Weird Question about Amping and Repair

Hi, I’ve got a very odd inquiry about Audacity. That lovely little repair feature is very useful for fixing the edges of a spot you have amped up or down. Well I have some audio I need to amp up anywhere from 0.5 to 2.0 db, and I don’t want to use compression (nor am I very good at it).

As you might imagine, doing this while allowing clipping creates anywhere from a few to a hundred red clipping line warnings on your track. I am wondering if there is a way (or if anyone developing cares enough to implement a way) where you can automate the process:

-Say I want to amp a file by 1.5 dB. This cannot be done without clipping.
-Search each spot that WOULD be clipping if you had actually amped it that much
-Amp it down the appropriate amount
-Use the repair feature on the ends of each small amped area of audio samples.

Again I have no doubt this is a totally weird thing to ask, but it would save me so much time as I have to do this one line at a time and it is miserably tedious.

Thanks for reading!!

I think you’re working way too hard. Effect > Limiter is right down your alley. Used in it’s most graceful settings, it will “squash” the sharp, upward peaks without affecting anything else and as long as you don’t go nuts, can’t be heard while it’s working. It’s invisible. “For Some Reason” the peaks fit now and all the red marks went away.

You may have to download and install it.


To be fair, limiter is a compressor. It’s changing the characteristics of the blue wave in your show, not just straight, plain boosting or reducing them. So technically, it’s distortion, although tiny and desirable.

The trick with processing, even compression, is not be able to tell I did anything. The AudioBook readers run into this. They process their voice so much that the publisher rejects the submission because the voice sounds like trash: cellphone voice, talking into a wine glass, etc. They’re doing it wrong.


Hahaha this is so true! Yeaaah, I’m self taught so I haven’t pressed every music/audio-oriented button to know what they all do yet. Lots to learn. Feels like a cheat code compared to what I was doing, I can’t tell you how grateful I am, and the fast reply too.

Thank you so much this is exactly what I needed!

((Sorry I would edit my reply but I didn’t see yours and everything is mod approved))

I agree! The loudness war and over compressing the heck out of albums is ludicrous, I NEVER want to be part of that! I have a limiter and compressor in FL but I’m very visual and I started learning with Audacity way before that. This is very helpful for trial and error and it works great. Thanks again I really appreciate it.

If you post enough times without trying to sell us anything, the moderation fades away.

It’s bad form to go back and edit an old post. You could post additional information which will vanish because I, at least, don’t always go back and read everything that came before. On longer posts, going back is impractical.

Yes, if you’re used to normal forums, this one will make you reach for your acceleration collar. There’s a joke of “dueling posts” where an elf and poster submit at the same time and they keep stepping on each other. “OK, you post, I’m going to go make tea.”

The active forum elves are sprayed over 9 time zones. I’m the westernmost one.


The loudness war

By the way, I’m not talking about the loudness war. I’m talking about passing technical sound standards for audiobook reading. They’re pretty stiff. Flynwill designed an analysis tool from older parts that mimics the ACX AudioBook Quality Control Robot. You don’t have to wait for a technical rejection from ACX. You can reject yourself from the comfort and convenience of your own home.

One of the ACX specifications is the one you’re struggling with. The extreme sound peaks must not get louder than -3dB. But when you lower the volume to pass that, the overall loudness of your voice may not be enough. So you can compress and mess with the loudness only to have the background noise get too loud. You stop talking and it goes ffffffffff. It’s not unusual for new readers to describe the long list of filters, effects, corrections and patches they’ve added to their voice to force it to pass. Typically that gives you cellphone voice because it’s similar to the processing your phone does so you can make a call from a busy street. Your show may make it past the robot testing, but it’s going to crash the first time a human tester listens to it.

And etc.

I wish I had saved it. One of the posters said, “This is straight voice reading. How hard could it be.”

It’s not complicated. Anybody can walk into a studio, sit down, read a chapter into a not particularly expensive microphone, pack up and go home. What you can’t do it set up on the kitchen table next to a busy street.

You may have run into this already. Everybody leaves out the quiet room. You shouldn’t.


Oh well this is for music, I don’t know anything about that stuff hahaha. I wanted to get these songs as close as humanly possible to the same volume before the mastering process in a few weeks. When I would save the latest version for testing on speakers, headphones etc., some would take 5 mins of that process I explained in the OP, and others 45 min to an hour. I just started losing my mind due to how tedious it is so I made a good decision to come here and ask about it :mrgreen:

You may be a candidate for another process. Chris’s compressor was designed so he could listen to opera in the car. It automatically jiggers volume on the fly through a musical piece so everything comes out about the same.

To change density and loudness, change the first value, Compress Ratio. The default is 0.5. I use it so I can listen to “wild” podcasts while hiking. I change Compress Ratio from 0.5 to 0.77 and the shows are very similar to radio broadcast. Broadcast compressors are the reason you don’t have to constantly jockey the volume control when you’re driving around.

Yes the controls are a little techie. Chris expired before he could refine the program and interface. The only known bug is an inability to handle dead silence at the beginning and end. I leave some unedited podcast trash at the ends and cut it off after compression. Even with that, the process may be a lot easier than what you’re doing.