Possible to improve quality for 8khz 16bit mono recordings?

Using Windows XP, Aud 2.0.2, Rode NT2A mic, Avid Fast Track Solo pre-amp. Project is for music on hold with announcements. Importing mp3 audio and resampling to 8khz and reduce to stereo to mono. Playback is poor, as expected with reduced sampling rate.

Recording voice track also in 8khz, 16 bit, mono. I use Eq, Norm, and Compression to try and groom the voice results, but frankly the quality is so poor I can’t imagine anyone be happy with these delivered results. Perhaps I am too spoiled by 44100hz…? Any secrets out there for improving quality of sound in this arena of settings which are required for most telephone systems? Thanks in advance.

The maximum clarity of spoken word you can get with 8KHz sample rate is 4KHz, just above the maximum telephone voice frequency of 3KHz (actually, slightly less). You may be able to do slightly better by tilting the frequency response so the voice is a little sharper.

Effect > Equalization

You’re never going to get London Symphony Orchestra out of a telephone system.

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