I am using Adobe Audition and would like to increase the volume of a sound file that I have. It should sound the same as when I increase the volume on my computer via the volume knobs. I have tried increasing the gain, however I get some noise in the louder parts of the sound file.

How do I increase the volume of a file without introducing noise? (it should sound like pressed the volume knobs)

6 Answers 6


This is all a bit over-simplified, so please forgive me if you know already...
'volume' in digital terms has an absolute maximum, unlike analog which you can 'push a bit' without it getting unpleasant.

As Jim Mack says, checking for 'clipping' [squared off waveform tops] is an indication you have passed this limit.

If, when you analyse the file visually, only a small number of peaks are reaching full volume, the standard method of increasing the overall apparent loudness of a sound is to compress it, or even brick-wall limit. [many varieties of both compressors & limiters are available as plugins for all DAWs, including some 'mastering' plugins that allow compression by frequency]

This will bring up the overall sound level, whilst holding back the peaks to prevent clipping. You can be as subtle or as fierce as you like - but the noise-floor will rise [though that's not what I think your essential problem actually is] & the more compression you add the more 'squashed' the result will sound; but many pop records are mastered this way to make them appear 'loud' on the radio [so much so over the past 15 years that if you don't you'll sound quiet compared to the rest]

Post a comment if you need more info or clarification.


Noise in the louder parts is probably clipping, since louder sounds usually mask 'floor noise' -- you're more likely to hear actual noise in quieter parts.

I assume Audition will let you view the waveform. Look at the upper and lower tips of the waveform, moderately expanded in time. If you see the tips squaring off against the limits, you're clipping. Back down the gain until there's none (or just a bit).

I don't know Audition, but in Audacity you can select 'Effect...Amplify' and it will suggest the maximum gain you can apply without clipping.


I suggest you should use multi-band compression, but as expansion: You set each band with the threshold slightly under the level of the sound you want to amplify and then set a positive range.

Everything that crosses the threshold will be amplified, the noise floor stays where it belongs. Since you use a multi-band compressor, you will amplify the parts of the spectrum that have more energy than the noise floor.

In order to not clip the signal, you can reduce the gain of each band by the same value of the expanding-range. Tweak range, gain and band separation until you reach the desired level of amplification.


Also with these programs (audition etc) you can generally find a noise reduction plugin. You can then possibly reduce some of the noise (hopefully without artifacts.

As to limiter, personally I'd compress rather than limit, but it also depends on the amount of dynamic range you're talking about... If it's not hugely dynamic then maybe even using an expander to increase the distance between noise floor and your top spike.

Choosing to "normalize" the entire waveform will bring the top up to the most comfortable level and then possibly you could do 6-10db of 4:1 compression to get a bit more boost.

All depends on the source material really.


Do some noise reduction before your dynamics. I usually try to cut all the bad stuff (in your case, noise) before I go boosting anything (volume or frequency). I'm not sure what your material is, but I like to use McDSP's mulitband limiter to increase volume and do some downward expansion. I've had good success with it for dialog.


I'm assuming you did try a limiter? If not, use a limiter and adjust the threshold. As you lower the threshold it will begin to make it "louder". Just don't over due it, otherwise you begin to squash the dynamics.

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