Audio is loud, distorted, or clipping

Troubleshooting for:

  • Audio distortion and clipping in the Studio
    • A participant sounds too loud
  • High-quality recording tracks with distortion and clipping (to investigate before recording again
NOTE: Distortion and Clipping
Audio distortion, also known as clipping, generally cannot be fixed in post-production.
 occurs when the input gain or volume is set too high or there is a sudden increase in volume from the source.

Suggested Troubleshooting Steps

Adjust audio sensitivity and mic gain

Mind your Ps and Ks: Use a Pop Filter or move the mic

Saying some words requires pushing air out of your mouth, especially those words with hard P, B, C, K, Sh, and Ch sounds. When speaking very close to a microphone, the forceful exhale of air can blow directly into the mic, causing clipping and distortion. This sounds similar to hearing wind on a phone call when someone is talking on the phone outside.

  • If your audio is clipping when you say these 'plosive' sounds, move the mic further away from your mouth.
    • You can also try projecting your words next to the microphone, rather than directly into it.
  • You can also attach a pop filter to the microphone that acts as a shield to block some of the direct flow of air.
    A round pop filter attached to a microphone.
    (Galak76, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

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