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Tutorial : How to reverse a fade-out with Audacity

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#1 Ollie

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Posted May 19, 2014 - 06:51 PM

Since removing fade-outs at the end of songs can be a tedious process, I'm writing this short tutorial to explain how to do it easily and in a few minutes.

First open the file in audacity (obviously :))

Then, look at the sound wave of the song to see approximatively where the fadeout starts. Here it starts roughly around 3:07 Posted Image

Zoom in :

Posted Image
The red line marks the end of the song (ie there's no sound after that line even if your audio file is continuing past that point). The yellow line marks the point beyond which it would be extremely difficult to keep the audio if you revert the fade-out, because you'll need to considerably boost the volume of the audio between the yellow and red lines to do so, hence creating A LOT of background/white noise.
You can discard the audio after that yellow line. In order to do that, you can select the area going from the yellow line to the end of the song, and generate silence on that zone, for instance.

Zoom again :

Posted Image
Looking at the audio peaks, you can clearly see the fadeout starts between 3:08 and 3:09. Select the area going from the start of the fadeout to the newly edited end of the song. Then select "effect" and "adjustable fade". Choose fade up (since it's a fade-out, you'll apply the opposite effect to straighten it). Look at the ending peak and try to roughly evaluate what percentage of the starting peak it represents, and enter that percentage in the "Start (or end)" case (usually between 15 and 35). Leave the "End (or start)" value at 100.
Apply the fade effect and look at the new wave form.

If the wave still have a fade-out form like this, you need to undo (ctrl-z) and redo with a lower value
Posted Image
Obviously, if the wave form is inverted like this, undo and redo with a higher value Posted Image

If the fade-out is especially tricky, because of its length or its irregularity, you may obtain a curved, banana shaped, waveform, with a prominent middle part. In that case, undo and redo the fade-up with a negative "mid fade adjust", it should do the trick.

Anyway, once you're satisfied with the wave form (ie when it's as regular as possible, like this)Posted Image you can apply the "amplification" effect on the area to level its volume with the rest of the song (by default it boosts the volume up to the verge of saturation, so you'll have to decrease it), so you'll have this Posted Image

You can know make a proper ending by pasting a drum sample or adding some reverb on a part... whatever you feel like and your audio is good to go !

#2 Oddbrother

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Posted May 22, 2014 - 08:15 PM

Very nice tutorial. Thanks for sharing.
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#3 ziagg

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Posted May 23, 2014 - 07:24 AM

Thank you very much for this.

#4 Nyxyxylyth


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Posted May 23, 2014 - 12:55 PM

I usually just use Reaper's volume envelope - then you don't have to go quite so far outside the normal workflow. I'll post a couple examples this evening.

#5 Farottone


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Posted May 23, 2014 - 01:24 PM

I usually just use Reaper's volume envelope - then you don't have to go quite so far outside the normal workflow. I'll post a couple examples this evening.

Please do, because for me the envelope only works for subtle fade outs, usual fadeouts are too great to be compensated by the envelope excursion.

#6 Ollie

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Posted May 23, 2014 - 02:16 PM

Ditto. I don't mind using audacity to do it, because I usually mess with the audio when I'm putting the finishing touches of the song and it takes only a few minutes to do, so it doesn't bother me, but any slight time-saving process is welcome :)

#7 Atruejedi

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Posted February 10, 2018 - 07:56 AM

This. Is. Amazing. Thank you!

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#8 yaniv297

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Posted February 10, 2018 - 11:21 AM

Thanks! I'll be trying this as weirdly almost any song I do seems to end with a fade out...

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