Dear TLT: How do I Normalize the Volume of an Audio Recording?

Dear TLT,

I recently recorded an (audio) interview and noticed that my voice is much louder than my subject’s. Is there any way to amplify his voice so the volume levels are consistent?


Professor J. Barnhardt


Dear Professor Barnhardt,

Excellent question! It sounds like you need to apply Dynamic Range Compression which will increase the volume of your subject’s voice without distorting yours. To do this, you will first need to download the free audio editing program, Audacity. Audacity is a powerful tool, and may be intimating for new users, but they provide several great tutorials on their Wiki.


Next, you will need to download and install Chris Capel’s dynamic compressor plug-in. If you have any trouble with installation, please contact your instructional technologist. Once you restart Audacity, open your audio file and click Effect > Compress Dynamics 1.2.6.


We recommend that you enter Daniel J. Lewis’ “best” settings (see image below) as detailed in his (The Audacity to Podcast) blog post.


After you apply the dynamic compression, click File > Export to save the changes to a new file.

Please contact your instructional technologist, if you have additional questions or concerns, and check out our upcoming training sessions at

Best regards,



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