Audacity tutorial to increase the volume:
  Making it louder (Amplitude!)
 more about
Audacity here

This short tutorial will show how you can use Audacity to adjust the volume of a sound clip. Often times, it's needed because the audio is too faint, i.e. the amplitude is low and you can hardly hear the words or music even when cranking up the volume on your speakers or headset.

After loading the audio into Audacity, you'll see a graphic representation known as a Waveform.
If you scroll down to the bottom of this tutorial you'll see what it should look like if the audio is at a good volume level and using most of the available dynamic range. However, in the example below, the waveform is barely noticeable.

Essentially, we want to bring the levels from something
  like this: to something like that: in order to better utilize the dynamic range that's available.

The higher the waves, the louder the sound track.

Of course, you might have a rare case with most of it at very low level and just one or two spikes at high volume. But in most cases, the track should come in evenly at a consistent level, yet that level could still be too low, as shown here.

What to do?

Before you can adjust the amplitude or level of a track (or portion thereof), you must select the desired area of interest. You can simply click and drag inside the waveform. A darker selection becomes visible as the program highlights your selected portion of the clip.

For example, here we clicked near the left side and dragged to the right. The darker band in between the two lighter bands is now selected.

Any filters we apply from here on will apply on just the selected portion of the clip.

This is in fact a way you can use to 'silence' a particular section, such as when there's unwanted background noise you want to suppress.

If you change your mind about the selection's in- or out- points and wish to adjust the position of either one of them, you can simply move the cursor near the edge of the selection and you'll see the pointing hand and finger. Click and drag from here on to adjust the location of that limit to a different place on the timeline, i.e. to push out or retract the moment in time.

Of course, if you want to select the entire clip's duration, click the desired track (if there are multiple tracks) and use the shortcut to select all: Ctrl+A or from the Edit menu: 

    Edit > Select...  > All

That will select the entire content of the sound track.

You can now apply many types of filters, from the Effects menu:

A quick and convenient way to bring it to reasonable volume lvels is the Normalize filter.

Another  option is to use Amplify effect.

If you don't know how much amplitude to give it, try small increments, such as 5 or 10 dB. Keep going until it makes the waveform's highest peaks reach the top (or the lowest valleys reach the bottom). You don't want it to actually reach or cross over those limits of 1.0 (top) or -1.0 (bottom). If you did, you'd get saturated overdrive in those areas - not a pretty sound, except for a few hard rock afficionados.

Below is an example of what you might aim for.

Note that there are still a few extreme peaks here, namely one about 1 minute into the clicp and another around 6 and a half minutes. In fact, there's another right after the beginning, just a few seconds into it. Those might be examples of 'spitting', i.e. when the microphone was too close to the mouth as you recorded this narration, and you said the letter 'p' as in 'pretty' or something similar, which might have basted a load of air into the microphone.  Wind and mics.... not a good combination.

You can now look for these peaks, select them as shown at the start of this tutorial, zoon onto these narrow selections, and reduce just those segments of the track to lower their levels and reduce the noise factor. That will then give you additional room to further increase the rest of the track to even slightly higher level without reaching a saturation overdrive level for the few peaks.

That's it - have fun!

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