Audacity - Amplifying without clipping?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by rsherid, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    I'm trying to make one of my songs from GarageBand louder. So I opened it with Audacity, went to Effect > Amplify, but it won't let me increase the dB level without selecting "Allow Clipping."

    Isn't clipping bad? Why can I only amplify it by allowing clipping?
  2. macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
    did you try "Normalize"?

    I think Garageband normalizes when you export anyhow so maybe that won't make a difference.
  3. macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2010
    Use a Compressor.
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    I do use Auto Normalize when exporting out of GB.
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    What's a good free one outside of using GarageBand's?
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    The reason you can't do it without selecting "Allow Clipping" is that the point in your song with the highest volume would be too loud if you amplified the whole track equally. The others are correct that you would need a compressor (which reduces the difference between the loudest and softest points in your song) to allow amplification of the track as a whole without putting the point of peak volume over the limit.

    And the compressor in GarageBand should work just fine.
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    I see. Well, the reason I'm using Audacity to amplify it is because I have Auto Normalize on in GB. It exports the song too quietly so I'm trying to use another app to make it louder.

    I'd use the GB compressor, but it doesn't make any difference when I export it with the Auto Normalize on (I leave it on for mixing preferences). If I could just get a compressor that will amplify without clipping, that'd be ideal. Is this possible?
  8. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    For your purposes just let audicity amplify and clip all it wants to. Yes clipping is bad but maybe some people like it. In fact some people don't even think music sounds loud unless they hear that clipping distortion. So maybe you want it clipped? Try it.

    The other thing you can do if you think the garage band compressor is not powerful enough is "ride" the track volume control in garage band. Use track automation and boost the quiet parts and turn down the loud parts to even it up
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    What's a good/normal Amplification (dB) level?
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Additionally, is there a way to check the dB levels of all my exported MP3s? For some I have to compress in Garageband, others Audacity. I just want to compare MP3s compressed from both to see if the dB levels are the same and will be consistent across the album.

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