0023: Wait, What?? The LEVELATOR Now Works With Catalina?

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Hey there, hero!

First, if you use Windows, you can safely ignore this podcast and continue to use The Levelator on your computer. This is super awesome for Mac users only. But…

If you’re an audiobook narrator, or a podcaster, or anyone who needs compressed, limited processing of your sound, here’s some great news:

The Levelator, previously only available as a 32-bit (read: old) application for Mac, is now available in the Mac App Store, updated to work with Catalina, the latest MacOS (and older MacOSes as well: so far, it works all the way back to Sierra.), and I demonstrate installing it and using it in this episode.

Huzzah!! With Audacity and The Levelator both working on Catalina, I can officially say that our production stack is now usable on the latest Mac models!

I’d give it a few weeks to see if there are any last minute issues, but we’re over the proverbial hump.

But…what of AudioCupcake? Is it still worth it for us to continue to develop it? Is it worth $20 for you to have a one-step drag and drop solution that outputs a file ready to upload to ACX or your podcast host without having to manually bring it back into Audacity, peak normalize it and export to MP3?

Let me know in the comments below, and do be honest – if it’s not, tell me. If it is, I’d love to know your thoughts.


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  1. So cool @david ! We can always depend on you to look out for the community. I still can’t wait for the PC version of AudioCupcake, and I’ll tell you why.
    Beside the fact that AC removes steps and streamlines the process, I looked carefully at the waveforms and it appears as though the AC version has a higher dynamic range. Secondly, when you showed ACX Check results it reported the peak limit at -3.2 dBA.
    One of my objections to Levelator is that it allows the peaks to flirt with the upper limit allowed by ACX. This can cause problems with both ACX Check and the checking software that ACX uses. Some folks miss the point that this metric is a limit and not a requirement. I always limit my ACX files to -3.2 dBA.

  2. David- Absolutely worth the $20 to have a second option. For me, there is a little comfort in being able to monitor the process in specific points, as we do with the Levelator process. I like to know how we got there. But Audiocupcake seems to be efficient and elegant in nature. It’s looks like “poof” there it is, ready. Nice, can’t wait to get it. I noticed there was no mention of the LAME software. I assume that too is updated.

  3. This is awesome news! And yes, I do think it is still worth releasing AudioCupcake. It’s a smoother process for those just entering the audio narration world (vs. Levelator). But more importantly, it eliminates the single point of failure issue we’ve just experienced with Levelator taking a while to catch up with Catalina.

  4. I just installed the new Levelator. I used it many years ago. However, I would still like to get Audiocupcake. In fact, I believe I already paid for it! Let me know if I haven’t.

  5. I’d absolutely pay $20 to streamline the process … especially if I can drop multiple files in at once and walk away while AudioCupcake does its thing. That way I can go spend my time doing something else while all my files master on their own. To not have to sit and mind the process, and have an extra 15 or 20 minutes to spend with my family? Every day? Worth way more than $20.

  6. Hi David,
    As per usual, you’re right on the pulse of the latest info. Thank you.

    Although historically I’ve updated to the latest IOS immediately as part of my own “best practices”, I’m resisting because Catalina only supports printers that work over wifi. Therefore, I’ll remain on Mojave, solely so I’m not obligated to purchase new hardware. However, I would like to update Levelator, if it will work with Mojave.
    Any clue if it would?

  7. Great news, David and thanks for making my day! I’ve been waiting to upgrade to Catalina and now i can! Yes, I think you should release AudioCupcake. Seems like it will be well worth the $20 and I’m definitely interested!

  8. Hey there @david! I do not know the answer to your question yet as I am a noob but my instinct is to always have options when working with software. I found it interesting that just this morning I was loading levelator and realized it wouldnt work on my macbook. While thinking about it I saw this post and it resolved my issue. Talk about customer service. Just WOW!

  9. So AudioCupcake compresses, normalizes, and spits out an mp3 all in one go? Heck yes! That efficiency is definitely worth $20. Are there plans to make a PC version?

  10. Hey David,
    I haven”t stepped in for awhile. That’s thrilling to learn about Levelator. My 9 year old MacBook Air is limping along because I was terrified to upgrade. I’d heard about Audio Cupcake as well and am excited to learn more about that. YES! It’s worth $20 for sure …. and here’s why. Not only do we get choice (choice is good, right?) but when you have a long chapter (say 45 minutes) it takes longer than recording and editing to process the darned thing. With longer files, Audio Cupcake would be drag & drop, go make a cup of tea and have a snack, then return to a file all ready to go. For shorter files I don’t mind the longer process as I usually read ahead in the book while I wait, but for longer chapters …. wow, what a time and work saver!

    When cupcake is all ready, how do you feel about doing a short workshop on setting everything up on Catalina? I’d pay more than $20 for that!

    Thank you so much for all of this.
    Vicki Pierce

  11. Yeah, I would definitely buy AC. After a couple hours of audio recording, I would like to save some mental energy by knowing once I convert, it’s ready to be submitted.