Fixing level overload on a recording

I was recording a few short interviews for my podcast at a noisy event on my phone with a lavalier mic and on one recording I think the mic was too close to the person speaking which caused the sound cracking. I don’t know what the right name for that is. I wonder if it’s possible to do anything about it. It’s a very short sound clip (<5 min) and I would like to use it if it’s possible. The cracking is a bit annoying to use if it’s impossible to fix. I have uploaded a 3-sec sample to illustrate.

IMO it’s clipping, but the worst type: wrap-around. That means Audacity’s clip-fix tool won’t cure it.

It’s possible to manually reduce each click individually using Audacity’s spectral editing tools

But 5mins worth would take all day to process manually.

Thanks a lot. It’s quite unfortunate. :frowning:

Wraparound distortion is fixable quickly with expensive hardware & software.
I recently became aware that people offer “audio-editing” services on Fiverr.
(I would not part with money until I got sample of proof they could actually fix the problem).

Thanks a lot. As it’s turned out almost all my male interviews from the event suffer from that, while female interviews are fine. My first few speakers were females, so I checked the quality after the first two and it was passable. So I didn’t check after that. I think I also used the wrong app to record. The last time I did the same thing on a similar phone, I had people speaking over a buzzing background noise. But this time, the app tried to remove the background noise and I wish it didn’t.

Anyway, it’s not something that important to fix. It’s annoying but I still might release it with cracks as they are short interviews and just apologise to the listeners for the quality. I just have 7 short interviews under 5 min each and 3 of them are a bit ruined by these clippings.

I wonder if it’s possible at least to tone down the cracking sound?

There is a free de-clicker plugin for Audacity …

But the settings required for your wraparound example means it will take ~10x playback time to declick,
and it’s still not completely cured, and has (subtle) collateral-damage …

suggested de-clicker settings (slow processing will take -10x playback speed).png

Hi, I am sorry. For some reason, the notifications do not work for me so I missed the response. I have tried to set the De-Clicker settings as on the screenshot, but it did not work at all. I guess the plugin crashed. I tried to change the settings from default to what you recommended one by one testing after each change and after I set “Number of frequency bands” to 33, it crashed with the following in the Debug:

"SFT3F window: 4938 samples 12 periods 107.149 Hz"
"Correct rel. thresholds by 1 and abs. by 1"
"window pieces for band at 94.0352 Hz: 113"
error: argument stack overflow

Basically, it crashes on 18 and forward.

Pushing Audacity’s de-clicker to the limit of it’s abilities …
declicker 1-5ms compromise.gif
Don’t attempt to de-click big chunks of audio in one go, just single sentences of a few seconds.

[Store-bought DeClicker plugins are faster and more reliable, but co$t].

There are people on Fiverr who fix audio, (maybe cheaper than buying a plugin).
[Don’t part with money until they’ve demonstrated they can fix the clicks to your satisfaction].

Thanks a lot! I’ve got only 3 clips to declick and they all are 3-4 min long. So it didn’t take long to run it through. It has definitely improved the clipping distortion. Thanks a lot, again!

Don’t forget the bandpass filter, (can be applied before or after De-clicker)
bandpass 100Hz-8000Hz.gif