Tips to Increase WAVE Recording Levels?

Make my first Audacity recording using WASAPI levels.

Read Tutorial - Making a Test Recording and info that using WASAPI and loop back the input level will be locked as was may recording.

Did forum search and found reply by DVDdoug also mentioning this in this case the level was too high.

Am looking for tips how to adjust for max level.

Audacity scans your file when you open it and the Amplify effect will instantly default to whatever gain (or attenuation) needed for “maximized” 0dB peaks. The Normalize effect works similarly but there are a couple more features/options. Those are simple-straightforward loudness changes that don’t damage sound quality.

0dBFS (zero-decibels full-scale) is “digital limit” and that’s as high as you can go linearly (without altering the sound character/quality). 0dB the absolute maximum amplitude for regular (integer) WAV files, CDs, analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analog converters (DACs). If you try to go higher than that you’ll get [u][/u] (distortion).

…Audacity can go higher “internally” and there are formats that go higher, but you’ll clip your DAC if you play it at “full digital volume”.

The peaks don’t correlate well with perceived loudness and there are many “quiet sounding” songs that are normalized for 0dB peaks. So if you want to go louder, dynamic compression (and limiting which is a kind of fast compression) will make the loud parts quieter and/or the quiet parts louder.

Typically, compression and limiting “push down” the peaks/loud parts and then make-up gain is used to bring-up the overall loudness and make “everything loud”. Of course, this does affect the character of the sound and music can be very boring if has constant loudness throughout the song. And if you over-do it you can get side effects.

If you want to try this, start with the Limiter effect set to “hard limit”. It’s more foolproof, and there are fewer options/settings than compression. Amplify or Normalize first so you have a known starting-point. Then try 3 to 6 dB of limiting, with make-up gain.

DVDdoug Thanks for your detailed comments.

Since posting Googled and found Normalizing vs. Amplifying only prob it is dated 2011 so do not know how accurate it is for the latest ver. so checked the man Amplify and Normalize

Checked the recording and there is no DC offset present. Also as a beginner want to keep things simple (no Macro to bring a track or files to a specific level) so am thinking of choosing Amplify.

Do you agree?

Amplify and Normalize are sister tools. They both work on sound peaks (not loudness) and the only difference is the handles or controls. As you noted, only Normalize has the DC Removal setting. Amplify has easier settings for difference adjustments.

There are variations. There is an RMS Normalize which is a custom tool for use in AudioBooks. That one does set loudness and with the other two mastering tools can create stable, matching spoken-word voice performances.