Volume levels in copied music

I have a file with music that was downloaded from various sites and they are all at different volume levels. Can i recopy them with Audacity so I am not constantly changing the volume up or down. Very new to this program. Thanks

It can be tricky because digital levels are limited by the peaks but perceived loudness doesn’t correlate well with the peaks. Most commercial tracks are normalized (maximized), including quiet-souning tracks, but the perceived loudness varies.

If you want to match a few tracks you can do it by ear:

  • Run the Amplify or Normalize effect to “maximize” all of the tracks individually.

  • Choose the quietest sounding track as your reference and adjust the others down to match (by ear).

Audacity has Loudness Normalization, but there are a couple of complications… Audacity doesn’t have a way of measuring LUFS loudness before you adjust. And depending on the loudness you choose you can end-up pushing the peaks into clipping (distortion).

If you have many tracks, your player software may support ReplayGain, or Apple has Sound Check. These pre-scan your files and adjust the volume before playback starts.

There are also versions called WaveGain and MP3Gain that make “permanent” adjustments to the files so you don’t have to rely on your player software.

All of the popular streaming sites use loudness matching so all of the songs on Spotify should be about the same loudness, etc. Because of this, if you record a song from a streaming service it will usually be quieter than the CD or purchased MP3.

By default, all of these loudness-matching tools use a target volume that’s low enough to volume-match most tracks (they reduce the volume of many/most tracks) and by default they won’t boost quiet-sounding songs into clipping. …Some quiet songs may remain a bit quieter than everything else.