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I've asked a question about what audio volume to use when recording:

In there, I learned that:

  1. I should avoid too high a volume, to prevent clipping
  2. I should avoid too low a volume, to prevent loss of resolution

The question now is: What is too high a volume? What is too low? I am setting the volume via the GUI for sound config. It has an unamplified setting, a 100% setting, and volumes beyond 100%.

After 100%, is there still resolution loss? How can I tell if there is clipping going on (given that my recording program is the non-GUI ffmpeg)?

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1 Answer

You can test audio record in Audacity to see if it clips. You generally should be able to hear the clipping if it is present. There is no standard volume that I know just set it at the highest possible level without the signal clipping, that's at least my standard for recording.

To use Audacity to test the audio level:

To use Audacity to test your Audio level you will open a new project. Then locate the two stereo meters then click the arrow next to the microphone and select start monitoring. If no level is shown and you are sure you have audio playing as if you were recording a video then move to the right in the UI and find the second microphone, and click the dropdown menu and select the device you are using, in common cases it simply is "sysdefault."

Then you should be able to see your level if you return to monitoring. Additionally you can simply record a few second clip and see if the sound file spikes to the top (Peak).

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ok. how do I use audacity to check for clipping ? –  josinalvo Sep 25 '12 at 14:38
I just keep the volume in the maximum (inside the program) and see if the volume bars exceed their lenght ? –  josinalvo Sep 25 '12 at 14:41
You should include some further instruction on how to do this. –  RolandiXor Sep 27 '12 at 2:06
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