How to improve telephone recording

Mac OSX 10.10 / Audacity 2.1.0

Hi, I’ve got an interview I conducted over the phone, and unfortunately the interviewee just had a really compressed cell phone signal. My main goal with this is clarity, so I was wondering if anyone had any advice on small improvements that would help people hear the words better. In general, I know it’s ideal to record optimally, but in this case, I’m stuck with what I’ve got. Thanks for your help!

This recording has some very serious problems.

– The performer is a mush-mouth. After close listening I still can’t tell you what he said in the front part of the sentence.

– The recording channel droops and is chopped off at 3KHz, so it’s not as good as a bad telephone.

I applied an equalizer to boost the tones between 1KHz and rising to 3KHz. That’s what’s in the attached patch. I don’t think I can do much past that. If that helps I can publish the settings. I don’t think you have an interview.

There are theatrical ways out of this. Transcribe the English words and get an actor to do them. If you do it right, even the original performer may not catch it.


Koz… thank you! I agree with your assessment of the recording, BUT I did find your patch and advice to make it significantly better. I really appreciate the time you took to do this. Could I get your settings please so I can apply this to the rest of the interview? My solution is to only go to this guy for a few quick sound bites when he’s at his most clear. Your improvements made a huge difference.