Why did the volume get so loud?

I’m trying to record my own audio book. I noticed that when I did the first chapter, the volume seemed rather low and I assumed it must be the settings. Since there are so many choices with everything in this program, I left everything as it was, thinking that after I recorded all the chapters, I could simply use Effect, Amplify and set things there and it would all be okay.

Today, I went to do the 2nd chapter and opened Audacity as usual and added a stereo track on, as I did with Chapter 1. I recorded and when I went to listen back to it, it was so loud I couldn’t believe it! What happened? I checked all the settings with the first chapter and it’s identical with the second chapter. I can’t understand why this happened or how to fix it. And it has now stopped me from doing anymore recording. Any suggestions?

The good news is, there is a [u]Recommended Audiobook Mastering Process[/u] that you can run chapter-by-chapter to standardize the volumes.

If it’s just a loudness variation it may not be a problem. Unexpected low levels can sometimes be an indication of problem.

Or if you’re are getting [u]clipping[/u] (overload distortion) that’s a PROBLEM. By default Audacity [u]shows red for clipping[/u]. The Show Clipping feature is pretty-good just-after recording but in reality it’s showing potential clipping and if you change the level after recording the red clipping indication can be wrong.

Windows has some [u]“enhancements”[/u] that can monkey with the loudness or otherwise alter the sound that these should be turned-OFF.

Today, I went to do the 2nd chapter and opened Audacity as usual and added a stereo track on, as I did with Chapter 1

Are you mixing-in music? That will make it “louder” (and there could be issues if you are publishing the book).

I am not using any music.
I think I figured it out. I either accidentally hit the volume button for the mic, located just under the pause and play buttons & I could have gotten too close to the mic when I was speaking. Anyway, I got it to go back normal.

I have another question if you can answer it …or let me know if I need to repost somewhere else.

I recorded a few sentences and placed them in-between some audio that I had previously recorded. These new sentences are louder than the rest that comes before and after. How do I make the entire section with these short sentences, the same level as the rest, so it all sounds the same?

Also, because I recorded on a couple different days for one chapter, the first half is lower in sound level than the second half. How do I make it all the same level for loudness?

Envelope tool allows local control of volume …