Help!!! I really screwed up a recording: is it possible to recover it?
March 21, 2017 5:25 PM   Subscribe

Hi Ask MeFi! I made a terrible mistake the other day: I put my phone in my pocket to record an interview that took place outside/while we were walking, and ended up recording a lot of loud, awful pocket noises instead of the conversation. Is there any way to salvage this?

I used the TapeRecorder app on my iPhone to record. I can hardly hear the conversation outside of the noise, and because I was walking, I wasn't taking good notes by hand.

Is there anyway I can edit out these sounds and save the recording? Or is my only recourse to try to listen past the noise and see what little I can make out of the conversation?

I really screwed up! Your help would be very much appreciated. :(
posted by lightgray to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Seems unlikely based on your description but if you're able to share the recording somewhere you'll get better answers.
posted by STFUDonnie at 5:33 PM on March 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you actually can't hear what's being said, as opposed to it just being horrible to listen to, you're probably going to really struggle. Your brain is a lot better at filtering out background noise, in the vast majority of cases, than anything that's likely to be technically achievable without a lot of work and expertise. If you can't hear it, it's probably not there to be heard, sadly. But, as above, if you can upload the recording, it might be possible to offer some more helpful suggestions, depending on what the actual issue is.
posted by howfar at 5:45 PM on March 21, 2017

Well. I'm not sure how terrible it is... but I used Express Scribe for transcription and had an audio recording that had a lot of background noise and soft voices. That software helped boost the voices and dim the background noise, but I still needed another program to boost the sound extra high on my Mac.
posted by buttonedup at 5:54 PM on March 21, 2017

Audacity has a 'Noise Removal' filter that might help clean it up a bit - it won't be perfect but may make it easier to listen to. Instructions are googleable.
posted by quinndexter at 6:57 PM on March 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Send it to me, please. MeMail. I do this for a living.
posted by mykescipark at 10:05 PM on March 21, 2017 [14 favorites]

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