"Crunchy" Sound in my Voiceover

Hoping someone can help. I’ve spent hours trying to figure this out:

There’s a “crunchy” sound in voice over (closest description is a chip bag??) that I’m unable to diagnose or fix. The problem seems to be (??) the ugly looking waveforms that get jagged and dense (my attempt at technical language) relative to the surrounding ones. I have tried messing with these by cutting repairing, or deamping, which might diminish the sound a bit, but doesn’t remove.

What I have tried:
Have a decent dynamic USB mic
Room is quiet; no problem with noise reduction
Not plosives (I can do those)
Unplugging power source for my computer and turning off wifi; shutting down other programs while recording
Experimenting with my distance from the mic and with recording levels

Have attached image files of the problem below.

Any suggestions appreciated. Even if I can’t fix it I’d like to understand where it is coming from and how I might fix it in the future.


A few seconds of the sound or a spectrogram would be more useful than the waveform.

Yikes. Sorry. Didn’t mean to be tedious. Even knowing that the waveform itself is useless for diagnosis is helpful, so thank you for that. Here’s audio. You can hear it right in the first second, and the rest is clean. Thanks!

That mp3 is ~6 minutes of silence, then ~4 seconds of speech at the end.
All of the ~4 seconds of speech sounds fine to me …

If you can hear crunchy distortion on the above WAV-file,
then it’s on your side: only on playback on your system.

There are tiny clicks, which are normal,
but can be removed with a DeClicker plugin if you need a polished result …

Oh man… I’m so sorry about the silence thing. That wasn’t very bright of me. I should have checked. Thanks for bearing with me though. If you’re not hearing anything, I’m going to assume it is, as you suggest, my playback, or that I’m losing my mind/OCD, or some of these in combination. I do thank you for your time!

Have a decent dynamic USB mic

Whose name and model number is?

It’s handy for us to build your studio in our heads. We can look up manuals and instructions and see if you’re using your microphone as it is intended, for one example.

Dynamic USB microphone are a little odd. Microphone makers usually go straight for the “professional, studio, broadcasting, recording condenser USB microphone.” Yes, there was one affordable, “home” microphone actually promoted like that. No, it won’t do any of those jobs well. It won’t cure cancer, either.

Dynamic microphone just means “moving coil.” That’s how it makes the sound signal. They got the phrase “dynamic” because they’re really, really difficult to overload or break. They have a very high dynamic range. That’s why they appear in rock groups.

Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 9.04.09 AM.png
But that’s an analog microphone not USB digital.

For evaluation, you can post 10 seconds of mono (one blue wave), WAV (Microsoft) format right on the forum. Scroll down from a forum text window > Attachments > Add Files. Posting MP3 for evaluations can cause problems because MP3 files have built-in distortion and you can’t stop it. If everything goes wrong, we can’t tell where distortion came from.

There are tricks for locating noise problems. Play the same portion of the show back multiple times and see if the same damage happens in exactly the same place every time. If it doesn’t, then your playback system may be at fault.


kozikowski, thanks for your generosity – truly. I know what it’s like to work with clueless newbs (which I am in this case). My mic is a Fife 668plug and play – omnidirectional with a foam cap. It should be adequate (I think) for the bit of voiceover work I am doing in my teaching.
Looks like I need more homework on mic speak.

I (only now) see that I can attach files in the forum. Thanks for that, and for the suggestions about how/what to post to get feedback in the future.

I could be completely off base but I keep looking for correlations between patterns in the waveform and when I’m hearing crappy sound. I’m curious about where the clicks come from and how bad sound is produced. I understand a lot of it is good mic technique, and I’ve been experimenting with this as well. Unfortunately there is a lot of information online and a lot of it is bad or contradictory! So trying to learn some basics from scratch (i.e. without being an audio engineer!) isn’t easy.

Screen Shot 2020-11-04 at 10.43.00.png
There’s a Fifine K668 Condenser Microphone. That it?

It’s a good idea to start with a quiet, echo-free room and then it doesn’t much matter what microphone you have. And yes, that’s a condenser type microphone, not dynamic.

I haven’t heard any of your voice yet, so this is me going to have a listen.


I don’t hear anything wrong with that, either. I don’t hear any room echoes or other distortions. How did you do that? Most new users sound like they’re recording in a kitchen or bathroom.

It’s not that unusual for people to have more trouble with the computer than the microphone. Particularly if you’re using a general purpose computer, some of those general purposes can interfere with voice recording. See: Zoom, Skype, chat, games, etc.

Just from that post I don’t think you need the beginner announcing tricks. I think you may be way farther ahead by having a separate way to quality control your work. Good quality headphones and a music player?

Just to cover the bases. Announce one of these as you would normally, except don’t change anything. Cut it to length and post it. If you post mono (one blue wave) you can go up to 20 seconds. You don’t have to stick to Hudson Valley Cows, either. Use your own text.



Well. At least part of the problem is that I make gross, sloppy letter L noises. While I fix my technical ineptitude, I also need to fix my enunciation. :wink:

It’s not unusual for home readers to be super critical of their own work, to the point of not submitting stuff that probably should be submitted.

And we can be a lot more helpful if we could hear work longer than the 2-1/2 seconds up the post.