Cleaning up Noisy / Loud Recording

Hey all

I’m a new user with Audacity so you’ll have to go gently on me.

I have a recording that was taken using a mobile phone inside a moving car (I was dictating notes for work)… but stupidly I left the microphone maxed out. So the recording is pretty much mostly noise from the road with the occasional burst of audible speech when I was stopped at traffic lights

I’ve tried running hi-pass filters, compressors and noise reduction… it makes the “clear” sections a bit better, but the massively annoying high pitch squeal / whine is overpowering everything else

Any tips for what I should try? Or is a maxed out recording pretty much unsalvagable? (I am running 2.1.0)


I’ll go for “pretty much unsalvagable”.

What he said. Once you get to the point that a human can’t figure out what the words are, Audacity isn’t going to help you. Our line is “We can’t do forensics” (like CSI).

We also don’t do legal actions, if this hadn’t occurred to you. “If I could only make out the words I could sue my business partner.”


No legal action planned… unless I was going to sue myself :slight_smile: I was making notes for a coding project while driving home, I have a habit of doing that but forgot my headset with mic on the day

I’ve tried more tricks and I think it’s gone… it just hits and stays at peak volume for too long :frowning:

We get posters who dance a vigorous jig to avoid telling us why they need to rescue a voice… You get a Spidey Sense about those people.

Too loud is one problem, but once you overload the sound channel, that’s the end of the world. View > Show Clipping. The screen should not be solid red.

This is the same problem that concert goers have. “The bass in the band pretty much wiped out my recording, is there any way to clean it up?”


Yeah I played around with it more this morning and you’re right, the clipping indicators where pretty much solid :frowning:

Oh well… I’ll just have to try to remember what I said :frowning: