Push to Talk option

I edit a podcast which has 3 hosts. I am wondering if Audacity has a way to utilize a push to talk option. This would cut my editing time in half as the ambient noises would be limited in each of their tracks.


Try the Noise Gate on the tracks individually after recording. (You may have to download noisegate.ny.)

It’s common to have the opposite of a push-to-talk switch in broadcast situations. It’s called a “cough button”, and it’s hardware.


I’m betting that’s not going to be the gift from the angels you think. Noise Gate frequently sounds like somebody going in with a dull knife and hacking up your show. Even if you do get it adjusted so it sounds natural, that will work until they move back from the microphone slightly or get a little louder or softer. You may have to go in and mop up after Noise Gate so it sounds OK.

If you have each of the branches of the show on their own, separate track, you can try Effect > Noise Reduction. Is the noise constant like computer fan noise or air conditioning sounds? Get each performer to stop what they’re doing and hold their breath for two or three seconds and only then go into the show. Noise Reduction needs that little “Room Tone” gap to work right.

That gap is harder than you think. Modern humans are programmed to never let a split second go by without some activity—or two. When I did it I had to be very firm that the production team had to not fidget in their seats, root around in their backpacks or check their FaceBook feeds.


Available here: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Nyquist_Effect_Plug-ins#Noise_Gate
Download and installation instructions here: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Download_Nyquist_Plug-ins#download

Also known as a “mute button”. You want to cough? Press the button and cough as much as you like, the mic is muted.

switch in broadcast situations.

Also known as Broadcast Studios. It doesn’t work so well in Outside Broadcast or other non-studio applications where it starts to sound funny because it kills the performer and the environment. In Outside Broadcast shows, it makes the engineer crazy because it sounds like the connection to the performer crashed.

That and it is recommended you not leave a heavy book on the cough button before you start the show.

I did not make that up.