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
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:
> 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
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!