Distortion problem.

Hi, I’m using Windows 10 and Audacity version 2.2.1.
I’m a first time user of this app.
I have an MP3 file with some distortion in it that I would like to remove.
Could someone provide some assistance or direct me to a link that explains how to remove distortion?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Jerry

In general you can’t remove distortion.

Do you know how the file got distorted, or what went wrong? What does the distortion sound like?

The most common type of distortion is [u]clipping[/u] which comes from overdriving an amplifier (i.e. trying to get more than 100W from a 100W amplifier) or from trying to go over 0dB with a digital file. Audacity does have a [u]Clip Fix Effect[/u], but it’s impossible to know the height & shape of the original waveform so it’s only an approximation of the original un-clipped waveform. And when I tried Clip Fix a couple of times, it made the waveform look better but it didn’t fix the sound. (The files I had probably had some other “damage”.)

You may also be able to improve the overall sound by experimenting with [u]Equalization[/u]. After adjusting the equalization, it’s a good idea to Normalize or run Amplify (at it’s default setting) in case Equalization pushed the levels up into (more) clipping. (Audacity “temporarily” can go over 0dB without clipping, but you should reduce the level before exporting.)

One more thing… As you may know, MP3 is lossy compression. When you open an MP3 for editing it gets decompressed. If you re-export to MP3 you are going through another generation of lossy compression and you may notice the quality-loss. (If you save in a non-lossy format, there is no further damage.) So try to minimize the number of times you compress, and if you want to go-back for further-tweaking-editing, go-back and start with the “original” MP3.