"Over A Radio" effect

Hi all,

I’m a fairly n00boid Audacity user, so sorry if this question has been asked and answered before. I have a specific need, and I just can’t for the life of me get anything to work. Here is my need:

I have regular .wav files recorded with a standard mike. They sound like someone in a room speaking into a mike. No problem so far.

I want to convert these .wav files in such a way that the recording instead sounds like someone is speaking over a radio (think police car radio, or airplane radio).

Is there a quick and easy way to use Audacity to do something like this. I’ve tried mixing and matching several effects … but haven’t gotten even close to the sound I’m looking for.

Any input would be humbly appreciated.


Try the compressor under the Effect Menu, then Project > New Audio track or new stereo track and under the Generate Menu,
Generate White Noise. This gives you noise in a new track which you can mix in with your voice. You may want to reduce the amplification of the noise with Effect > Amplify so it is just in the background. You can distort the voice by deliberately overamplifying it with the same Amplify tool (check “Allow Clipping”), then deamplify it so it’s not too loud. You may want to use the low pass filter under the Effect Menu to attenuate high frequencies, e.g. if you want frequencies like an FM radio you should not have frequencies above 15000 Hz. Finally at Edit > Preferences > File Formats (assuming you are using Audacity 1.2.x), set the uncompressed export format to a 4 bit format to give you a lousy signal to noise ratio.

Also play with Nyquist Vocoder here for some special effects:

Just copy/paste that text into a new text file, name the file vocoder.ny, drop it into your Audacity installation folder and restart Audacity.

Hi, Im doing voice-overs for a theatrical production that needs radio broadcasts. Would this also work for recorded speech. It needs to be from the WW2 era.

Have you tried the “AM Radio” preset in Effect > Equalization in Audacity Beta?


other possible solutions …



The “Leveller” effect is pretty good at producing “Over A Radio” type distortion and as already suggested the “AM Radio” preset in Effect > Equalization will reduce the high and low frequencies to give a “thin” radio type sound.

AM radio and Communications radio sound very different. AM started out life as theatrical medium and its only real shortcoming is the sound channel never goes out beyond 5KHz. That’s the point at which the next sound channel on the broadcast band kicks in. So start with Low Pass = 5KHz. AM has fading and that stupid intercarrier whistle, although if you’re close enough to the station, it sounds remarkably good.

Communications is a whole different world. This is multiple passes through the leveler set to maximum and the telephone effect – 300 to 3000.


I have the rest of the conversations and noise being as I live next to LAX and have an AvRadio. I just need to produce it.