For some reason, the audio stream became “de-synchronised”. Rather than the sound system delivering a continuous stream of audio data, there are small gaps in the audio stream, which are producing the “distortion” that you hear. There are many possible causes for this. One of the most common seems to be with USB audio devices when the computer CPU load is high. If a built-in sound card drops a bit of data, it can usually (but not always) “catch up” and get back in synch. That seems to be much harder for USB devices to do, so if they drop a bit of data they can fall into this problem and it may require restarting the USB device to get it right again.
It’s very unlikely to be caused by clicking a wrong button or anything like that.
Recording audio (and video) is hard for computers because the data stream must be continuous, while at the same time there are many processes in the computer that are competing for computer resources. Good management of drivers and computer resources can help to avoid these type of issues. See here for some possible tips: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Managing_Computer_Resources_and_Drivers
Any suggestions on how to salvage this voiceover? I know that there’s no way to fully remove the distortion (did an hour of Googling to figure out why this happened before coming here), but there might be a way to reduce the distortion to make it less painful to non-Dalek ears.
I’m a very, very basic Audacity user, and only use the software to silence parts of the audio track where I cough or sneeze or drop something or breathe too heavily. I haven’t done any of the fancier stuff that Audacity is capable of, but I’m willing to learn.
Unfortunately no. There’s not really any way to fix that.
You could possibly make it a bit less painful by using the equalization effect to lower the high frequencies, but that will also tend to make it sound muffled.