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Audacity 2.05 - How to fix sound levels in a conference recording i.e. people talking

Posted on 2015-01-25
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I recorded a conference where people are talking.  That's it.  But some are next to the mic and are very loud, others are distant and barely audible.  How can I fix this recording so that the distant barely audible people sound louder and the people next to the microphone are slightly softer.
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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☠ MASQ ☠ earned 2000 total points
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If possible the best approach is to adjust the quiet sections with the Effects > Amplify option.  For a long recording with continually varying volumes this can be time-consuming so you might find that compressing the dynamic range of the whole recording is a good compromise.

Audacity has a compressor tool which allows you to select an amplitude threshold.  Any sound below that will be amplified while any sounds that already are above the selected level will be untouched.  It kinda balances out the loud by brining the quiet up to match.

Doesn't help if quiet people and loud are talking at the same time though as Audacity can only deal with the waveform.

Technical details on the compressor tool here
http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/compressor.html
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