Improving a bad speech recording - help needed!

Good day and Season’s Greetings,

I have a rather poor recording of a speech that I would like to improve as much as possible using Audacity 2.1.0 under Windows 7.
Is anyone good at this kind of thing? I didn’t make the recording, so I can’t comment on the equipment used. However, it sounds kind of muffled and slightly warbly and some of the “S’s” in the speech tend to come across as too loud/harsh in places. I have attached a short WAV file. If anyone could doctor this as best as possible and tell me the steps you used, I would be extremely grateful.


To stand any chance of improving that recording you will need the original unprocessed recording. Someone has already tried to “clean up” that recording, which pretty much puts an end to further improvement. I would guess that the audio quality of the original is quite poor, so there may not be much that can be done - it will certainly never sound “studio quality”.

I don’t think I can easily get the original unprocessed recording. I realise I won’t get the sound to studio quality; I just want to improve it as far that is possible, using Audacity’s various processing tools (EQ and suchlike).


Sorry but the job is like taking roadkill to a vet.

We can’t remove effects and filters from a recording. Once somebody tries to correct a work, that’s the end of the story. We recommend very strongly that you post only original, unfiltered work to the forum for comment or help.

Anything we do now is just going to fight the earlier corrections. Chance of improvement is zero.


Okay - there seems to be consensus on this! :smiley: Luckily I managed to get hold of the guy who did the original recording and he has promised to send me a copy. I hope to have it within the next day or two.


Luckily I managed to get hold of the guy who did the original recording

That is lucky, yes. And just because I’m not done throwing cold water yet, it’s possible we’re not going to do much better than the original correction. Even worse, if the file was made with a recorder that has built-in corrections such as cellphone recorders. Those really are one-offs.

At the beginning of the post, I thought you were going to say the original performer agreed to do it again. YES!! [pumping fist].

You can metaphorically clear a room by walking in and saying, “Help me clean up…”

“I think I hear my mom calling.”
“Would you look at the time.”
“I forgot to return my library book.”
“Is that the fire alarm?”
“I need to put money in the parking meter.”


I don’t think it was recorded on a phone. I’ve started a new thread, to avoid confusion. It has a clip of the original recording attached:

Thanks, I’ll lock this thread now.