How to Make Things Louder on Audacity

Written by philip sim
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Audacity is a free audio recording and manipulation program. While it is free to use, it is hard to get a good recording volume without using a preamp, so you often need to boost sound levels. You can boost the gain, or volume, of an entire track, but this doesn't let you tinker with individual section that may be too quiet. The "Normalize" feature allows you to effect the maximum amplitude of a track or section, so you can make it quieter or louder, and also equalise the left and right channels.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Select the section of the recording that you want to make louder by dragging over the waveform in the display.

  2. 2

    Right-click on the highlighted section and select "Process," then "Normalize," or find the "Normalize" option in the Effects menu.

  3. 3

    Move the slider toward 0 decibels or type a higher number in the box, then click "OK." You should always be starting from a negative number, so moving toward 0 will increase the volume.

  4. 4

    Return to the main screen and observe the effect on the waveform. You will be able to tell at a glance if you've made it louder because the waveform will be bigger.

  5. 5

    Repeat steps 2 through 4 until the sound is at the desired level.

  6. 6

    Drag over the entire track and normalise it to a standard level if you want to equalise the left and right channels and get an even level of volume across the song.

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