[sclug] Make my mp3s louder

David Given dg at cowlark.com
Tue Apr 22 18:31:07 UTC 2008

Neil Haughton wrote:
> The question is are
> there any tools out there that will do this for me? I've looked at
> SoundJuicer, Audacity and Ardour (the latter looked most likely to offer
> this kind of thing) but for the love of me I can't find any such
> facilities. Odd really, because amplitude control is surely a basic in
> any music processing (isn't it?),How do I mor am I overlooking something
> blindingly obvious?

What you're looking for is called 'normalisation'. What this does is to
increase the overall volume of the track up to its maximum --- that is,
to the point where increasing the volume any further will result in
clipping. Audacity has an option to do this --- just load the
uncompressed track, pick Effect->Normalize, and save. It's apparently
also possible to losslessly normalise MP3 and Ogg files with the mp3gain
and vorbisgain tools, but I've never done that.

If that's still not loud enough for you, Audacity will do dynamic range
compression too, which will let normalization increase the gain more
without (too much) distortion.

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