Help - disastrous recording, but no possibility to redo

I’ve got a request that I don’t feel particularly good about: this morning we recorded the final podcast episode of one of our co-hosts. We all record separately, using Audacity, and I edit things together. Usually that works well, but in this case one of the audio tracks is terrible in terms of audio quality. I suspect that Windows did a thing and changed the mic from the guy’s Snowball to another attached mic.

I know I’m not going to get the recording to sound pristine or even good, but I was wondering whether someone here on the forum would be able to have a listen and see to what extent things can be improved with some filters. It won’t ever sound good, but I hope it can sound better than it currently does. I wouldn’t want anyone to spend hours on it, but I am way too ignorant when it comes to filters and their use (whether in Audacity, Reaper or any other DAW) beyond the absolute basics I’ve gathered from a couple of guides.

I’m linking a representative piece of audio (WAV format, stored on OneDrive) with a bit of silence in it. Any help would be much appreciated.!AiIhjeAs3M6RkbBCSo9n2YIbfUyO5w?e=7uXc3N

The background noise can be reduced a bit using the “Noise Reduction” effect (
Use the section from around 6.5 seconds to 8.5 seconds to create the “noise profile”.
As a starting point, try settings of 12, 6, 6.

As a starting point, try settings of 12, 6, 6.

What he said.

Note that reduction levels higher than about 12 will begin to distort the voice, so it’s a decision of which damage do you want.

I posted an emergency backup recording of a breakfast interview I took from my cellphone lying on the table. Any interview is better than no interview.

Don’t let this go to waste. Were you able to determine what happened? This is the recommended recording technique for a geographically split, multi-point performance, but there is a lurking evil that one of the performers will have a bad recording. Apparently Windows has a trick where you can’t avoid updates. I understand that’s safety related, but still, it’s a mandatory time bomb.


Cheers. I’m pretty sure that it’s a problem of the wrong mic recording the audio at his end. I always tell people to check whether everything is recording correctly; he did a quick check, but I think he just checked whether Audacity was recording, rather than checking what it sounded like. If he’d done the latter, I’m pretty sure he would’ve found that he needed to change the recording device.

I’m definitely not letting the recording go to waste. It was an otherwise good 1 1/2 conversation on the HBO Watchmen series, and we’d long planned this to be his final session on the podcast with us. If it had been another episode, I wouldn’t mind as much, but as it’s his last hurrah, so to speak, it rankles. And it annoys me that I didn’t ask him to check the recording device was set correctly, because I’d done that in the past.

While we record on Audacity, I edit the final thing on Reaper, and I have a bunch of filters set up. I’ve now also tweaked the equalizer to boost the mid-range, which makes his audio a bit clearer, but I don’t think there’s much more I can do myself. I should see that at some point I can perhaps watch some tutorials on audio mixing, filters etc., because I can basically follow the how-to guides, but I only have a basic understanding of what these things do in terms of the human voice, frequencies and related topics.

And it annoys me that I didn’t ask him to check the recording device was set correctly, because I’d done that in the past.

Post Mortems of disasters frequently turn up multiple causes. All the moons and stars lined up.