Reducing baby chatter/noises (Noob)

Hello All,

I have a 15 min audio of me speaking before a church group. I recorded using memo app of iphone 6+(if that’s relevant). Initially, the volume was way too low. I converted the native file to mp3, imported into Audacity, and increased the amplification, which worked great.

Now, I’m hoping to clean up some of the background noice – mostly babies / small children making the various kinds of noises they do. I’m wondering the best way to decrease the impact of this background noise? Since I’m a middle-aged man, it seems their chatter should pretty much fall into a substantially higher frequency, or at the top range of my vocal frequency, so I’m guessing using a low-pass filter is the way to go…
a) Low pass filter make sense?
b) Any other effects be preferable or good in addition?
c) Anyone have experience to guesstimate the settings / decibel rolloff / frequency?

I realize I can play around trying any number of combinations to try and figure this out, but hoping someone with experience can steer me and save me a passel of time…
I’m a complete newbie at this…

Any help is greatly appreciated!
I’m on Windows 10 Pro.


Take a look in the Spectrogram track view (Spectrogram View - Audacity Manual). I think you will find that the baby chatter and your voice overlap in frequency range far more than you expect.

Yes your voice probably has an extra octave or so at the bass end, but “f”, “t”, “s” sounds are distinguished by frequencies well above 3000 Hz (It can be hard to distinguish between “F” and “S” on a telephone because telephones often don’t go much above 3000 Hz). Cut out everything above 500 Hz and it will cut out the baby babble, but your voice will sound like a mumbling mud monster. Human brains are exceptionally good at separating sounds according to recognised origin - much better than computers.

memo app

Voice Memo if you didn’t download anything.
If the phone is built the same as others in the sequence, the microphone is on the back and it pays well to speak into it instead of the screen.

It’s as directional as these things get.

Of course, if your talk is on the phone screen, that gives you an interesting conflict.


You have a kiss of death noise problem. Noise that’s constantly moving so you can’t use the conventional noise removal tools and as above, has overlapping frequency ranges. One way to permanently damage a voice performance (four horsemen) is leaving a TV on in the next room. #4, a cousin to what you have.

The only way to possibly help a tiny bit is the gating tools which try to determine when sound falls below a certain volume. But those tools always_sound_mechanical_and_choppy.

And then there’s #3. If it’s possible to save the work as a CAF (Core Audio), I would do that instead of struggling with MP3. CAF should open in Audacity and it’s a perfect quality (no compression damage) option. If not, the free Music Memo APP will let you do that.

The Four Horsemen of Audio Recording (reliable, time-tested ways to kill your show)
– 1. Echoes and room reverberation (Don’t record the show in your mum’s kitchen.)
– 2. Overload and Clipping (Sound that’s recorded too loud is permanently trashed.)
– 3. Compression Damage (Never do production in MP3.)
– 4. Background Sound (Don’t leave the TV on in the next room.)


Fantastic informative responses! Thanks very much Steve and Kozikowski!

Fantastic informative responses

Only fantastic and informative if they work. Do post back how it went.