Using Amplify

I’ve been using audacity to capture some analog audio from a Rode NT1A with a Digitech wrong-tool-for-the-job GNX 3000. The input levels are maxed on the GNX, but I’m still about 5Dbs shy (at peak amplitude) of 0Db and maxing out my input.

In Audacity, I’ve been using Amplify to get the levels up there. It (in very cool fashion) looks at the dynamic range and then amplifies accordingly, all the way up to 0Db.

However, the dynamic range isn’t the same througout. This is a purely vocal recording, so there isn’t typically much range, but when I hit a hard “P” it might be about -5Db where the rest of the recording is -10Db, and thus Amplify would boost differently based on which part I select compared with selecting the whole track.

So, my question is, should I be using Amplify to get to 0Db a chunk at a time? If so, then how large a chunk? The time it would take isn’t an issue, despite the tracks - collectively - being about 8 hrs.

Any direction would be appreciated.

wht do you like
what does the performance demand

possibly the hard “P” shoudl be louder

some folks here like just amplifying the whole track
think that the extra variance between songs is more realistic
i totally disagree , but they should be along to tell you why i am wrong real soon now

i like more consistent sound
and for classical music i also compress to a max 30dB range
so it can be listened to and enjoyed at home

i had a recital that i recorded
the pieces were all over the place wrt loudness
so i selected each and amplified each piece to -1 (being cautious)
so that the entire performance would sound better
due to different instruments, different locations, etc.

i also had to do the applause separately becuase it was so much louder than any of the musical selections

you do realise taht even if you amplified everything to -10
you could still make your ears bleed if you turn the knob on the
amp to the right ?

<<<looks at the dynamic range and then amplifies accordingly, all the way up to 0Db. >>>

It looks at the whole wave, both sides, and brings everything up the same amount until the highest peak hits either zero, or the value you set. That’s not what everybody wants, but that’s what it does. “Normalize” does that, too, but it does it to Left and Right individually.

You probably want one of the volume compressors which does consider the dynamic range. Many of us like Chris’s Compressor for this.

Chris’s Compressor

It levels the blue waves and makes everything louder without seeming to do anything.


I’ll definitely give Chris’ Compressor a try. Too bad it’s just for PC, but I’ve got one of those, too. :slight_smile:


There is a Nyquist Plug-in version on his web site that works in Audacity (Windows/Linux/Mac)