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I was wondering if there was an easy way to do a voice over of a phone call with it actually sounding like someone on the phone instead of just a voice over?

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Convert the audio track to 32kbps? –  Colum Jul 6 '11 at 1:17

1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Downsampling it to 8KHz will get you most of the way toward that telephone sound.

Here’s a demo.

Then, to get even closer, use a band pass filter to knock out everything below about 500Hz and above 2000Hz (you can find an example of using Audacity’s equalizer to do this here).

Here’s a demo with the full effect. (Same recording, I didn’t feel like making a second, more-descriptive one. :-) )

(For whatever reason, my copy of Chrome glitches a bit while playing these back. Not sure why. Other programs handle them fine.)

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As well as bandlimiting and sharply filtering above and below the aforementioned frequencies, applying some judicious parallel compression and distortion will also help you achieve a more realistic result. Old handsets used carbon mics with notoriously lo-fi reproduction characteristics; whilst most phones now use tiny electrets the circuitry's designed to rapidly and severely compress (in terms of dynamic range) incoming sound with a long release. That's why if your conversational partner blows down the mic, everything goes silent momentarily then ramps back up. Compress the hell out of it! –  Christopher Woods Nov 22 '11 at 18:38
    
the 2nd demo has no audible audio –  Travis Dtfsu Crum Oct 30 '12 at 4:05
    
@TravisDtfsuCrum: Still there for me. What are you using to listen to it? –  Sidnicious Oct 30 '12 at 20:07
    
its back up. It wasn't playing last time when the first demo did. don't know why –  Travis Dtfsu Crum Nov 2 '12 at 22:54

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