reducing volume, reducing clipping

Wanting to record library audio book for a long trip out west (US – internet spotty).

The book is online (not CD) download. I can record the audio but the library player does not have a volume control. The audio stream has a fair amount of clipping. I have reduced the input microphone to zero and still get the same clipping.

Is there a way to reduce the incoming volume, maybe in Windows itself, to reduce the clipping?

Using Windows 11 and your latest Audacity version.

Thank you,

It sounds like the original source has embedded clipping which you will be unable to get rid of. If the clipping is light you can try Clip Fix.

Thank you very much Jademan,

Why would the audio intentionally embed clipping?


Who said intentional :question:

Thank you again,

Maybe intentional is the wrong word.

I’m no professional but I would think an audio production would have the clipping removed before placing on the web or CD.

Or is this a technical limitation of the inbound receiving (playing) computer? Audacity shows the range from -1 to 1. Clipping would, as I understand, occur if the volume is outside this range. Would not the professional making the recording want to make sure the audio output on their device was within that range or does the actual range on the inbound computer vary by computer due to technical specs?

Since the online audio player has no volume control to reduce the volume, is there a Windows 10 or 11software adjustment that can lower the volume of the broadcast audio book (in this case) prior to recording with Audacity?

Trying to understand the underlying science of this.



You might think that that would be so. There are others here who can speak to audiobook production. Perhaps someone else would like to chime in on this subject.

I would think an audio production would have the clipping removed

There is no “have the clipping removed.” Clipping or overload distortion is one of the four hoursemen (#2)

The Four Horsemen of Audio Recording (reliable, time-tested ways to kill your show)
– 1. Echoes and room reverberation (Don’t record the show in your mum’s kitchen.)
– 2. Overload and Clipping (Sound that’s recorded too loud is permanently trashed.)
– 3. Compression Damage (Never do production in MP3.)
– 4. Background Sound (Don’t leave the TV on in the next room.)

If the clipping is light you can try Clip Fix.

Clip Fix has a concept problem. It’s designed to reduce overload distortion for one brief audio wave by comparing it to smaller, undamaged waves before and after. When it’s 100% successful, it doesn’t reconstruct the sound at the repair point, just the overall shape of the wave.

Everybody wants to turn Clip Fix loose on a destroyed audio performance with massive continuous overload distortion and clipping damage and have Clip Fix turn the smoldering disaster into a studio performance.

Nope. Probably not.

ACX makes it perfectly clear that they will not accept an audiobook submission that’s even close to clipping. Their peak standard is -3dB. Anything louder than that is cause for rejection. What you got might be an accident by the book supplier or much more likely, you have a Windows setting wrong.

If you’re recording your target book for playback later, doesn’t that mean you have to sit through the entire multi-hour live performance to record it?

Are you sure the supplier doesn’t allow you to actually download the sound files? I think our library system will let us do that (I’ve never tried it).

Since the online audio player has no volume control to reduce the volume

And right there we have you doing something wrong. No public display service would work that way. Book services would work through Windows Media, Quicktime Player or other service with volume controls. You should get this to work normally before you try to record it.