Help for Podcasters: Levelator

The LevelatorPodcasters often have the problem of having varying levels of volume in their episodes. Podcasts by students often suffer from having very loud and very soft voices. It can take hours in postproduction to correct the volume levels using Audacity or GarageBand.

There is new software available that can go through your recording and normalize all of your levels. Loud student voices will be toned down and soft ones turned up. Levelator is a free application for Macintosh and Windows computers. It couldn't be simpler to use. Just drag and drop your recording (it must be in AIFF or WAV format) onto Levelator's window. Within minutes, Levelator creates a new sound file on your desktop that will sound great. Of course, you'll want to encode the new AIFF or WAV file from the desktop into a smaller file format like MP3. You can do this by importing back into Audacity or importing into iTunes. Then use either of these programs to export as an MP3.

Audacity users will choose File > Export as WAV to make a file Levelator will accept. GarageBand 3 users, follow these directions for exporting your project to an AIFF. It would be wonderful if what Levelator does is built into future versions of Audacity and GarageBand, eliminating the extra steps of exporting and importing.

I look forwarding to listening to more podcasts that do not make me constantly reach for my volume controls...