Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an internationally accepted form of treatment option for selected patients with Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. Intraoperative extracellular microelectrode recordings (MER) are considered as the standard electrophysiological method for the precise positioning of the DBS electrode into the target brain structure. Pre-processing of MERs is a key phase in clinical analysis, with intraoperative microelectrode recordings being prone to several artifact groups (up to 25 %). The aim of this methodological article is to provide a convolutional neural network (CNN) processing pipeline for the detection of artifacts in an MER. We applied continuous wavelet transform (CWT) to generate an over-complete time–frequency representation. We demonstrated that when attempting to find artifacts in an MER, the new CNN + CWT provides a high level of accuracy (ACC = 88.1 %), identifies individual classes of artifacts (ACC = 75.3 %) and also offers artifact time onset detail, which can lead to a reduction in false positives/negatives. In summary, the presented methodology is capable of identifying and removing various artifacts in a comprehensive database of MER and represents a substantial improvement over the existing methodology. We believe that this approach will assist in the proposal of interesting clinical hypotheses and will have neurologically relevant effects.