Why Limiting?

I looked for existing content for this issue. GFTB tells me my wave form is showing a software imposed limit.
Another post here said to look for Effect > Volume and Compression > Limiter. My 3.2.4 offers me
Effect > Volume and Compression > Amplify / Compression / Loudness Normalization / Normalization.
I have attached the audio file he was reviewing.
I appreciate your help.
Thank you.

GFTB tells me


It doesn’t look limited to me. At least not “badly”. Did you use a limiter? Some of the loud parts MIGHT be slightly [u]clipped[/u] or limited.

You can get clipping somewhere in the analog signal path. Digital clipping normally happens at exactly 0dB but you can “hide” it if you lower the volume later. (Lowering the volume doesn’t really fix it or remove the distortion).

A limiter literally limits or “pushes down” the peaks. Usually they “round over” the peaks so you don’t get hard clipping. Audacity’s limiter is actually a little more advanced and it uses look-ahead (depending on the setting) so it doesn’t distort the waveform at all.

If you want to seewhat the limiter does, first run the Amplify effect with the default which will give you “maximized” 0dB peaks. Nest run the limiter at -9dB. The louder parts will be reduced and the quieter parts will be untouched.

Limiting is a kind of fast dynamic compression.

Limiting and compression are mostly used in audio production, along with make-up gain (or Normalizing after limiting) to bring-up the overall-average loudness without over-boosting or clipping the peaks. Almost all commercial recordings have limiting & compression (to “win” the loudness war). But when it’s over-done music loses it’s dynamic contrast, it becomes constant-volume and boring and/or you can get side-effects or it can sound like distortion.

A hardware limiter can be used during recording so unexpected peaks don’t clip the analog-to-digital converter or live with a PA system so you don’t clip the amplifier.

Tell us about how that was recorded - that may give an idea of what went wrong (that sample shows that “something” is wrong).
Include make / model numbers of the equipment if possible.

It would also help if you could post a short sample in WAV format, preferably a recording straight from the mic (no effects or processing).

The compression & limiting is happening before your audio reaches Audacity,
either via Windows audio enhancements (recording), or similar enhancements like MaxxAudio.

BTW that has distortion on the plosive “P” of “profile”. (and “S” of “Smith”).
That’s not fixable in post production. Need to do-over with a pop-shield.
(after you’ve disabled the audio enhancements).

Thank you, Everyone for responding.
I am using Audacity 3.2.4; sE2200, Scarlett 2i2, Dell laptop Inspiron 15, Windows 11. I will work on my plosives - blasting through the pop shield.
Questions from the responders:

That comes with MaxxAudio installed … https://www.google.com/search?q=“Dell+Inspiron+15”+MaxxAudio .
MaxxAudio can look like this or this.

Windows Audio enhancements & MaxxAudio can both be on by default.
[ Also Windows updates can re-enable audio enhancements which have been disabled].

The pop-shield has to be at least a hand’s-width (4") away from the microphone to be effective.

So much good information here.

  • pop filter distance. Hunh. The shock mount has a “sleeve” for the filter which places it 1.25" from mic.
  • I found MaXXAudio and found I could silence it.
  • I will continue with the other elements.
    Patricia M.

If it’s not adjustable, you can could add another on a goose-neck, (doubling-up on pop shields is OK) …