Volume Levels

I’m new to this, just trying to record my own vocals to backing track, I managed the recording and finishing the mixing, and when I play on pc or through headphones, volume is great, soon as I export the file to mp3 and then try to burn to cd, the output on my cars stereo is so low, that turning it up to full volume means it sounds as loud as you would normally expect a cd on half volume.
I have my recording volume set at 1.0(Full) in audacity 2.4, on my meters my vocals are peaking at about -7db, audio track peaks around -12 to - 10, could anyone please tell me where im going wrong? its like once I export to MP3, and record to cd, i’m losing massive volume

You’re not doing anything “wrong”.

After you’re all done mixing, etc., export as WAV and then re-import the file and Amplify or Normalize to bring the peaks up to (or near) 0dB (the “digital maximum”.)

It probably won’t be as loud as a modern [u]loudness war[/u] recording so if it’s still not loud enough for you try the Limiter or Compressor* (both with make-up gain) to bring-up the loudness without clipping (distorting). I recommend starting with the Limiter because there are fewer settings to play with and it tends to create fewer side effects. If you don’t like the sound or if it’s still not loud enough you can try compression.

Both of these reduce the musical dynamic contrast and if you over-do it you end-up with constant-volume which can be boring or you can end-up damaging/distorting the sound.

…You might want to try some limiting or compression in the vocal before mixing.

its like once I export to MP3, and record to cd…

If you are burning MP3s onto a CD, that’s fine. But if you are making a regular audio CD, export to WAV to avoid the unnecessary lossy compression. (And if you are making MP3s, compress ONCE as the last step.)


  • This is compression which is totally unrelated to MP3 file compression.

Many Than DVDdougks
I will try your suggestions

once again thanks for the help