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One big app that we use constantly and is arguably the best (free & simple) tool to automatically adjust audio levels for podcasts and any kind of recording is Levelator. There's simply no directly comparable replacement and unfortunately it's a 32-bit app that won't run on Catalina. This is just one app that I can't live without and using a virtual machine for this one thing with such consistency is really a showstopper for "upgrading" to Catalina. Sadly since the app is no longer maintained, there doesn't seem to be any hope to get a 64-bit version from the now-defunct developers.

Does anyone have any method to update or hack Levelator so that it'll run with Catalina since it appears to be primarily a (compiled) Python script?

I'm wondering if perhaps the python bin can be updated and still execute Levelator's obfuscated script?

  • I don't know a whole lot about this, so apologies if this is an obvious or bad suggestion, but have you looked at Fission? ISTR that it had a similar feature, although I know it's not 1:1 identical. At least it would be a supported app from a great Mac developer. – TJ Luoma Oct 8 at 14:15
  • I've not had any luck with it having the level of quality that Levelator has. :'( – ylluminate Oct 8 at 17:28
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Perhaps not the solution you're looking for, in that it is not free (the "Basic" plan is $6/mo), but Landr offers a great online tool to "Master" all audio, add levels, tone, warmth, etc. Hope some of this helps.

  • Hmm. Unfortunately I don’t like using services that require upload of content such as this, regardless of any promised protection to such data. – ylluminate Oct 8 at 21:53
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Amadeus is an audio editing software I've used for many years. They have a menu option Effects ==> Audio Units ==> AUDynamicsProcessor that does what Levelator did, and it takes only a few seconds instead of a few minutes to process the file. I run it through that effect twice and then Amplify the sound to my preferred level afterward. This is great for podcasting recordings where two people ended up at very different sound volumes in the file.

Check it out. It bills itself as the Swiss Army Knife of audio editing.

https://www.hairersoft.com/pro.html

  • Yeah, I've tried it a few times but I've never been able to produce the clean and pristine results that Levelator creates with Amadeus. :'( – ylluminate Oct 17 at 2:49
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The library Dynamic Audio Normalizer works with FFmpeg, you can install FFMpeg on macOS Catalina using Homebrew. Then to normalize the audio or video file run this command from the Terminal app:

$ ffmpeg -i <input_file> -af dynaudnorm <output_file>

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