Noise reduction but leave the ambiance

I love the noise reduction implementation in Audacity. It’s so simple to use, and works wonders on my home recording “studio” where, when I connect my mics to my system, I am greeted with wonderfully, buzz free white noise. For some reason, however, before I can start the recording session, a distinct buzz becomes noticeable, usually on one of the stereo channels, but sometimes on both.

I used to sweat bullets tracing this buzz down. i know for a fact that one of my room lights that is controlled on a dimmer switch will cause noticeable buzz if the switch is on to any degree. However, I have never been able to isolate this additional buzz when it (almost always) occurs.

Why my system would be wonderfully buzz-free at start, then disintegrate into “buzz-heaven” is beyond me.

Of course, Audacity includes one of the most simple and user-friendly noise reduction implementations I have ever encountered (I own Wavelab 8 and most versions of Vegas Pro (or whatever from the beginning when it was from Sonic Foundry). My main (yet minor) gripe is that, when I take my test noise sample and apply that using Noise Reduction, the moments in the white noise from which I took the sample are turned to total silence. I actually appreciate the white noise, itself, if I could only eliminate that annoying buzz.

Generally, the material that I record (classical voice with piano) are not all that negatively affected by the buzz, but the moments immediately before and after the performances seem unprofessional to me when they are dominated by that infernal buzz.

Way back when, Sonic Foundry used to include a plugin that would allow you to notch out the frequency that caused the buzz. Buzz was gone, all else remained (60 Mhz I think it was, although I’m no expert on those things). Those plugins were available and usable in Wavelab at the time. More recent versions of Vegas do not include those preset plugins, and I don’t have the patience to figure out how to do that in Wavelab.

So, such a long story short, is there a way to do this in Audacity? As mentioned previously, I find the Audacity noise reduction implementation to be the most straightforward and useful of anything I’ve tried elsewhere. I would just not like to have my ins/outs totally silent. Most consumers of my efforts would never notice the difference, but I do.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.


Obviously it would be best if you could locate the source of the buzz and eliminate that, but failing that, there’s a “Hum Remover” plug-in here:
This is a “Nyquist Plug-in”. Installation instructions are here: