Telephones create a very particular sound, but that can sometimes be hard to capture when you’re making a video. With a little knowledge about what makes phone audio special, it is very easy to recreate that effect in your video editing software! Here’s a look at how to create a telephone audio filter in Final Cut Pro.


What makes telephone audio different?

Audio over the telephone obviously sounds different than just hearing a person face to face, but do you know the science behind it? In order to fit many phone circuits into a single wire, telephone companies restrict the frequency response used. Most are limited to 350 to 3,500 cycles per second. The typical human ear can hear 20 to 20,000 cycles. It’s this specific range that registers our memory with the audio heard on a telephone.


How to Create a Telephone Audio Filter

In order to create that telephone sound that is engrained in our memories, we need to limit the frequency of the audio clip we’re trying to distort. That is super easy to do in Final Cut Pro! Here are the steps:

1. Select your audio clip in the timeline and double click it to load it in the viewer.

2. Assign a high pass filter to the clip. You can do this by going to Effects>Audio Filters>Final Cut Pro>High Pass Filter. This will allow only frequencies that are ABOVE the limit you set.

3. Now, assign a low pass filter to the same clip. Again, you can find this in Effects>Audio Filters>Final Cut Pro>Low Pass Filter. This will only allow frequencies that are BELOW a limit you set.

4. Click on the filters tab in the viewer window. Adjust the high pass filter so the frequency is set at 500 and the Q is set at .71. Then adjust the low pass filter so the frequency is set at 2500 and the Q is set at .71.

That’s it! You can tweak the frequency settings to fit your exact style. The limits we suggested are just a basic starting point.


There are many ways to create this effect, and you may have another that you prefer. If so, share it with us! Leave a comment below or write us a note on our Facebook wall. There’s no wrong way as long as it gets the job done!

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