The Levelator works better than Audacity’s normalize function

NOTE: This is completely off-topic and will probably only interest you if you’re interested in recording podcasts or creating other audio products. Commence geekout in 3… 2… 1…

At this Tuesday’s Communication for the Holidays course, Calliflower failed to record the first two-thirds of the course. We re-recorded it ourselves using Audacity and stitched the two halves together, but it became super loud when it switched to the second half.

We tried using Audacity’s normalize function, but all that does is soften or louden the entire file by a fixed amount, based on the loudest part. Listen to how loud it becomes all of a sudden:

Normalized MP3 (13 seconds)

But The Levelator solved the problem. It softens or loudens the file smoothly, and can soften or louden different sections independently. So if a loud person is talking, it’ll soften them a bit, and then later if a soft person talks for a while, it’ll louden them. It’s awesome. Listen to how much clearer the first half is, and how much smoother the volume transition is:

Levelated MP3 (13 seconds)

You can see the difference visually, too! Normalized is on top, Levelated is on the bottom.

Hooray for the Levelator!

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