Repairing/cleaning up corrupted audio

Hey folks, I’ve got a weird issue. I have a several hour long dialogue recording I was editing, and there’s an isolated section, about 15 minutes long (pretty close to the end, but not exactly there) that I’ve run across where the audio is suddenly garbled.

Since the audio around the section is fine and you can still hear the voices, it seems like this is a data corruption and not necessarily a sudden mic issue(it was recorded in audacity, so I don’t have separate raw audio), I was wondering if anyone knew of a good way to repair, or at the very least, clean up this audio, as I’d hate to lose it entirely.

This is on Windows 10, using Audacity 2.1.0

It has drop-outs : so it’s a jigsaw with pieces missing …

dropouts (aka skips).gif

Maybe the hard-drive was getting full, or antivirus started up,
see …https :// …How_can_I_record_without_small_skips_dropouts

Hrm, dang. Is there any interpolation or smoothing that can be done to make it at all more usable?

No. That’s gone.

Did the audio get that way over several seconds and then clean itself up over several seconds? That sounds exactly like a recording error I got a long time ago. It’s almost like it’s trying to be two different recordings happening at the same time off rhythm from each other.

The bad news is it destroys the recording and it never happened again. That makes it impossible to trace and fix.


Yes. I think that’s the error. The woman’s voice is there more than once per word. It’s a funny echo and we can’t do anything with echoes.


Can do a sort of comb-over : applying temporal-blur to spread the sound into the bald drop-out gaps,
but the result is even less intelligible …

Alright, well, thank you for the information at least.

I just experienced this same problem, the last 2 hours of a 7 hour recording sounds just like your sample. It appears that I might have been running low on disk space. Very frustrating, but live and learn. I guess.

Which version of Audacity?

I’m still using v2.1.3.

I would recommend that both of you guys update Audacity at your earliest convenience. A lot of work has gone into the last couple of version to make them more robust against disk write problems (may help to avoid similar problems in the future).
The current version is 2.3.0 and is available via the Audacity website: