Softening a transient sound

Audacity 2.0.5 on Mac OS 10.9.3

Hi all and thanks for this forum. I hope this question is acceptable.

I need to “morph” some individual sounds that dogs are scared of to be able to do desensitization. The idea is to change the feared sound enough that it isn’t scary, get the animal used to that, then make small changes to gradually change the sound back to the original. Audacity is a great tool for this!

The typical way to change the sound is with volume, but that doesn’t work with some high frequency or transient sounds; they are still scary to the animal at very low amplitudes.

Things like a coach’s whistle are easy; just lower the frequency, then gradually raise it again.

Transient noises like clicks and some beeps are harder, and that’s what I’m dealing with. I’ve attached a sample, which is the low battery warning chirp of a smoke alarm. Even if I slow it way down, I still have the characteristic hard edge of a transient noise, and that appears to be the scary part. Is there a function in Audacity that could I could use to soften that and make the noise less abrupt?

Thanks for any tips.


That and they’re hearing a lot more of that than we are.

You can use Effect > Equalization to kill all the high pitch parts of the clip. Make a number of different versions with increasingly sharp and crisp sound. Use all unique filenames and never damage the original sound.

Attached Illustration.

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 6.41.02 PM.png

Thank you, Koz. That will work really well.