damaged VHS audio

Just finishing up on my archival-video documentary.

One of the tapes was damaged before or during recapture:

(Note: the image is totally fine for this capture)

All the audio on the tape sounds like this. I had taken the VHS tape apart and removed a small piece of plastic that was rattling around in the wheel. I didn’t quite know what I was doing taking it apart, so I may have done the damage then.

Either way, none of the other 10 tapes gives me audio static like this one, and this was one of the tapes I could’ve really used the recaptured audio on. Any ideas? I posted this to the audacity guys too to see if it was salvagable. Looking at it in RX4 it’s got vertical lines running all through it with no regularity, and passing right through the actual dialogue. I’m not asking for advice in RX4 by the way, I just have an easier time with the visual in that program.

If there’s a way I could clean the tape too that might work?

P.S. I can’t recommend the ADVC highly enough. Not only cleaned up the picture on these vids (restored a lot of over-contrasty image, and did wonders with out-of-control VHS wobble) but also raised my audio ceiling by lowering the levels across the board; the first tapes would clip super easily, which is why I would really like the audio from this tape.

I doubt you can clean that up much. You can use a noise gate to kill the sound between words, but you’ll still have sound during the dialog and the sound cutting in & out is sometimes just as distracting as the noise.

If it’s just narration, you can re-narrate it yourself. (I’d add a text-message noting that some dialog was re-created.) If you’re making a DVD, you can have one original soundtrack and one re-created soundtrack (if your DVD authoring software supports that).

Or with video, often the best solution is to reduce the volume to a less annoying level and add subtitles.

If this a commercial VHS tape, have you searched for another copy or maybe a DVD/Blu-Ray copy?