Highlighting all sounds hitting threshhold

I’ve got a sound file of a voice, and it was recorded too hot, so that the voice is consistently hitting 0 db or getting close enough that the words have that annoying fuzzy sound you get when audio gets too loud. I don’t know the proper way to explain this because I know the bare minimum about what I’m doing in Audacity. But you know what I mean. At everything above, say, -1 db or so, the articulation is just less clear.

For the sake of argument, let’s just say I only want to preserve words that are spoken clearly, so anything that doesn’t get close to the limit, in other words, and I’m willing to manually remove the bad stuff, but I just want an easy way to identify it.

Does that make sense? Is there a way to make this easy on Audacity?

Don’t need to approach 0dB for fuzzy distortion …


Hmm… Okay, I’ll look more into the spectrogram. The sound quality is on the whole pretty good, because it’s from an audiobook. But as I said, it just gets too “hot” a lot and you loose some of the clarity on sibilants and other sounds at the top end. Also, the occasional sort of… mechanical wobble/distortion, or whatever, that you hear when the voice hits the top.

A de-esser plugin can selectively attenuate all the instances excessive-sibilance in one pass …

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