Wave Line Amptitude

Forgive me for my being new to Audacity and this forum. I’ve researched the help and tutorials and have not found an answer to my problem.

Using Windows 10, Audacity 2.3.2.

I’ve recorded interviews on a Rodecaster podcast mixer using two dynamic microphones plugged separately into channels 1 and 2. The levels on the Rodecaster vu meters look fine and full. But when I open the resulting WAV file from the SD card in Audacity, the amptitude of the wave line is small, barely audible.

I can “normalize” the tracks to expand them and get more volume (still not full, in my opinion) - but this seems more like a band-aid than a cure.

What am I doing wrong? Thanks - Bob

If normalizing (independently) to 0dB isn’t loud enough …

Apply Audcaity’s (soft) Limiter with make-up gain …

soft limit to -3dB with make-up gain.png

It’s a little unusual to get a “mismatch” between the meters on the interface and the Audacity levels unless you record in mono from a stereo interface. The meters usually show what’s going-into the ADC (analog-to-digital converter) inside your interface and Audacity “captures” the digital audio stream coming out of the ADC. (If you record in mono the individual levels are cut in half so both channels mixed together get-back-back to 100%.)

Have you tried recording directly to an SD card? If you get the same results that would tell you there’s nothing wrong with the computer-side of things.

Also, I see there is some special software for your interface. There may be some configuration options, or a software mixer, or something else affecting the recording.

Also make sure [u]Windows “Enhancements”[/u] are turned off.

I can “normalize” the tracks to expand them and get more volume (still not full, in my opinion) -

It’s normal to leave headroom for unexpected peaks, and then boost (Normalize or Amplify) later. The LAST thing you want is to clip (distort) the ADC by “trying” to go over 0dB and analog microphone levels are somewhat unpredictable.

And as Trebor says, It’s also normal for it be a little quiet-sounding after normalizing. Almost all professional recordings are dynamically compressed and limited (limiting is a kind of dymanic compression). Dynamic compression makes the loud parts quieter and/or the quiet parts louder. In practice, compression and limiting are used to bring-up the overall loudness without clipping the peaks.


Your Rodecaster is a 4-channel interface (unless they make more than one version). If you ever want to use more than 2 microphones, Audacity does NOT work great as a multi-track recorder you may want to use one of the applications recommended by Rode, or another multitrack DAW.