recorded interview using speaker phone, now getting flat line on audacity

Hi, I used my iphone to record an interview with a subject. I used Audacity 2.1.1 and my MAC is High Sierra 10.13.6. I have a rouhgly 17-minute audio file now, but the line is flat (no waves) and there is no sound when I play the file. There is no sound as well when I exported it to a WAV file. I definitely hit record, but it seems the sound didn’t transmit the way I wanted it to. I’ve used audacity for the same purpose very recently and never had this same issue. I am wondering if there is any way for me to recover this audio as it is very important. Thanks

Can you play the file on the phone? Did you remember to save the performance and name it after you recorded it?

I, of course, have never made that mistake (ahem, harumph).


yes the file is saved and named. but no, i can’t currently access it on my phone.

yes the file is saved and named. but no, i can’t currently access it on my phone.

I meant saved and named on your phone. All the recorders I used hold the work in the active recorder app until I tell the system if I want to keep it, where to keep it, and what to call it.

Which app? Voice Memo? Music Memo?

While it’s open in Audacity:

Effect > Amplify > OK.

What happens?


Another possibility. Right+Click or Control+Click on the sound file > Open With > QuickTime Player.

QuickTime Player will play dirt if you want it to. Does it play your work?


No, I don’t have it saved on phone and not allowing me to right click/open it in quicktime.

There were several questions up there. What app were you using?

Open in Audacity. Select the whole clip with the SELECT button on the left.

Effect > Amplify > OK. Don’t change any settings.

What happens?

Start planning what will happen if that interview never comes back.


Nothing happens when I amplify. And I wasn’t using an app. I put a phone on speakerphone and put it by my computer with audacity recording (I thought). I remember however that when I hit record, I wasn’t opening up the app from scratch per se. It was already open, and I clicked (record new track) and a new window popped up. Could that be a root of my problem? I think overdub was on – not sure if its supposed to be.

If Effect > Amplify didn’t return anything, then there is no recording.

Did you get the bouncing sound meter and fat blue waves while you were recording? Those are the confidence indicators that you were actually recording a show. If you were recording on top of an existing edit session, my first guess is you were using the recording settings for the first session, not the ones you thought you were using. Audacity doesn’t manage multiple versions of the app at the same time very well.

It is best to use a fresh Audacity at each recording. I do that and I’ve never lost a paid gig.


I put a phone on speakerphone and put it by my computer with audacity recording

I wondered why more people don’t do that. Given you’re paying attention, that’s far less complicated than trying to throw wires back and forth between the phone and computer.

You can improve the quality by padding the desk and possibly creating a kitchen table studio instead of trying to record in an open room.

That illustration is for live reading, but you can slide the phone and laptop in there and eliminate the room echoes. If you juggle it just right, you can hold an interview like that.

There is no glue. You can knock it apart and slide the whole thing under your bed.