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I have an Audacity project with two mono audio tracks. The first (on top) has been recorded at a high volume, and the second (on bottom) at a much lower volume.

Forgive me if I'm not using the right terms, as I don't do much audio editing at all. To my ears, track one is louder, and looks more robust in the interface, than track two. But I don't know if this is an issue of "gain", or "amplitude", or maybe some other term.

audacity_tracks

It seems to me that the first track might be too loud, and so I think I might want to tone it down a little. And track two is definitely too quiet, so I want to bring it up to match track one.

I'm sure this is a very simple question, but what tools should I be using to adjust the volume on these tracks, and what kind of output volume should I be targeting?

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2 Answers 2

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The option you are probably looking for is called Gain. I don't have Audacity myself, but according to the online help you can adjust the gain of each track by the slider on the left of the track. The slider you need to adjust is the one with the + and the - sign below the Mute and Solo button.

In your case you should move the slider of the top track (the one which is louder) to the - side, and the lower track slider should go to the + side.

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In addition to Bart's advice, you can highlight the track and section you want to change, and select 'effects>amplify' to alter just one part of one track.

If the tracks have roughly the same amount of compression, the default offered, which is the highest gain that would result in no clipping, will do a fair job of matching the apparent volume between them. Otherwise, well, there's always "Undo" (-:

To alter just a portion in the middle of a complex or continuous track, you can switch to 'envelope' mode, and adjust the volume profile as smoothly as you like for that area.

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