Volume questions

I have read a little about changing the volume of wav files. But I’m not getting intelligent results from Audacity. I import the wav file. The I select a portion or all of the file. When I open Amplify I expect the numbers to be related to the current file. But the final results tell me that’s not correct. I have placed new number into the text boxes for the volume and then tried the Preview which tells me the volume is getting lower, but too often once I burn the file, the volume may be the same or even louder so I"m completely puzzled by how to use the filter. I’m using Win10 pro and 2.1 audacity.

Are you exporting to a new file name, so you’re sure you’re using the modified file?

Try a drastic volume reduction (maybe -20dB) to prove to yourself it’s working. (I’m pretty sure it’s working.)

The only limitation I know of is if you don’t allow clipping,* there’s an upper limit to the amount of amplification you can get. If you try to go too high (with Allow clipping unchecked) the ‘OK’ button will be greyed-out.

If you import a format that already goes over 0dB, Amplify can only reduce the volume unless you allow clipping. If you import a “regular” WAV file that’s maximized/normalized to 0dB, your only choices are to reduce the volume or leave it the same.

Note that ‘dB’ can refer to the existing volume (the maximum, average, RMS, etc.) or it can refer to a relative change. i.e. If your current peaks are hitting -3dB and you amplify by +1dB, the new peak will be -2dB.

2.1 audacity.

The current version is 2.1.2.


  • If you are exporting to floating-point the file won’t actually be clipped.

Are you also sure you are exporting as WAV for burning? If you export as MP3 you will lose quality and the volume level may change.

Have you checked that the CD burning software is not applying normalization or gain?