Cleaning up the "empty" track

Hi -

Sorry if this has been covered before, if it has, for some reason I can’t find it.

I do a podcast using skype and the voicerecorder app. I don’t have any real control on input levels.

A situation I have the take up a lot of time in post production is that on my track, while my subject is speaking, all sorts of sonic debris accumulates through my mic (which I can’t turn off, of course, because I’m waiting for an opportunity to jump into the ‘conversation’ at a moment’s notice.

So, I get all kinds of stuff that ‘noise reduction’ doesn’t want to touch. things like chair squeaks, lip smacks, Dorito packaging, and stuff like that.

So, these things put the tiniest spikes between my actual spoken comments. Unfortunately, sometimes what’s going on in my office comes through the main speakers voice after I’ve merged the two tracks to mono. It comes through enough that listeners will sometimes comment. For this reason, I’d like to get rid of this ‘sonic debris.’

Currently, I slide through the whole program, which is always 1 hr long and do the ‘insert silence’ thing to flatten out between my intentional moments on the mic. This can take A LOT of time and, of course, the tinies mistep can throw the two tracks out of sync

So, I’ve got to wonder which tool I can use to knock out this low volume stuff that appears between the high vol speaking on my voice track.

That’s ‘floor,’ isn’t it? I think I saw someone recommend to not use a ‘floor’ setting in, what? Chris’ Compressor?

As you can see, I’m a functional newbie with a fair amount of actual time working with Audacity.

Thanks for your consideration and patience.


A noise-gate plugin could be what you’re looking for :
it can squelch any signal below a user-defined-threshold down to true flat-line silence.
NB: a noise-gate won’t remove noise which occurs during speech, but it can remove the noise between speech.

[How to install that noise-gate plugin …]

That probably is it. Any idea of what the trick settings are ? :wink:

Thanks. I’ll post back here once I’ve been able to try it.


There is a tool within that noise-gate plug-in to analyse the noise to establish the threshold to set …
Demo of noise-gate in Audacity.gif