How to Change the Audio Volume in Audacity: 3 Ways

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How to Change the Audio Volume in Audacity: 3 Ways

There are several reasons why you may need to adjust the level of your audio in Audacity. A recording may sound too low, or some portions may be louder than others, but you don’t have to start again.

Depending on your scenario, there are numerous simple methods to modify the level of the audio in Audacity, which we will demonstrate below.

1. Adjust the Gain Slider

Changing the gain slider on the audio track is one of the easiest methods to increase the loudness. It’s on the left side of the editing timeline, just below the Audio Track and Mute buttons. The slider is set to the middle by default, but you may move it to the + symbol on the right to increase the gain and to the – sign on the left to reduce it.

Changing the slider will not affect how the audio appears in the editing timeline, but you will notice a difference. It’s also not a permanent alteration, so you may return the slider to 0 dB at any point to restore the previous amount of audio boost.

This approach has limitations; the maximum gain you may increase is +36 dB, or -32 dB if you wish to decrease it. More crucially, by employing this approach, the volume adjustment will be applied to the whole track. If you just want to change the volume of one option, you must create a new track or use an alternative approach.

When using a DAW, audio gain is comparable to loudness but might signify other things. If you need a reminder, check out our explanation of gain vs volume.

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2. Normalize the Audio

To equalize audio in Audacity, go to Effect > Normalize and adjust the Normalize peak amplitude to the desired level. If you want to hear how it sounds, click the Preview option, and then OK to implement the modification. Look at the screenshot above to observe the loudness difference before and after normalizing the audio.

Normalizing a track in Audacity changes the loudness to meet a predefined objective. You may use it to boost the overall loudness of your audio, or you can apply it to a collection of various audio files to make them all sound “normal.” In other words, no track sounds noticeably louder or quieter than the others.

The Normalize peak amplitude parameter is set to -1dB by default, which is an excellent place to start. In a nutshell, the overall volume of the selection will grow until the loudest element of the audio, also known as the peak, meets the -1dB objective.

Keep in mind that boosting the level of your audio will also increase the loudness of any background noise in the recording. This impact operates in both directions, so if you wish to reduce the volume, set a goal lower than the peak amplitude (the loudest point).

3. Use the Amplify Effect

The Amplify effect in Audacity may achieve the same outcomes as Normalize, but there are certain reasons why you would choose one over the other. To utilize this effect, pick Effect > Amplify after highlighting your audio selection. You may preview the changes again or click OK to implement them.

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Let’s look at the choices in the Amplify dialogue box now. First, you may adjust the volume of your music using the slider, or you can enter an exact dB value using the two input boxes.

The first box called Amplification (dB) by default will show you how many dBs you need to boost the level to achieve the objective of 0.0 dB. The second box titled New Peak Amplitude (dB) sets this goal, and altering one will effect the other.

Overall, you have three options for changing the level: raise the volume by dBs in the first box, use the slider to modify the volume, or specify a target volume in the second box.

The primary distinction between Normalize and Amplify is how they influence the left and right channels of a stereo audio. Normalize changes both the left and right channels individually to get the desired level. However, Amplify changes the loudness of both the left and right channels by the same amount.

What Method Should You Use?

Which of the three ways should you use to enhance or reduce the loudness of your audio? While each case is unique, there are some broad standards you may follow.

To begin, the Gain Slider is excellent for making minor volume adjustments to a full track. However, as you start placing many audio clips on a track, you may only want to edit one piece. If that’s the case, use Amplify or Normalize to permanently enhance the loudness of a selection while leaving everything else on the track alone.

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Choose Amplify from the two choices if you wish to increase the volume of a music equally for both the loud and quiet portions. Use Normalize at the conclusion of your process, on the other hand, to ensure that your music sounds comparable in volume to other songs you would hear on Spotify, for example.

Audacity has many creative applications, and as your audio editing abilities improve, you’ll learn when to apply each approach. For the time being, though, understanding how to modify the level will help you generate more professional music.

Check out our article on how to compose music using Audacity at home if you want to start utilizing it to its full potential.

More Than One Way to Change the Volume in Audacity

When it comes to audio editing, changing the volume is one of the most useful abilities you can have. There are many approaches, each with its own set of advantages. You may start mixing your audio for better results now that you know what these volume-changing effects and tools are.

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