?'s about input volume and playback volume

Audacity 2.0.2, but will upgrade shortly :slight_smile:

I recorded 16 files at two different times. The playback volume is different for both, even though I’m not aware of having done anything different or changed settings. I think I’m speaking at about the same level. In the future:

  1. If I always set the input level to the same number on my microphone, will the output volume be the same? I did not see where to set this in Audacity, but I did find it in the properties of my microphone.

  2. If that’s not right, how do I control this? Maybe normalizing is the answer, though I found it changed the quality of the sound ever so slightly. Or maybe there’s a way to set an output level that will make playback consistent from one file to the next?

For this same project, I also had three different speakers (we’re in different parts of the US, so no way to use exact same recording equipment). I asked them to use Audacity as well, so I could edit if needed. Again, there’s the issue of keeping the same playback volume throughout. I’ve been testing some solutions and this is the one I came up with and am ready to implement. I’m curious to know if there is a better or easier way.

  1. I exported all 20 files to mp3.
  2. I imported all of the files at one time and did Effect/Normalize
  3. I exported multiple. (I wasn’t sure I could do this with aup files)
  4. The volume was too loud. Even though I know the user can adjust, I wanted it at least comfortably loud.
  5. I started over, and when I normalized, I changed the decibel setting. This seemed to do the trick.

What I’m concerned about is if after my project is published and I have to make a change, how will I match the other files? Each file is on a separate “slide” in a tutorial, so is imported into the software. I don’t think when I normalize I can specify match file X to the level in file Y, right? I had this issue for a recent project and manually adjusted the sound, trial and error to get the new file to match the old. Very time consuming… but it worked!!!


That’s very old now. Audacity 2.1.3 is available from here: http://www.audacityteam.org/download/

The level in Audacity when recording from a mic depends on many things. In addition to the mic / pre-amp hardware, the factors affecting the recording level include:

  • The distance between microphone and sound source
  • Direction that the mic is pointing in relation to the sound source
  • How loud the sound source is
  • Depending on hardware, there may be additional settings in the Windows Sound Control Panel that affect recording level.