In my experience, recording phone conversations is frustratingly disappointing, because you’re at the mercy of whatever phone system is being used.
If you are old-school like me, hard-wired landline-to-landline is as good as it gets… not that it was that good to start with. There’s no dropouts, and usually modern day handsets have some rudimentary compression or gain control built in. The bandwidth is nothing to text home about, however. Problem: you need to go all Watergate with some hard-wired stuff that Radio Shack doesn’t have anymore. (Maybe Jameco can help… with the caveat that recording phone conversations in the USA is only legal with all parties’ informed consent.)
Seriously, I’m begging. Someone do something.
Even if you’ve got the most blazing speed on your system, there’s no guarantee it won’t drop out. Phase and amplitude distortions abound, and as you’ve witnessed, there’s no balance between the caller and the receiving end.
In addition to the Envelope tool, I would also highlight your grandmother’s voice waveforms, and use Amplify on the Effect menu. Since you can see how soft her voice is, you can set the boost amount and keep it consistent. Make sure not to check the box that says “allow clipping”.
After which, if there’s still some discrepancies, highlight the whole conversation and Normalize everything (Effect–Normalize, set peaks at -2 to allow for sufficient headroom).
Thank you both, I will get started on this tonight. I am though having a hard time understanding how to add plug-ins, Specifically the AGC - Automatic Gain Control plug-in. I have downloaded the attachment from the thread that contains the plug-in, but not sure how to install. Very new to this so dont flame me guys, thanks.
When you have downloaded the agc.ny file, put it into the Audacity Plug-ins folder. On Windows computers, this is usually under “Program Files”.
Then restart Audacity. The AGC effect should then appear in the Effect menu below the dividing line.