eliminate peaks in live recording

My main use of Audacity is to post-process live recordings of lectures, made with a “handheld” wav/mp3 recorder (Zoom H2n).

During the recording, there are invariably peaks from a laugh, handclap, recorder bump, etc. My usual approach is to search out the peaks, manually decrease their amplitude or delete them, and normalize. That works fine, but takes a lot of time.

Should I be looking at using the Limiter then amplifying/normalizing, or would compressing be better? I’ve got a lot to learn in either case.

I’m running Audacity 2.3.1 on Windows 10. An example follows. Thanks…

You can suppress the peaks, but you can’t easily change the thump, click or pop sound of the overload. That’s where the digital system in the H2n stopped following the show.

You can try Effect > Limiter. You might have to experiment with the settings since you’re trying to tame a wild recording. My experience is mastering an audiobook from a well-behaved, home recording. You might like the Make-Up Gain setting which tries to increase the volume of the show now that the super tall peaks are out of the way.


My opinion is not to use compressor. That can give you odd effects such as noise rushing and voice pumping.


You can set the H2n to automatically limit loud noises and disturbances.

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See your users manual.