Volume levels on a live concert


Newbie here - thanks for any help you can give.

I have a live rock concert recorded to one track and made on a hand held recorder with auto record levels set to ‘on’. As a result the volume level in the .wav file jumps up and down as the auto level in the recorder has kicked in and out.

Is there a way of Audacity setting an overall output volume level and normalising to that level - so increasing or reducing the volume of parts of the track where necessary. I have tried 'normalisation of the whole track but this did not appear to achieve what I was hoping for - a constant output volume throughout.

As I say, newbie with limited understanding, so any help appreciated.



You have at least two choices.

  1. Use the Envelope Tool to manually adjust the levels.

  2. Use the Compressor effect to automatically adjust the levels.

I recommend using the envelope tool. In my opinion you will mess about with the compressor for quite a while attempting to get just the right settings, and in that time would have gotten the job done using the envelope tool. However, if the auto-level function of the recorder was operating a lot (like during songs, not just between songs), then the compressor might be the better option. Then again, the compressor might mess up the dynamics during songs making the recording sound even worse. You’ll need to experiment.

– Bill

If you do use the compressor, you will be trying to duplicate the attack and fall times and the gain values of the recorder. Some companies can do that. Dolby Labs made quite a name for themselves being able to compress and uncompress sound without you being able to tell what they did.

It’s not simple.