Clipping in Phone Call

When I record a VoIP call on my Mac, the IVR system is getting clipped as shown below…

I am using Zoiper, Loopback and macOS Sierra.

I adjusted the Audio MIDI Setup so that Channel 2 in my virtual Loopback device was turned down and left lots of “headroom” for the IVR syste, yet when the lady started talking, it looks like things are sawed off.

This cannot be traditional clipping as even with the gain turned down it is like it reaches a glass ceiling and then gets smooshed?!

The audio sounds okay, which makes me wonder if it is coming this way from the tele # I am calling?

What is happening here?


Mac Audio

If it sounds OK then it’s a (soft) limiter effect, rather than clipping, (Audacity has one).

So is the phone company or my VoIP company doing this to the phone call before it gets to me (and Audacity)?

Somebody’s law says if more than three organizations are involved, you’ll never figure out who was to blame.

But you can do some investigation.

As above, if it was careful but stiff processing to maintain volume in the transmission, the tops of the waves will look more or less like the originals, but the tips will be the same level. You’ll have to take my word that all those waves looked exactly like that before, just taller.

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 19.58.40.png
But if it’s End-Of-The-World overload damage, the tops of the waves will look like somebody took a knife to them. That sounds harsh and crisp if it’s bad enough.

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 19.59.26.png
The first one was likely intentional. That process appears in AudioBook Mastering. The second was sound or data damage somewhere. You can magnify/zoom the waves and see what you have.