How to remove loud sounds? Envelop? Anything else?


I am new to Audacity. I have recorded a roleplaying gaming podcast (omnidirectional) with the Blue Yeti microphone placed in the center of the table. Throughout the audio, I sometimes get too loud sounds, whether it be a player hitting the table, dropping a glass token, or maybe a pop sound. I understand I can use envelop to go and lower every peak, but it takes way too much time as there are many of them over 4h of podcast.

If there a function or effect that basically will lower every peak to over the 0.55 threshold of the envelop down to 0.55 or lower? Basically, is there an effect that automate envelop throughout the wave form?

Thanks in advance

That would be Effect > Limiter.

The effect gets more vicious as you work down the option list. By the time you hit Hard Clip, the tool is brutally whacking off the tops of the blue waves.

You can get rid of table conduction noise with the Wamsutta/Doubleday trick.


That blue thing is a furniture moving blanket. That’s not a bad idea, either. That will get rid of dropping loose change on the table noises and will make the voices clearer. That last one is a little magic. The blanket keeps vocal table reflections out of the microphone.

This was a broadcast sound shoot. Ignore everything but the blanket on the table. It’s folded over in this case.


Limiter on “Soft limit”, with no “Make-up gain” …
soft Limit , -5dB, No make-up gain.png

Thanks for the help! I’ll add a blanket.

For the limiter, I have looked for it, and do not see it under my Effects menu (screenshot below). I am using a Mac.

Screenshot 1:

I however have an effect called AUPeakLimiter, but with a very different menu:

Screenshot 2:

Is the AUPeakLimiter a newer version, and then how does it work? Or where can I find the Limiter plug-in?

To reduce audio above a certain threshold to less than the threshold level (more reduction than a limiter), then you can use the “Pop Mute” effect:

Download and installation instructions are here:

The Limiter plug-in is included in the current (2.1.2) version of Audacity. Details can be found in the manual here: Limiter - Audacity Manual

If you have an old version of Audacity, get the current version from here: Audacity ® | Downloads

AU effects are Apple Units. They come with Garageband or Logic, but can be used in other DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstations) too.

Some AU’s might not work with Audacity, tho. But it’s easy enough to try and find out if they do.

Ok thank you for the help. I had 2.1.0 of Audacity. I just installed the latest one.

One overall question that may be dumb for expert, but the scale of the sound form goes from -1.0 to 1.0, yet all effects (like Limited) are asking me the dB threshold. How do I convert the Audacity scale on the left to dB? In practice, say I have sound extending to +1 or -1, that I want to bring back to .6, how do I know how much effect to apply? (and vice versa when I try to amplify).

Another overall question: For a gaming podcast where I recorded a group (omnidirectional), what should be the minimum editing that I conduct (That wouldn’t take me more than 2h on a 4h recording, otherwise I simply have no time to do so). So far, I am doing, in the order:

  • Noise reduction
  • Truncate silence
  • Compress dynamic 1.2.6
  • Envelop to reduce peaks, but I’ll now use Limter

Finally, is there a tutorial written or video on how to use Audacity for podcast editing that you would recommend for newbies?

See the “amplitude ratio” column in the conversion-table here … Decibel - Wikipedia

You can convert the scale on the left to dB …
Waveform in dB scale.png

I’d use the limiter before the compressor. The response-time of the Limiter is much shorter than a typical compressor.

I take it there’s no answer to this wonderful question Ceodryn asked “Finally, is there a tutorial written or video on how to use Audacity for podcast editing that you would recommend for newbies?”?

Thanks in advance to anyone who has a positive answer! :wink: :smiley:

Have you read the answers in this topic? You can ask if there is something you do not understand.

Audacity does not “do” videos because they get out of date as soon as something shown in the video changes.

If you want to listen to something, you could try My Secret Audacity Recipe for Great Audio (compressors).