filtering out foreground noise


I am new to Audacity.

I have an audio clip that I need to separate out the background and foreground noise. It is of a conversation with an argument going on in the background. I need to filter the main conversation and bring forward the background.

How do I do this please?

Audacity can’t split a performance into individual performers, instruments and sounds.

Audacity can’t be used for law enforcement, surveillance or conflict resolution.


I just want to confirm that I am not using it for any of the reasons you mentioned.

Do you know of any way I can separate those sounds?

If it’s a theatrical performance, you can get the actors to separately perform the work and then mix it with foreground sound in Audacity in post production. At worst, you can get different actors perform the work and pretend it’s the same performance. Hollywood does that a lot.

Deborah Kerr didn’t sing a thing in “The King and I.” That was Marnie Nixon.

We still can’t split a mixed performance into individual voices, instruments or sounds.

There’s no signature. Voices have greatly overlapping notes, tones, overtones and harmonics. So you can’t say these voice tones belong to person 1 and the others belong to person 2. To Audacity it’s all a jumbled mess—even worse if two of the three voices are in the background.

Sometimes you can split performers by having one appear in the exact middle of a very high quality stereo show. That’s how Vocal Reduction works. That’s the signature. It doesn’t work at all in casual recordings or non-stereo performances.