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Better podcasts for free with The Levelator

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 3 months ago

The Levelator is software that adjusts the audio levels within your podcast or other audio file for variations from one speaker to the next, for example. The UI is dirt-simple: Drag-and-drop any WAV or AIFF file onto The Leveler's application window, and a few moments later you'll find a new version which just sounds better.


It runs on Windows, OS X (universal binary) and Linux. And it's free!


In this session, I'll talk about what The Levelator does, why you want it, and how to get the most out of it.


Bruce Sharpe

(co-author of The Levelator)



Links mentioned in this session: (posted by Tod)




Show notes: (posted by Michael)


Key steps for making good audio

4 key things


  1. record well
  • half-decent mic, control sound levels...Hi-Fi is not required but it is nice to have. 


  1.  clean up a little
  • Audacity will help,
  • bandpass filter removes a lot of snaps crackles and pops
  • eq: not so much unless you know what your doing, can make more intelligible (voice particularly improves this way)
  • noise reduction: be careful
  • get a background sound "roomtone" to be able to set "zero"
  • The louder the roomtone the harder it is to clean up, cranking the noise reduction up results in bad warbling and distortion.  Cranking up noise removal will only work with quieter roomtone. Inverse application relative to roomtone, if loud, apply a little, if quiet apply more.  
  • Decent sound cards REALLY make a difference.  Integrated audio chips are brutal.  Outboard units are good.  Mac has much better default hardware.
  • Audacity has a find silence function?
  • if you can record roomtone 20 or 30s then that is ideal for reduction sample.


  1. remove crap
  • a little editing goes a long way.
  • Get rid of interruptions, remove umms and ahs
  • not too clean, otherwise it will be relentless, want to preserve natural rythms of speech and delivery.


  1. get levels right
  • record at proper levels as much as possible
  • Never clip your audio when amplifying...
  • Try not to destroy the ears of your listeners
  • Use the Levelator

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