Volume of playback

All my recordings come out very low sound volume. I have to have playback volume at max and then they are just audible.

What are you recording? What are the meters showing when recording? What’s your hardware setup?

You can run the Amplify or Normalize effect after recording to boost the volume.

It’s normal to leave some headroom when recording to prevent clipping (distortion) on unexpected peaks.

But, if the recording level was low, the noise level will increase on the recording. Follow the recording level meter while recording

That depends… Turning-down the knob on an audio interface doesn’t hurt anything because it turns-down the signal and noise together.

Pros tend to record at around -12 to -18dB (at 24-bits).

If you are recording birds in the trees you’ll pick-more background noise, and the amplification will boost the acoustic noise and any preamp noise and the signal-to-noise ratio will be worse.

We don’t know what’s on those records. However, it can be assumed that it is mainly about voice recording

I have the same problem. It plays loud in Audacity, but when I export, it is even lower.

What about when you re-open it in Audacity?

That’s weird because the Audacity volume control (like most software volume controls) doesn’t go over 100%. It only attenuates.

When I reopen the file the audio is still increased, then if I play the file on a MS .mp3 player it is not. I used to do this all the time in previous versions. Something happens during export.
BTW, I ‘Select All’, and use the ‘Amplify’, Effect from the menu. That has always worked when I exported the file.

If it’s still loud when you re-open it, it’s not happening during Export.

There is a difference between the player software and Audacity. If your player software has an Equalizer that can lower the volume, or there could be some other processing/effects. I don’t know what MS.mp3 player is but maybe there is an EQ preset for “Rock”, “Rap”, “Jazz”, etc?

When done “properly”, equalization does normally lower the volume because boosting with EQ, or boosting with anything, can push the digital levels into clipping (distortion).

I am using MicroSoft Media Player, to play back the .mp3 file, just like i have done for years, but this version of Audacity does not have the same results.

Amplify may be what you need. Compressor can boost the low stuff if you have some higher volume parts. I am not an epert or anything, but I use amplify and compressor quite a bit

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