Removing background noise that is louder than the "core" audio

Hi, new user.
I’m looking to see if there is a method by which a “background” noise can be selectively removed from audio. The noise is at many points louder than the desired audio, and is inconsistent. I’ve had a play with the noise reduction tool, but that seems designed more for things like removing static hiss etc.
The audio is a presentation, where there was roadworks outside, and at times the presentation is inaudible as a result… I’m looking to see if there is any method by which I can selectively remove the roadworks noise (e.g. filter above a certain volume / frequency and remove selected). Because both the presentation and the roadworks are inconsistent throughout, I know it’s not going to be straightforward!
I don’t think Audacity supports this natively, but I’ve been told there’s a lot of extensions etc available, and wondered if anyone might be able to point me in the right direction? I don’t mind fiddly and manual.
Thanks in advance for any advice.

holy Water

If you cannot understand what is being said, processing is not going to make it comprehensible. That only happens in CSI.

OK, I didn’t know if it would be layered and could remove distinct sections that could be filtered out on frequency or similar. No idea what a CSI is, but it sounds sci-fi so I’ll close the question if it’s a straight non-starter (edit: or I planned to, until I found there was no “close” button on the UI. )
(edit: just saw the link included on “CSI”. Never heard of it, but I don’t really watch TV so that’s no surprise)

That’s going to be impossible. :frowning:

Even with the latest pro software, professional recordings still have to be made in soundproof studios with good equipment and good mic placement, etc. That will probably change soon with AI.

On location news reporters often have noise and they have to live with it (and of course there’s no time for “serious” editing).

If this is “voice over” you can re-record the audio and if there is video you can add subtitles.

Or you can reduce or kill the loud noises when there is no talking or anything else important in the recording. You can use the Envelope Tool to fade-down and fade-up the volume. It’s usually best to avoid sudden jumps up or down in volume or to have bits of total-silence.

Right. Noise reduction works best when you have a constant low-level background noise… It works best when you don’t really need it. It can turn a good or very-good recording into an excellent recording. But if the noise is bad, “The cure can be worse than the disease”.

There’s a free AI thing …

But if you cannot understand what is being said, then neither will it.

“The cure can be worse than the disease” describes my attempts so far!! :smile:
It’s awkward because it’s inconsistent, with various noises such as jackhammers and drills on and off. The speech is still just about audible, it’s just a real pain to listen to. It was a technical discussion on some programming elements I attended and recorded, and wanted to have a cleaner copy to listen back to.
I’ll take a look at Envelope, but sudden jumps up and down are very much order of the day for this recording, so I don’t hold out much hope based on what you say there.
Appreciate the detail in the response though, thanks.

Thanks, I’ll have a look at this one, seems the most promising. The speech is just audible - I can hear and understand what’s being said, but it takes concentration, and of course, I’m already familiar with what’s being said, so I know that it isn’t a true representation of just how audible it “really” is.
Appreciate the recommendation.