What effect/filter settings could improve this?


I have some audio and I suspect that there is some type of filter or setting that can improve how it sounds.

I know it is severely damaged, I am just curious if it can be improved & how in your opinion.

I am using Windows 7 & Audacity 2.0.3

Here is a sample of my bad audio:


I was shooting video of an event, and had a laptop setup to capture audio from the mixer. The music sounds normal but the mic audio is all like this, I assume it has to do with a damaged or rusty port on the machine but I am just appealing to your wisdom here. Please, any advice would be so appreciated.

That’s similar to the effect you get when you leave Windows Enhanced Services (conferencing processing) running and try to record music. But the purpose of Enhanced Services is to make voices clearer by suppressing air conditioning noises and other environment interference.

Your damage is backwards.

Does it do it again if you make another recording? I don’t think there’s any rescue for that. It sounds like severe compression damage. Is it a USB mixer? How did you connect the mixer to the computer?


I gave the sound guy my laptop with an external m-audio fast track, so it was recorded in pro-tools m-powered essential.

I had to be pretty far away when I was shooting the video, the times I came back to check it, interlude music was playing and it came through fine.

I have mic audio which is… not terrible… and I know this is pretty well shot. Just curious if anything could even reduce the problem.

Since you are likely correct about the cause, do you know how I could insure that it doesn’t happen in the future? In simple steps preferably lol

Just curious if anything could even reduce the problem.

No. That track is fatally damaged.

To be clear, I don’t think that Windows setting is the problem, unless maybe there was a music bed behind the voice. Still. As bad as that service is, it does treat voices pretty well. Anyway:


I’m listening to it on a much larger sound system now and I changed my mind. That’s a data error. Bad USB connection?


Hey you are gonna have to forgive my ignorance here but, does a bad usb port mean that the music coming in on the same line should have been damaged too? It came though fine.

Also what “service” are you referring to?

Also what “service” are you referring to?

Windows Enhanced Services. What that does, similar to your cellphone on Conference Call, is sense long sustained notes or sounds. It assumes those are air conditioning noises and tries to get rid of them. It will destroy music. You might check if that’s running on your computer anyway if you intend to do more of this.

does a bad usb port mean that the music coming in on the same line should have been damaged too? It came though fine.

Came through where? We can’t see what you’re doing.

If you got music OK, but not voices in the show, then it must have been that way coming from the theater sound system. There’s no other part of the sound chain that can decide if something is voice or not (past that Windows thing). Are you sure there’s nothing wrong with the music like a rough bubbly edge to it?

Can you break it again? The worst problems are the one-offs. “It breaks every three months…!@#$.”

Does your FastTrack have an external power supply (wall brick) and were you using it?


Koz is referring to the Windows Sound “Enhancements” (Audacity Manual) but I agree with Koz’s second post that that is probably not the problem here. It sounds far more like a USB problem.

USB is terrific for transferring small amounts of data very quickly (USB mouse/keyboard/printer/ etc), or large amounts of data where it does not matter precisely when it is delivered (USB drives), but what is difficult for USB is to deliver large amounts of data in a continuous, time critical stream (as is required by audio or video recording). USB can have difficulty keeping up with the constant data flow, and this can cause the data to become de-synchronised. The effect of this is that either the stream fails altogether and the recording stops, or more common and less severe, small bits of data are “dropped” from the stream and the sound becomes stuttery, like your example.

The efficiency of USB audio (or video) can be influenced by many things. USB hubs should be avoided as they make stuttering far more likely. Sometimes one USB port can work better than another, so it’s worth trying different USB ports if you have them. The USB connection is dependent on the computer CPU, so if the computer becomes “busy” then the USB connection suffers - avoid running other programs at the same time as recording.

See this FAQ for more tips and suggestions: Audacity Manual

(and no that recording cannot be fixed. The damage is permanent).

If it was an interference or tone that stayed around between words, then it’s possible to use Noise Removal and help a little, but it’s only there during the words, so there’s no way to split them.

But again from your earlier, if the music was crystal clear and just the voices got trashed, then that had to be the presentation delivered to the FastTrack from the theater.

Again, we don’t have the whole picture, was there a musical event followed by the voice and then the show ended? If it went back and forth several times and in each case the music was OK, then it’s almost certain the show came to you that way.

Post a sample of the music.


Or better, the voice, interstitial, and then the music. Koz

Have you done this a million times before at different shows? Anything new about this one?


Hey thanks for the info.

So to clarify, there was a sound guy, who was playing the digital music & controlling the mic levels ect. I was receiving just one XLR feed from him going into my fast track. I have interlude music coming in off of that which sounds fine.

Given the information you have provided, would it be possible for the real time monitoring out of the headphone jack on the fast track to sound ok, but the final file could be distorted as the computer was too “busy” to process it correctly? because I had atleast one chance to check the audio during voice and I could have swarn it was fine.

I do not do this setup very often. I usually use a zoom h4n, which my company had with someone else on another project that day.

Yes, very possible. Headphones in the Fast Track will monitor the sound as it comes into the Fast Track. Even if the USB packs up altogether you will still hear the sound through the headphones.

It is possible to monitor the sound through the computer, but I would not normally recommend this because it add extra work for the computer that is very likely to make the problem worse.

Does the computer record nicely from the Fast Track now?

A couple of things to watch out for: Windows update can have a huge impact on computer performance, so ensure that it is not scheduled to occur while you are recording. Same thing for anti-virus updates, anti-virus scans and other scheduled tasks.