I would like to confirm that the AMPLIFY effect setting and process I am using in Audacity to export recordings of records and tapes is not damaging the music.
I am using Windows 10, and Audacity 2.1.3
I am very pleased with the recording quality of Audacity for recording old records and tapes, but have a question about whether the final Amplify settings I am using are damaging the music tracks that I am exporting.
I am first capturing a ‘raw’ recording of an album/tape into Audacity to max out at around -6dB.
Once the original recording is produced in Audacity, I save a copy of that raw file, and then add the songs to the file. Once the songs are added to the file, I then export the tracks as WAV and MP3 files (see below) AFTER applying the Amplify effect to max out at -1dB.
I am exporting three different sets of the same music file tracks with each album I record:
- A set of tracks at 32Bit/41,100 Hz for high quality listening
- A set of tracks at 16Bit/41,100 Hz for recording CDs, if needed, and
- A set of MP3 files at 320Mbps.
To verify that Audacity is exporting these files at the ‘amplified’ volume I chose (-1dB), I test the files by importing them back into Audacity, selecting Amplify, and then checking the Amplification level that Audacity indicates the track is at. The tracks are usually at -1dB, as I requested, but occasionally will indicate fractionally different levels, particularly at the 16dB level, and even more so at the MP3 level indicated above. For example, rather than the -1dB that I set the Amplify effect at for export, I will sometimes see that the songs’ amplitude levels are -1.019, or -.9901, or -1.0001, or -.97091, rather than the -1.0dB that I requested.
My questions are the following:
- Is setting the amplitude level of -1dB for these three format levels acceptable, in order to prevent song damage/i.e. clipping?
- Is my methodology for verifying clipping/song damage of importing the files back into Audacity, after having originally exporting them, a sound/logical way to verify that the song(s) have not been ‘clipped’ or damaged? (I have been understanding from various forums that clipping/damage only occurs when the amplitude level of a file goes above 0dB- though, the the exact level above 0dB at which clipping occurs is not known).
- If setting the amplification level to -1dB for any of the formats listed above is NOT going to guarantee the prevention of song damage under the conditions I have indicated above for capturing music recordings in Audacity, what setting can one set the Amplitude level to, in order to guaranty preventing song damage?
Thank you, in advance, for your reply.