when amplifying, does recording degrade?

Hi All:

Like others on the forum, I have recorded albums on a stereo which does not have equal ouput to
both channels. The left channel is approximately 3.5 (dB) lower than the right. Or pretty close.
I split the tracks, increased the left channel by 3.5 dB than rejoined the tracks. Upon zooming
in on the left track it appears the wave forms are not quite so intricate as the right track which was
left as it had been recorded.

My question is given the appearance is now different on the left and right tracks will Audacity still convert to
MP3? Also has there been any loss of fidelity by my doing this. And will ‘Normalize’ do the same thing without
my having to split tracks as I have read, without loss of fidelity. Ive spent a lot of time recording these records and would like the result to be as good as Im capable of doing.

Thanks for any suggestions…

I personally would be looking for the real problem. If you turn off the “good” channel, is the remaining one crisp and clear and just a little low, or is it muffled and distorted and low? Can you check the stylus for cat hairs or other damage?

Amplify doesn’t introduce any significant damage to the show. It just makes waves higher and the sound louder.

I bet the sound on that low channel is of very low quality in addition to being low volume. There is no cure for that.



Thanks for the reply. I`m not sure why this stereo does the lower-left channel thing
but the music sounds clear and crisp and when the sound waves are zoomed in on
they appear the same in fidelity as the right channel. Nevertheless this is what I have
to work with.

I ‘normalized’ a recording last night and can not distiguish between it and
one that is straight out of the machine. What change should I be looking for when I

Thanks for your help kozikowski and if anyone else has any perspectives I`d be glad
to have you share them.


Sorry guys, I just realized I`m in the wrong category. I will improve…



are you sure that you have your cartridge aligned correctly?

My cartridge came with a protractor to mount on the TT to set the horizontal alignment correctly - anf for the vertical alignment I us a small thin mirror on the TT mat (lowerg the stylus onto the mirror very gently and very carefully)

Proper alignment can make a huge difference.

Also Koz’ point anout clearing any crud or cat hairs of the stus is important too - I would warn against using any alcohol based solvent to do this - I managed to un-glue the stylus from one of my expensive Shure cartridges doing just this :blush:

Also ensure that the connectors on to the catridge’s four pins are on tight and clean (do this carefully)

When I started my vinyl transcription I treated my TT to a home service abd a new cartridge.


Normalize and Amplify do similar jobs. They adjust levels so that the highest level in any one performance goes to a set level. Normalize adjusts each side independently, Amplify adjusts them both together.

The tools are very simple minded. They do not adjust volume except as an accident and all you need is one cat hair on the record (click or pop) and both tools are dead.

I would split the tracks up with the tools under the black arrow on the left, apply amplify manually to equalize the levels and then recombine. I don’t think you have any other choice. And no, I don’t think there will be any perceptible damage for only a 3dB change. All changes affect the quality, but these kinds of changes approach zero damage.

You may have one problem that’s keeping these tools from working. Amplify by design will not push waves over zero. If you have significant pops and clicks in the recording, you may need to push the clicks into overload in order to bring the music up. This is a setting in the Amplify control panel.


Or remove the clicks prior to doing further processing.