Complicated noise reduction

Hi, I’m new to sound editing, but after some reading on noise removal and a little bit of toying around, I think I need some expert advice for my sound clip. I was recording using my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4), and the setting was a noisy classroom. I’m trying to reduce the noise level to just the people/voices in my group, but there is a considerable amount of noise from other students in the background. I’d like to see about specifically targeting one voice (main speaker), but perhaps I’m a little in over my head. Also, after listening and toying with the track a little bit, its apparent that the louder sounds are coming from the background, and our group contains the muffled voices of the track. Idk if any of the matters, but hopefully I’m as detailed as possible. Any tips, pointers, etc would be of much help. Thanks!

Noise Removal works best on sounds lower than the show, and they have to be different from the show and non-moving. That is, we can do a pretty good job on background air conditioning hum (which never changes) but we can’t take out the TV in the next room that you left on by accident.

We can’t split a show into individual instruments and singers – or speakers using any Audacity tools. Any setting you make to remove background voices is going to seriously damage the foreground ones.

It pays very handsome returns to get the recorder or microphone as close as possible to the speaker. That’s why you see news events with people jamming hand-held recorders into people’s faces. That may seem rude and aggressive, but people who do that walk away with good recordings.

You might try Effect > Noise Gate if the background voices are very much lower than foreground. The problem with that tool once you have it working is nobody can change anything or move around.


its apparent that the louder sounds are coming from the background, and our group contains the muffled voices of the track

I can’t explain that one at all. I’d be wanting to inspect the phone or dig into the phone instructions. Conferencing and recording on a cellphone is a black art. Not dark gray, black.


Yeah I figured it worked like that. I was thinking I could basically cut out the louder noises (chairs, students talking) and keep the quieter ones (the three voices in our group). Sounds a lot more complicated though. I’m basically just trying to amplify the parts that I need, but when I do that all of the sound gets louder, not just the parts I want.

Another thing I should add is that I’m not really concerned with keeping the whole track. I just merely want to hear what we said for a couple two minute segments.

Depending on your motivation, you could use the Envelope Tool.

It sounds like there should be sinister music behind that, doesn’t it?

Import your show and click on the Envelope Tool – two white arrows and bent blue line. This will give you blue rubber-band guides top and bottom of the track. You can click on the lines and, word by word, suppress the evil sound.

This is what a cross-fade between two tracks looks like to give you an idea. Each of the tiny white dots is a click-control point.

Yes, that is the desperation method. It can’t take you more than a couple of weeks.


Holly crap that looks like it could take awhile. I’ll toy around with it to see what I can do…but we’ll see how long that lasts. Thanks for the tips man.

It is bothersome that the sound closest to the recorder is muffled and the sounds further away are clear.

I was recording using my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4)

You should dig in your instructions and I bet it turns out the sound in your phone is directional.

For best sound, face the phone in the direction of the Performer” (I’m making that up).