Many times you are given an audio track with an uneven volume. This happens a lot with webinar recordings, when speakers turn their heads and vary the distance between themselves and their microphone.

To fix this, simply use normalization and compression in your audio software. My short video tutorial demonstrates this in Adobe Audition.

After you import the audio track, Normalize to -0.1 dB. It’s good to normalize before compression because this sets a 0 dB reference point and helps you get more predictable results during compression. You’ll notice this also reins in some of the peaking audio.

Then, apply the Compressor effect by going to Effects > Amplitude and Compression > Dynamics. The Compressor is in the middle of the Dynamics window. The threshold setting is the loudness level at which something gets compressed.

If set to -10 dB, then everything above this level will be affected and get compressed. The ratio is how much compression occurs. If you set the ratio to 4, then everything above the threshold will be cut in a quarter. Another way to look at it: For every 4 dB that a signal is higher than the threshold, it will be compressed to 1 dB.

The attack setting determines the time it takes to compress the signal and the release is the time it takes to let go of the compression. If you select the check box to turn on the Compressor effect, you’ll be able to see listen to the results and watch the levels on the screen. The graph with the red bar shows the compression taking place.

Hopefully, your areas of loud audio are closer to your average audio volume on the track. You can then use the makeup dial to bring back the overall volume to your preferred level. This is a good way to recover the low points of the audio after compressing down the high points.