The all-new "HELP! I have an Audacity problem" thread

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tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » August 4th, 2019, 4:49 am

I also strongly suggest Phil Chenevert's excellent videos. See this Wiki page. Look for the word "Edit" on that page and watch those videos.
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ColleenMc
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Post by ColleenMc » August 5th, 2019, 5:49 pm

Is there a limit to how much you can use the Amplify function to raise the volume of a recording? 5-10-20-30 decibels? If there is a limit, what the options to make a recording louder past that point -- is there something else to try or would you have to re-record?

Thanks,
Colleen

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » August 5th, 2019, 6:12 pm

ColleenMc wrote:
August 5th, 2019, 5:49 pm
Is there a limit to how much you can use the Amplify function to raise the volume of a recording? 5-10-20-30 decibels? If there is a limit, what the options to make a recording louder past that point -- is there something else to try or would you have to re-record?

Thanks,
Colleen
Yes, there's a limit. The limit is "clipping" - when the wave forms reach maximum.

Audacity will show the maximum amount you can amplify when you highlight and go to Effect/Amplify. The number in the box is the max amount for that selection, where the highest peak will hit maximum. If you go past this (which there's a tick box in Audacity to allow clipping), it loses data (the stuff that went over maximum) and can cause unpleasant distortion. So don't check that box. :)

What I do to amplify without clipping is use Compressor. It squishes down the spikes so that you can amplify more.

One of Phil's videos on compression: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ3lOTDsN6c

My default settings are as follows:
Threshold: -13 dB (This is the volume level of the wave form where it'll start to compress. -13 is a very light compression. On other recordings, I've done as much as -23 dB).
Noise Floor: -40 dB (this is the volume of your background noise. Leave it at default.)
Ratio: 2.5:1 - 3:1 (this is how much it'll squish the spikes)
Attack: 0.2 (leave at default)
Decay: 1.0 (leave at default)
NO checks in the check boxes

After compression you can amplify more.
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ColleenMc
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Post by ColleenMc » August 5th, 2019, 6:48 pm

Thank you! This is very helpful!

Colleen

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Post by lurcherlover » August 6th, 2019, 6:39 am

It is best to record at a reasonable level (it's called gain staging) so you do not have to increase or decrease the levels in post production. If you get close to LV's required levels then there is no need to increase (or decrease) levels more than 1, 2 or 3dB. Audacity is good at adjusting these amounts as previously mentioned, and you will end up with a better quality reading. If you record very low, for example, when you increase the gain by 20-30dB in Audacity the noise floor will increase as well and result in a noisier recording, and then you have to employ noise reduction which further degrades the quality.

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Post by KevinS » August 21st, 2019, 7:44 am

Does anyone use 'click reduction'? (Is that what it's called? Removal?) I'm assuming this is to remove the clicks made by the mouse, but I could be wildly mistaken. I've never understood the darn thing, but, in truth, I end up editing out the 'clicks' by hand easily enough.
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TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » August 21st, 2019, 10:23 am

The built-in "click remover" doesn't work well, IMHO. Instead, I use the de-clicker plugin that you have to install. And I only use it locally (not over a whole file) because it can cut out your wanted clicks (D and T sounds, for example).

Here's a thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=52753
The Panama Canal Zone during construction: Zone Policeman 88
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KevinS
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Post by KevinS » August 21st, 2019, 11:35 am

TriciaG wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 10:23 am
The built-in "click remover" doesn't work well, IMHO. Instead, I use the de-clicker plugin that you have to install. And I only use it locally (not over a whole file) because it can cut out your wanted clicks (D and T sounds, for example).

Here's a thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=52753
Thank you!
"E agora, José?"

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Post by pschempf » August 24th, 2019, 12:53 pm

I recently bought a new laptop. I installed the current version of Audacity (2.3.2). My old laptop had 2.1.1. I'm having issues with the window that displays the waveform. In the old version the background was white; now it is gray and turns white for selected text. The cursor in the new version is is also smaller than in the older version. Both of these issues make it harder for me to see where I am in the text while editing. Is there a place in Audacity to change these settings? Going from a 17" screen to a 13" screen didn't help either, but I don't miss the weight of my old machine.

The new version also has a playback delay. When I click to start the playback, there's a 1 second or so delay. Tolerable, but it would be nice if the playback started immediately as it did in the older version.
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Post by philchenevert » September 12th, 2019, 11:32 am

I just made a video on how to download The latest Checker program and use it to find your volume level. Since Audacity has no built in way to to this I thought it might go in this thread as a work around to a common problem https://youtu.be/QKVOYsaDoRo The first four minutes is how to download it and the last part is how to find a decibel level. :D
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Thirsch
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Post by Thirsch » September 22nd, 2019, 7:16 pm

philchenevert wrote:
September 12th, 2019, 11:32 am
I just made a video on how to download The latest Checker program and use it to find your volume level. Since Audacity has no built in way to to this I thought it might go in this thread as a work around to a common problem https://youtu.be/QKVOYsaDoRo The first four minutes is how to download it and the last part is how to find a decibel level. :D
Phil

What is the latest version of Checker? I always like to make sure I'm using the most up-to-date product and I love Checker for all it does --- particularly helping to maintain a constant volume level.

Thanks
Tom
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philchenevert
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Post by philchenevert » September 22nd, 2019, 7:50 pm

What is the latest version of Checker? I always like to make sure I'm using the most up-to-date product and I love Checker for all it does --- particularly helping to maintain a constant volume level.

Thanks
Tom
The one I downloaded is 0.96
Phil Chenevert, The LibriVox Video Guy
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Need Help? Lots of Helpful Videos Here

Thirsch
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Post by Thirsch » September 23rd, 2019, 9:47 am

Great :clap: Thanks. That's what I have.
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lymiewithpurpose
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Post by lymiewithpurpose » October 5th, 2019, 10:57 am

Ok guys, usually I am pretty tech savvy (though nowhere near an expert) and can figure things out, but I'm having a strange Audacity problem. So I start recording, and occasionally need to stop it to turn pages or other stuff (I do use punch and roll). Usually the first time I stop it it's fine, but by the second or third time I get a message that asks for my password for 'debugging to continue'. Audacity promptly then stops responding and I have to force quit it. When I re open it, it says I can recover my file but doesn't have much of the recording I had done, so I lose a lot. I am using the latest version of Audacity, so I don't know why this is happening. I have tried putting my mic in different ports (not sure why that would help) and googling the issue, but can't find much. Any ideas?
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GrayHouse
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Post by GrayHouse » October 5th, 2019, 11:11 am

I don't think it's an Audacity problem. This may provide some solutions...

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