Hiss only, no audio when importing video-audio media

Windows 8.1
Intel i7-4510U CPU @ 2.00GHz 2.60GHz
12.0 GB, 64 bit OS, x64-based processor

Audacity 2.1.2, .exe not zip (I believe)


I am new to Audacity and not very technical.

I’ve completed a video edit and want to remove ambient noise. There are no pauses in the video audio, a person is always talking, but there is noticeable ambient noise I’d like to remove with Audacity.

The video clip media in question is an AVCHD video/.mts. Detail: total bitrate 12463 kbps, audio sample rate 48kHz.

From what I am experiencing, Audacity only recognizes and imports the clip file if I import via Raw Data function.

The result when playing the import in Audacity is a loud hiss. No original audio. And the what appears is a solid blue bar with no variation.

A friend suggested I need a ffmpeg library, but I have no idea what my next step is now.

Thank you for any guidance.

If the audio in the MTS file is AC3, Audacity should be able to import it after installing FFmpeg, Please see this FFmpeg FAQ.


Audacity will probably do a bangup job patching the sound, but you’re still going to need a video editor to return it to the video show.


A thousand thanks Gale, it worked!

Hi Koz,

Yeah, the file came from a video edit I made in EditShare’s Lightworks NLE. Now I will have to watch some Audacity tutorials to learn how to export the audio correctly from Audacity to Lightworks so it syncs up well with the video. Any hints feel free to pass along. :wink:

Oops, Gale not Gail. Apologize.

Oops, Gale not Gail. Apologize.

Yeah. He’s really upset. We’re gong to have to calm him down.

Top quality sound files are best. See if the software knows what to do with WAV (Microsoft). That’s terrifically good quality.


Missed a step. Video as a fuzzy rule samples at 48000, not 44100. Most video editors know how to deal with that, but it’s best if they don’t need to.



I exported the earlier-referenced original AVCHD video/.mts file from my video editor and imported the audio into Audacity. Of course, as a newcomer, there are varying results without knowing perfectly well why the results are what they are. Possibly, I am applying to many effects and “shooting in the dark”.

The Audacity edit exported and imported back into my video editing program does reduce the hissing background noise to an acceptable level but amplification of the interview subject in the video tapping or hitting a table, collecting CD cases together, etc., is annoying, although while in Audacity I selected these areas (only the tapping/hitting table) and reduced amplification.

One Audacity edit I performed removed the hissing to nearly a undetectable level, but the residual is a noticeable cutting in-and-out when the subject talks.


  1. EFFECTS RECORD: Is there a menu option in Audacity I can refer to that shows all the effects and adjustments I performed in the order I made them or should I be taking notes of exactly what I do for reference and to learn?

  2. UPLOAD AND SHARE: If I upload the orginial AVCHD video/.mts to a share site, would anyone be able to advise what would be the appropriate Audacity edit and effects actions?

  3. WORKFLOW: Where could I find information pertaining to basic, general workflow of what Audacity effects and actions should come first and others later? For example: one YouTube video suggests for background noise reduction to follow these steps in the following order: 1. Noise Reduction 2. Normalize 3. Equalize 4. Compressor 5. Normalize (again).

  4. Are there any official Audacity videos? (I have been referring to the Audacity manual).

Thanks for any help.

P.S., looks like Audacity imports by default the AVCHD video/.mts at 48000 for project rate.

View > History… .

Choose what edits and effects sound good to you.

You are advised against looking at YouTube videos about Audacity. We do not make any of those because it is currently too much work to keep them updated for each change in Audacity version. YouTube videos usually don’t say what Audacity version they are using, and some are factually wrong.

Your steps are OK in my opinion. There is no real need for Normalize before Equalization if you are working in default 32-bit quality. See http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/noise_reduction.html#Tips.

There are some personal workflows at the bottom of http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tutorials.html.


People occasionally arrive on the forum telling us about Audacity videos they produced!! Cool, right?

Then we look through the production and point out all the errors and then, when a new version of Audacity comes out, we drop them a note they have to make the videos all over again.

Each time you edit , you can count on five times the length of the show in production time.

So one video rapidly turns into a career move. Even ACX AudioBook has very good on-line videos…that are wrong. Oops, sorry. The equipment we recommend is no longer available.