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I'm looking for software that will batch perform a series of audio clean-up tasks, such as:

  • Normalize volume
  • Trim beginning and end silences
  • Convert to file format

Ideally, this would be free or inexpensive (this project is for a non-profit). Mac preferred, but Windows or web would be fine too.


As a commenter pointed out, it might be useful if I were to provide some details about the project: This project has several hundred, less than 2 second long, audio files of people saying their names. Some practically whisper their names, some shout. Some have a second of silence before they start speaking, some have a second of silence after. These files will be played one after another, so volume consistency and spacing is important.

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  • I don't know of anything that will batch [batch-processing just never feels appropriate for sound editing, imo] but any audio editor from Audacity up can do each of the tasks. Cubase can batch the saves, but only after you've done the rest. Also note, simple normalisation almost never does what you'd expect [think of how poor iTunes' Sound Check is if you've got songs from the mid 2k's & a lot from the 70s/80s.]. I'd look into multi-band compression if you want a consistent perceivable output level.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 21, 2021 at 12:27
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    @Tetsujin Thanks. This project has several hundred, less than 2 second long, audio files of people saying their names. Some practically whisper their names, some shout. Some have a second of silence before they start speaking, some do not. If we were talking about full length songs, I'd be right there with you. But for this project, it just needs automation. I'll add these details to the post. You're right; I should clarify.
    – Sam
    Nov 22, 2021 at 13:20

1 Answer 1

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When it comes to audio processing, Audacity has always been my (FOSS) go to tool. However, I've never really needed batch processing like OP is asking for.

However a quick search revealed that Audacity has scripting, which makes total sense. To I think that's the way to go.

The other A/V processing super-power is ffmpeg, a FOSS command line tool, and it seems it too has normalization capabilities. For more details refer to all the answers in this SuperUser post.

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