Effects Process Order

Hello - Is there a generally accepted order in which effects should be applied? For example, with a recording that is a little quiet with also a little bit of constant background noise, and in this example the solution is to use Amplify and Noise Removal… does it matter which is used first? I’m guessing that the order is irrelevant, but would hate to spend time handling things one way and then later find that I could have been getting better results if I had run through my effects in different order.

Thanks, my apologies if I’ve overlooked this info posted elsewhere.

For many effects the order is irrelevant, but not in all cases.

The very first thing to do after making a recording is to Export a backup copy in WAV format.

DC Offset removal (if required) should generally be the first effect (after making a backup) that you do http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/dc_offset.html
Note that DC offset removal is not always required - a good sound card should not produce DC offset, but applying DC Offset removal will do no harm even if not actually required.

The best time to apply noise reduction depends on the audio. Noise reduction generally works better when there is little for it to do. So, for example, if you have a really bad recording with buzzing and hissing and whistling, it will probably be better to deal with those first (with appropriate filters), and then apply noise reduction. On the other hand, if the recording is pretty good, then noise reduction may be better to do early on, or not be required at all.

If you intend to apply noise reduction and dynamic compression, then the noise reduction should be before the dynamic compression. This is because (any kind of) dynamic processing will tend to make the noise floor vary in loudness, which makes it much more difficult for noise reduction to work well. Noise reduction works best on low level constant noise.

In that specific case I would expect the order to be irrelevant to the final result, though the optimal settings for noise reduction may be slightly different in one case from the other.

Thanks, much appreciated.

If you have doubts about the best order of specific effects, feel free to ask.