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Editing noob here, so this is probably an easy one--someone just sent me a recording of his voice but his input volume may have been set too high. As a result, the recording redlines a lot. Here's what the track looks like in GarageBand:

track in garageband

This is a recording of a long conversation so re-recording is not an option. I have tried reducing the output volume, but the distortions from the redlining are still there, only quieter. I have played with the equalizer a bit, too, but I don't really know what I'm doing.

Is there any way to make a high input volume more pleasant to listen to?

  • Izotope RX-7 has a de-clipping module. – Mark Jun 23 at 10:21
  • I'm not sure it sounds clipped--it just sounds distorted. Or is that the same thing? – weltschmerz Jun 23 at 17:20
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I had to deal with a similar case once: a lengthy voice recording (4 voices mixed down to 1 track) with a lot of clipping. Well, the clipping parts were lost. But looking at your spectrum, it seems that the signal has mostly not been clipped - it only comes very close to clipping. Many audio software tools already warn a bit before that by showing you the red lights.

What I did in my case was to apply a compressor effect that reduced volume of the louder parts. Optionally you can apply a makeup gain to amplify the quieter parts. Not every compressor effect has a gain control though.

In short, a compressor reduces the dynamic range and should make the recording more pleasant to listen in your case.

Here is a video tutorial explaining the compressor: Tutorial

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  • That's what I ended up doing. Great. – weltschmerz Jun 25 at 6:01

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