Messed up the Mic

My wife is a clerk of a small township in northern Minnesota. We have been using a USB mic to record her meetings which works great. The last meeting she chose the wrong mic and it sounds very garbled but you can make out a few words from it. Is there anything I can do to save that audio? It was an important meeting and hopefully I can do something. Thanks.

you can make out a few words from it.

That’s usually the kiss of death right there. If it doesn’t “read” now, nothing we do is going to help.
If this was, for example, the laptop microphone instead of the higher quality one, you’re probably listening to weapons grade echo cancellation and environment suppression. That kind of distortion is not recoverable.

If it’s a mono show, select a 20 second chunk of it, export WAV (Microsoft) and post it here. Scroll down for a forum text window > Upload Attachment.


Here it is: Thanks for looking at it:

Can you post a longer stretch? One second isn’t enough to tell what it’s doing. The forum will allow up to 20 seconds of mono recording.


try again

The audio is very badly damaged. In my opinion, it’s beyond rescue.
It’s difficult to say what caused the problem - it could have been due to something as simple as a bit of contamination on the USB plug, or one of many other possibilities. If it is a recurring problem then we may be able to narrow down the possible causes, but if it’s just a one-off problem then I expect we’ll never know.

I’m guessing she picked the Coestant speakers as the mic which reverberated as a bad mic. That was an important meeting but I think it wont happen again. Shit happens, thanks anyways for looking at the problem. Life is a learning curve.

The damage looks more like data corruption to me.
See in this close-up how there are places (which I’ve marked with labels) where the waveform is discontinuous and jumps instantly from one level to another. In the analog realm, nothing changes “instantly”, so these glitches are almost certainly digital artefacts.

Why I asked for the longer clip… I got the smallest bit of improvement with Effect > Change Speed: Multiplier 1.3. If I didn’t know that was Pledge Allegiance from one tiny phrase chunk, It would have taken me a very long time to figure it out.

I can’t do it, either. It’s a combination of speed change and world-class compression distortion.

It’s important to get an idea of what happened to prevent it from happening again. Particularly since we can’t even point you to a general direction.

Can you recreate the error? The programmers have a thing called “Moon Phase Error.” Sometimes, when the moon is in the fifth perihelion…the program crashes. And only then. Usually followed by some very athletic language.

I would recommend making a several second recording and playing it back right then to make sure it’s OK. Either plain Record and you will get two sets of blue waves (delete the test), or Shift-R (Append Record) will record the meeting at the end of the test. It’s so bad just opening the microphone with two or three people chatting should tell you.