How To Clean Up Audio From A Phone Recording

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Recording audio on our phones has become a common practice in our everyday lives. Whether it’s capturing an important lecture, interviewing someone for a podcast, or recording a live performance, our phones have become versatile tools for audio recording. However, the quality of these recordings may not always be perfect, and background noise or other audio disturbances can often interfere with the clarity of the recording. In this article, we will explore some effective techniques to clean up audio from a phone recording.

1. Use a Noise Reduction Plugin

One of the simplest ways to clean up audio from a phone recording is by using a noise reduction plugin. These plugins are designed to identify and reduce background noise, such as static, hum, or hiss, while preserving the clarity of the main audio. There are various noise reduction plugins available, both free and paid, that can be easily integrated into your audio editing software.

2. Apply EQ (Equalization)

EQ is a powerful tool that can help clean up audio by adjusting the frequency balance. By using an EQ plugin, you can selectively boost or cut specific frequencies to enhance the clarity of the audio. For example, if there is excessive low-end rumble, you can reduce the bass frequencies. Similarly, if the audio sounds muffled, you can boost the high frequencies to add more clarity.

3. Remove Background Noise Manually

If the noise reduction plugin is not giving you the desired results, you can try removing background noise manually. Most audio editing software allows you to select a portion of the audio that contains only the background noise, and then use the noise removal tool to analyze and remove that specific noise profile. This technique requires a bit of practice and patience, but it can be effective in cleaning up the audio.

4. Reduce Reverb with a De-Reverberation Plugin

Reverb is the natural echo that occurs when sound reflects off surfaces in a room. It can make the audio sound distant or muddy. To reduce reverb in a phone recording, you can use a de-reverberation plugin. This plugin analyzes the reverb characteristics of the audio and applies algorithms to reduce the unwanted reverberation, resulting in a cleaner and more focused sound.

5. Cut Out Unwanted Sections

If there are specific sections in the phone recording that contain unwanted noises or disturbances, you can simply cut them out. Most audio editing software allows you to select a portion of the audio and delete it. This technique is useful when there are short interruptions or distractions in the recording that can be easily removed without affecting the overall content.

6. Adjust the Volume Levels

Uneven volume levels can be a common issue in phone recordings. Some parts may be too loud, while others may be too soft. To ensure a consistent listening experience, you can use the volume automation feature in your audio editing software to adjust the volume levels. By manually controlling the volume during different sections of the recording, you can create a more balanced and polished sound.

7. Use a De-esser for Harsh Sibilance

Sibilance refers to the harsh “s” or “sh” sounds that can be prominent in some recordings. To reduce sibilance and make the audio more pleasant to listen to, you can use a de-esser plugin. This plugin specifically targets the sibilant frequencies and applies compression to smooth out the harsh sounds, resulting in a cleaner and more natural audio.

8. Employ a Limiter to Control Peaks

If the audio recording contains sudden loud peaks or spikes, using a limiter can help control those peaks and prevent distortion. A limiter is a dynamic processor that limits the maximum level of the audio signal, ensuring that it does not exceed a certain threshold. By setting the appropriate threshold and ratio, you can effectively manage the peaks and create a more balanced and controlled audio.

9. Enhance the Clarity with a Multiband Compressor

A multiband compressor is a versatile tool that can be used to enhance the clarity of the audio. It allows you to compress specific frequency bands independently, ensuring that no part of the audio becomes too dominant or overpowering. By carefully adjusting the threshold, ratio, and attack/release settings, you can achieve a more balanced and intelligible audio recording.

10. Finalize with Mastering Techniques

Once you have cleaned up the audio from the phone recording, it’s important to apply some final touches to optimize the overall sound quality. This can be done through mastering techniques, such as EQ adjustments, stereo widening, harmonic enhancement, and subtle compression. Mastering helps to bring out the best qualities of the audio and ensures that it sounds polished and professional.


With the advancements in technology, cleaning up audio from a phone recording has become easier and more accessible than ever before. By using the techniques mentioned in this article, you can significantly improve the quality of your phone recordings and create a more enjoyable listening experience. So, the next time you have a phone recording that needs some cleaning up, give these techniques a try and be amazed by the difference they can make.