Enhancing voice recording's volume

Hello everyone, This is my first post.

I recorded a phone conversation on my i-phone 6 S Plus using “Voice Memo” and the volume is so low that it is not easy to follow the conversation (my voice is fine but the person I’m talking to comes in to low in the recording). I was able to upload the conversation onto my HP laptop that uses windows 10 pro. Would Audacity be able to enhance the volume of this voice recording? When I listen to the recording with the volume on my laptop set as high as it will go the recording is still not quite loud enough to hear clearly. If Audacity is not able to help with this is there any free software out there that would help me?

LevelSpeech2.ny plugin for Audacity, or levelator standalone software, (both free).


So I tried to drag my audio file into Audacity and got the message that:

“It is an Advanced Audio Coded file. Without the optional FFmpeg library, Audacity can not open this kind of file. Otherwise you need to convert it to a supported audio format, such as WAV or AIFF.”

(Is the FFmpeg free in Audacity? The file is a M4A file (m4a) 7.45 mb, opens with Groove Music.)

Is WAV or AIFF an open source software?

FFmpeg is free and you can download it [u]here[/u]. The actual downloaded file should be named FFmpeg_v2.2.2_for_Audacity_on_Windows_64bit.exe. Double-click to run & and install and you should be good to go.

Is WAV or AIFF an open source software?

Those are file formats and they are “open”. The patents for MP3 have expired. M4A (MP4/AAC) is still patented but there are no restrictions on users. (I believe a license is required if you want to distribute a CODEC and I assume Microsoft has paid the royalties for WMP & Groove.)

FFmpeg is an open source collection of CODECs (encoders/decoders) for almost every audio/video format. It’s a bit of a “grey area” because some of the formats are patented,

Thanks dvdDoug. It worked!
But here’s my problem. I recorded a phone conversation and in the recording I can be heard fine but the other party can barely be heard. When I imported the phone conversation into Audacity I noticed that there were a couple of different volume choice on the dashboard or the tool bar. But when I turn them up I can still barely hear the other party. My question is, is there any way to increase the volume of the other party’s conversation and hear it clearly. Perhaps there’s a more sophisticated setting other than volume up or down.

I can still barely hear the other party.

Levelspeech job is to boost low voices and suppress loud ones. If it failed, then the voices are too far apart—the other party is too quiet.

You’re not really recording the other party. You’re recording the iPhone built-in microphone, full stop. If there is any far-side sound at all, it’s the iPhone earpiece sound leaking through the iPhone body down to the microphone.

In other words, you’re recording the design mistakes.

That sound is intentionally quiet because that’s the sound that the other party is going to hear in addition to your voice. Hearing their own voice coming back to them as an echo is amazingly annoying.

That’s not to say you can’t record both sides. You can, but it’s a little more work.

This is an Olympus TP-7 microphone.

It fits in your ear and you hold the phone on top of it. This is my TP-7 plugged into a Windows machine, but you can plug it into a tiny memo recorder and have the whole thing portable for field recording.

I don’t have samples of a fully portable recording or pictures of the memo recorder. Soon.

This is my TP-7 plugged into my Mac and recorded in Audacity.


You an do this with software, too, but it’s messy. One software product has a minute-by-minute service charge. One product re-routes your call through their communications servers and records the voices there. No word on how they handle delays and echoes.

You can record Skype and Zoom by setting up an account on their servers rather than trying to do it yourself.

You can do it with two phones. Set up for hands-free in a quiet, echo-free room. Put the second phone in Voice Memo half-way between the first phone and you. In other words, record the room.

And etc. This seems like it should be easy, but it’s not.


Would somebody be willing to help me enhance the volume of a phone call that I have as an audio file. I can barely hear the other party and it is important that I be able to get a transcript of what was said. It would take forever for me to learn how to do this, and perhaps there is no way to do it. Maybe we could Skype or talk by phone. I can be reached at: .

Levelator is free standalone software which makes all voices the same volume.
It’s simple: just drag’n’drop … https://youtu.be/THMKlqvgzjU?t=206

Levelator only accepts WAV format audio, so you may have to use Audacity to convert your audio into a WAV file.

IRL audio processing usually does not make unintelligible speech become intelligible.

Thanks Trebor and others. I have no idea how to convert my file to a WAV format. The file I have is a M4A file (m4a) 7.45 mb, opens with Groove Music. This was what it says. I looked at the manual and the dashboard and can not easily figure out how to convert it.

If your Audacity has FFMpeg software installed, it will open up M4A files from Voice Memo just fine. That’s how I shot this voice test.

Windows got a little messy because there are two versions of FFMpeg depending on whether you need 32-bit or the newer 64-bit. I’m not a Windows elf.


After your sound file opens up in Audacity, you might be able to drag-select tiny portions of the dialog and apply ordinary amplification to it. There is no splitting two conversations from each other, so the best you can do is catch pieces of the conversation between your own words.

Was this a you talk and then they talk, or did you talk over each other a lot? Simultaneous conversations or interruptions are pretty final. That’s the end of the world. We can’t rescue those.

We should note that Audacity can’t be used for Law Enforcement, Surveillance, or Conflict Resolution. The instant you start applying filters, effects, or corrections, you pollute the work.

Consult a security/surveillance expert or company.


Thanks for the information I was trying to record with audacity mi podcast [Advertising removed]. Know I am able to continue

I was trying to record with audacity mi podcast

Right. So you have “normal” problems.

As I posted in these messages, there are ways to conduct and record interviews from a phone, but they’re complicated and you have to pay attention, pay money, or buy extra hardware.


Were you able to install FFMpeg software into Audacity?

If so, did your M4A file open? There are a couple of tricks that can tell you if it’s truly hopeless or not.


I thought I made a post already but I’ll try this again. I would be willing to compensate someone if they were able to take my recording and make it intelligible. Any takers? I can be reached at (818) 297-9214.