Really Bad audio correction-pls help

I have this really bad audio recording that I need to improve to a decent level. I am a beginner with audacity. I tried couple of effects but nothing seems to work. Can someone tell me what is wrong with this audio & how to correct it. I have attached the audio for your understanding. Thanks a ton in advance.

It is massively distorted (overloaded).

It can’t be made to sound “good”. The best that is possible is to make it sound a bit less hideous like this:

For that small improvement:

  1. Use “Amplify” effect to reduce the level
  2. Apply “ClipFix”
  3. Tweak the result with the “Filter Curve EQ” effect to reduce the low frequencies
  4. Use the Amplify again to make the waveform a reasonable size.

(I also mixed down to mono, but that just reduces the file size for quicker upload / download)

A Steve wrote, that clip is severely clipped, try using a good level (-12 to -9 dB) when recording in the first place.
You can make it sound a bit better by using the following effects:

  1. Clip fix - settings 95% and -9 dB

  2. Amplify - it will show you how much it should be dropped (approx 11dB).

  3. Tweak EQ to make it sound a bit better.

Result attached below, still awful but a tad better.

I have this really bad audio recording

Who made the recording? Sometimes the best we can do is tell you how to do a better job next time.


Hello, I just came across this thread looking for something similar, and I know the thread is old, but I’m replying anyway for future users who might find this helpful.

Also, I hope this is okay to post, even though it’s not technically Audacity help, but as the replies above state, audio this bad is nearly impossible to fix in Audacity, and maybe this is a way to make it fixable in Audacity.

Adobe’s new, free (as of Dec 2022) AI Audio Enhancement tool was just released, and on a whim, I ran the original audio through it.
Wow. To me, it sounds like a HUGE improvement! My guess is that the AI-processed audio could then be loaded into Audacity for further improvement.
I also loaded the “less-distorted” clip in, and the AI tool cleaned it up much more, but may have introduced some new audio artifacts. Perhaps a combination of techniques is called for.
At any rate, this new tool is quite remarkable, and may be useful for pre-processing bad audio before uploading to Audacity.
The free tool is limited to 1 hr/1 Gb of audio per upload, and requires an Adobe login, but you can use it as often as you wish. It really only works (at this time) on single-voice vocal recordings, so other noise like audience laughter or music will be a problem.

The tool is at
I hope this is helpful and doesn’t break any forum rules or etiquette.

Windows 11
Audacity 3.2.2

It’s fine as it’s relevant to the topic, helpful, and you’re clearly not trying to sell something (advertising and spam are not permitted).

The “Sample-LessDistortion (enhanced).wav” is impressive considering the terrible quality of the original.

It also kills mosquitoes* … [ * the USB whine ]

But prone to confabulation …

I suggest that you try using a good level when recording in the first place.

My guess is that isn’t a viable option for sammy20 - it sounds like he is trying to rescue an existing (bad) recording.