.26.png
If you don’t have that limiter, then you may have an older Audacity. Get Audacity 2.1.2 from here.