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Hands-On Audacity Training Teleseminar
60 Minutes

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US $20

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How to remove noise with Audacity

With Audacity, you can remove background noise or "white noise" from your recordings (your sound files). What you basically want to do, is tell the program what noise you want to remove, then tell Audacity to remove it from the rest of the sound file.

Note: I strongly recommend you keep an additional copy of your original sound file on your computer, in case things don't turn out how you like them.

Here's how to "clean up" your sound files with Audacity:
(Want to see a video of removing noise? Click here to watch it.)

  1. Open your sound file in Audacity. It can be a .wav file or an .mp3. For this illustration, my sound file is named VOICE004.mp3 and I am displaying my sound file in one-second increments (i.e., the first 5 seconds of my sound file are visible here).

  2. Next, identify what part of your sound file is noise. For this illustration, the first one and a half seconds of my sound file are white noise that I want to take out. Place your mouse at the start of your noise sample, then click and drag across the part of your file that has the noise in it. It should be a part of the file that is only noise.

  3. Next, from the menu, choose Effect - Noise Removal....

    On the Noise Removal window that comes up, click Get Noise Profile to tell Audacity that the portion of the sound file you've selected is what you want to remove.

  4. After you've set your noise profile, select your entire sound file.

  5. Then, choose Effect - Noise Removal... from the top menu again. You can adjust the amount of noise you want to remove by sliding the bar to the left or right. I recommend starting with the smallest amount possible, so you don't get too "aggressive" with your soudn removal. Click the Remove Noise button at the bottom of the Noise Removal window.

    Note: If you want to see what your click the Preview button to hear what your new file will sound like without the noise in it.

  6. The noise will be removed from your file, and you'll be able to see how it looks:

  7. If you don't like how it sounds, you can choose Edit - Undo Noise Removal to undo your changes.

  8. Then, you can choose Effect - Noise Removal... from the top menu again and adjust the level of noise you want removed, by moving the slider on the Noise Removal window to Less or More. Then click the Preview button at the bottom to hear what the file will sound like. When you hear the quality you want, click the Remove Noise button at the bottom of the Noise Removal window to complete your change.

    Remember, you'll be able to Undo and adjust you audio file as much as you need to.

  9. When your file sounds like you want it to, choose File - Export as MP3 to export your sound file.

That should do it! Happy audio editing!

Still Struggling?
Check out the Hands-On Audacity Training Teleseminar this coming Tuesday