Removing mechanical keyboard noise in realtime


I have a problem while communicating/recording: my mechanical keyboard does lots of noise.

I’m ‘optimizing’ the recording by using a condenser mic linked by XLR to a Roland audio interface, and placing the mic, configured to be unidirectional, very near my mouth.
It helps a lot, but the keyboard noise can still be heard.

I’ve had success removing the noise by profiling it and using the effect / remove noise.

The problem is I would like to do this live, e.g. have audacity removing the noise in real time and then passing the sound to Skype, Teamspeak or whatever.

Is this remotely possible or does someone have an alternative? (using a silent keyboard is not an option, even if this would be the nobrainer solution).

As you say, that is the obvious solution, and I can’t think of any other practical solution. Why is it “not an option”?

Audacity doesn’t do any processing in real time, so that’s the first problem, but even in post production, you can’t take keyboard clicks out. It’s a violation of number 4.

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.)

This is a special case, because you could zoom into each click and suppress it with Audacity tools. That will take weeks and it may leave little holes in your voice. You might even be able to use the vinyl pop and click tools. The champion software for that is a money-based package called Wave Repair ($30 USD). There may be others.

No guarantees though because a keyboard doesn’t have the same sound as dirt on a record.


Clickrepair (Australian $40) is much better at automated click removal than wave repair. I have both: wave repair is an excellent tool both for manual repairs to waveforms and (what I use if for) has a good workflow for transferring LPs to digitals and then splitting for conversion to MP3 or burning to CD.

To Silma’s problem, clickrepair does have a real-time mode. I have never used it so I don’t know what its limitations are. Whether it’s output could be piped to your application or not I don’t know. It wants to input from one sound device and output to another. (Koz may remember the name of that utility that was discussed in this forum sometime back that allowed you to combine and mix audio devices and present them as a new audio device, that might be the needed glue).

Assuming that you are touch-typing, you could try laying a heavy blanket over the keyboard and your hands. That might block much of the sound. Also the use of a headset-attached microphone could provide a bit more isolation. (Look for one that actually gets the mic close to and in front of your lips.)

Very good tips, I never knew some things, thank You kozikowski:)