Normalizing Regions

Typically, you want the volume level of your audio regions to be as high as possible, without causing clipping. Changing the level of a region to the maximum possible value—without causing clipping—is known as normalizing.

When a region is normalized, it is boosted so that the signal peak reaches (but doesn’t exceed) the set digital level (maximum: 0 dB, but see below). All other portions of the region are boosted by the same amount, so that the original dynamic range of the recording is maintained. This ensures that the region will play at maximum level, without clipping.

Tip: You should not choose 0 dB in the Normalize dialog, as this may result in clipping if you increase the gain of the overall signal afterward—with an EQ, for example. A further issue is that many CD players clip signals that reach 0 dB. As a good rule of thumb, you should leave at least 3 to 6 dB of “headroom” to allow for further audio processing tasks, such as mixing and effects processing.

To normalize regions
  1. Select the regions in the Regions list or Wave View area.

  2. Choose Region > Normalize Region.

  3. In the Normalize dialog, set a target level lower than the maximum peak level (0 dB) if appropriate.

    Figure. Normalize window.
  4. If appropriate—and several regions are selected—activate the Normalize Each Region Individually checkbox to normalize each region individually.

    Note: Normalizing can cause a change in the relative volumes between regions. You can maintain the relative volumes of selected regions by ensuring that this checkbox is disabled.