Audacity noise reduction | Tutorial

Audacity noise reduction

Audacity noise reduction

In another post, we’ve already shown how to improve recordings in Audacity by removing reverb, for example. But there is a second major source of noise that you may not hear during the recording itself – noise. Noise can have various reasons, for example the steady sound of the PC fans. But much more often you look for noise removal because your own microphone has a background noise. Especially with cheaper versions this can happen. Therefore we would like to show you how noise reduction in Audacity works and which microphone might be worthwhile for you. It is not difficult to remove noise, if you know the corresponding effect in Audacity and which settings to make. With a little practice, you can quickly improve the quality of your recordings.

That’s why noise removal in Audacity is still not a panacea:

If you want to remove noise in Audacity, you usually have to choose between two ways. If you remove the noise completely, you often lower the sound quality of the desired recording itself, since various frequencies are filtered out by algorithms. However, some of these frequencies also occur in the normal recording and are therefore also removed. One should therefore rather choose to reduce noise in Audacity and thus influence the desired recording less. Therefore, it is important to ensure good quality from the outset and thus also to use a suitable microphone. Next, you will find the recommendation of a microphone that we ourselves also use and thus have no noise at all.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Start Audacity
  • Select a small part (about one second) from your audio track where only the noise was recorded
  • Click on “Effect” -> Noise reduction
  • Click on “Get noise profile” in the following window
  • Select the part of your audio track where you want to remove the noise. You can also select the whole audio track (CTRL + A)
  • Click again on “Effect” -> Noise removal
  • In step 2 of the window you can now make the exact settings. But I recommend the standard functions
  • Here is an explanation of the individual points:
    • Noise reduction: Describes how much the volume should be reduced. Higher values remove more noise, but can also affect the normal sound
    • Sensitivity: Describes how accurately the noise profile looks for noise on the audio track. Again, higher values may remove more noise, but may affect the sound
    • Frequency Smoothing: Changes the sound. Low values make the sound sound tinny. Higher values add more bass
    • Response / Decay Time: Adjusts how fast the noise removal will kick in after noise is detected. Caution: If the value is too small, the noise removal can swallow up parts of the normal sound at the beginning and end
  • If you are satisfied with the settings, click OK
  • Done!

With noise removal, you can thus quickly and easily improve the quality of the recording, but usually at a small price of the actual sound quality. Nevertheless, Audacity noise removal offers enough possibilities to make a recording still usable if there is no other alternative. Noise removal is much more important beforehand, however, and is thus part of any media producer’s good preparation. So get stuck in. We wish you good luck with these tips for your future projects!

Video tutorial:

coming soon

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