Supressing unwanted sounds

Windows 7, Audacity 2.0.6, .exe installer (I think)

I have made a recording of a tour of a building where works were going on. In places, the sounds of hammering, drilling, sawing and dragging boxes come close to drowning out the speaker.

Is there anything I can do about the spikes of such unwanted intrusions into the spoken part of the recording?

Cheers, Pat

There’s probably not much you can do…

You can try using the equalization effect to cut the lower & higher frequencies, leaving the important voice frequencies… The Graphic Equalizer mode is usually easier to experiment with than the Draw Curves mode. Start by pulling down all of the sliders below around 300Hz and above 5000Hz, and experiment from there.

The problem is, the noise frequencies will overlap the voice frequencies so this filtering may not help that much.

You recorded two shows at the same time, the announcer and construction. That’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.)

Recording on a construction site is notoriously difficult. You can do it with close talking headset systems (headphones and microphone in the same assembly) or you can use the insanely directional shot-gun microphone technique.

Since you didn’t go into how you actually performed the recording, I assume you just turned on the Personal Recorder on your phone and walked along with the tour.

There is no post production. I don’t think you have a working show.

We can confirm that if you post a little bit of it here on the forum. Use a very good quality MP3 rather than WAV to get a longer clip.