Edit a lecture/seminar

Hello everyone, I really appreciate your help. I use my iPhone to record audio when a seminar is going on so that I can review the seminar. A lot of the times I can not hear people talking in the audio recording because the voice is not high enough. I was wondering if there was a way in audacity to increase the voice of somebody talking and perhaps even clarify it so that I can hear it when I play it back. Thanks so much for the help.

If it’s a simple volume problem, select the whole recording with Select > All (top bar), Then Effect > Amplify > OK. That will make the recording as loud as possible without distortion. If you need a way to rescue the voice from noise or other sound, that’s a lot harder.

There is a fuzzy rule that if you can’t make out the words, Audacity won’t be able to, either.

Audacity doesn’t “know” what a voice is. It depends on cues and tricks to do some of its jobs. The vocal removal tool, for example, depends on the lead vocal being in the left-right middle of stereo song. If the voice isn’t in the middle, the tool drops dead.

There is no shortage of live recording tricks. Get a seat closer to the lecturer or close to one of the hall speakers. Use a directional microphone, etc.

The newsies still do this for a reason. It’s one of the few ways to get a good, clear recording of a voice.


Thanks for the reply, the times when I have to record usually happen when I don’t have much of a notice so the only item I have is my iphone. There is generally a lot of noise in the background because these events happen when there is instrumentation going on in the background. Sense the instrumentation can be classified as a background noise is there a way for me to somehow get rid of that sound. If I think about it I can get this sound when the speaker isn’t talking and perhaps eliminate the background noise from the rest of the recording. Can that be done?

Thanks and sorry for the delay in response :smiley:

Sense the instrumentation can be classified as a background noise

Effect > Noise Reduction only works on sound that doesn’t change over time such as air conditioning, computer fan, or electrical hum or buzz. It does not work if you leave the TV on in the background or try to pull a voice out of other voices.

None of these tools do any good if you can’t make out the words from the original recording. That’s usually the break point.

What is instrumentation?