In each of the ways to fix this problem, we will be modifying the waveform using computer sofware. The waveform is a visual representation of the audio of the song. A higher wave represents a large sound (higher decibels) at that time. Audio tracks will usually have some loud parts with a pronounced waveform and quitter periods with a smaller waveform. The top and bottom limits of the waveform represent the possible ranges of volume. If you are using a computer program the top limit will be labelled as 0db. Note: This does not mean your audio will now be 0 decibels! The line in the middle of the waveform represents absolute silence, or no volume. If we go over our maximum volume line (0db), we will experience digital distortion. Thus, we want to avoid having our track too loud.
The first approach we are going to talk about is normalising. Normalising makes your sound track, or file, as loud as possible without creating distortion. It does this by looking for the loudest part of your track and raising the volume of the highest peak to 0db. Thus, your track will be as loud as it can be without creating digital distortion in any region. If your track is already near the 0db mark at it loudest point, you will notice little change. Normalising is a good tool to use on tracks that have been recorded too quietly.
The second method is to use volume envelopes. Most computer audio or video editing software will have a line on or below your track that you can manually adjust the volume of your track. You can add nodes on this line where you want the volume to be louder or softer by pulling the nodes up or down. Thus you can raise the volume in the quiet sections and lower volume in the loud sections. This is an incredibly useful technique but from personal experience in musical production, this can often be a painful process that leads to hours of tweaking as you obsess over getting the perfect mix from your computer. However, if you are producing music this will normally be a must for a decent sounding mix.
The final method is to use your computer software to apply compression onto your track. Compression works by raising the volume of the quiet parts of a track and lowering the volume of the loud parts. Compression should be used with caution because if you apply too much compression it can result in a squashed effect on your audio. For example, if you apply a load of compression to a drum track, the kick drum will lose a lot of its kick because the spike in the waveform will be crushed as soon as it is formed. For some interesting information on the use of compression in the music industry check out the following link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ
A small amount of compression to your track is nevertheless often useful.
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