technique for excising constant rustling from handheld microphone audio


I just updated to v 3.0.2 from 2.2.6 or 2.0.6 )gone, so I can’t verify).

In 2015 I recorded some concert video with a modified camcorder (replaced electret mic capsule with an external XLR jack & used a percussion mic screwed in to the camera tripod socket).

Somewhere I saw a graphical editing tool for other software that allowed graphical removal of offending waveforms via the mouse.

In 2015 I couldn’t find a way to do that in Audacity and tried many methods, starting with LPF/wind filter approach, but that caused too much degradation in general (LF content loss).

What worked best (in my mind) was creating a narrow notch filter and running that as many times as necessary on each narrow time slice affected with hand-rustling sounds. It worked but took many hours…I ‘processed’ one 10 minute tune which probably took that many hours. Haven’t touched it since.

So, maybe plugins are more sophisticated several years alter or I’ll figure out another method. I am not even sure I used only Audacity. I’ll have to get back up to speed on whatever I considered my ‘method’ previously. One problem I encountered frequently was removing audio from .mov files for separate editing often reattached with a different video frame rate. I had best results where I wished to keep the video and audio together editing the audio in a video program (to avoid ‘breaking’ the audio/video interleaving/sync).

I may separately pursue removing the audio as the video wasn’t very good). This will solve the A/V sync problems and allow audio-only processing methods.

Any suggestions are appreciated.



Audacity now does have something like that: spectral editing tools.

Thank you.

Spectral Delete and hopefully Draw tools will be helpful.

Did you find shooting techniques that didn’t make you jump through hoops, over hurdles, and past obstacles to get a working show? It’s worth noting Audacity can open the sound parts of many video formats directly with the addition of FFMpeg software. It can’t, however, jam them back together. You need video editing software for that.

It’s on your installer page.

Select and scroll to “Additional Downloads.”

As much as everyone would adore having audio and video act the same, they don’t. Even modest productions split sound as quickly as possible in an upgrade effort from the phone or handy handi-cam.

As you noted, that can give you sound sync problems. Running at two different speeds or sampling rates is not rocket surgery. Audacity will let you shuffle between rates with the Rate setting to the left of your track.

Tiny sync problems are a little more annoying, but the movies have been dealing with this for decades.

“CAMERA MARK!” [bang]

My current favorite videoblog producer Stefan Drury claps (with his hands) three times before a take. It’s a snap to match that up in the editor. He has that up on me. I became a favorite of his because of little tricks like that. I would have clapped once. His way works around tiny inconsistencies in video frame boundaries.

Effect > Change Speed is the least damaging of the Change tools. Most times you can’t tell it was used.

If you have a separate sound recorder running at Very Slightly the wrong speed, you can correct that by eye and then make time to shoot a long test take, put a clap board at both ends (shoot the second one upside down) “END MARK!” [bang].

Figure out the error percentage and it should stay constant forever, or at least until you change something. “This shoot is going to be .03% off duration sound sync—because the last one was.”

I’m working on ways to suppress handling noises. Both of my favorite field recorders, an Olympus and a Zoom make plastic case handling noises if you even think about handling them the day before the shoot. I did a shirt-pocket shoot and got an hour of clear, perfect shirt sounds.

If I really get stuck, I’ll need to call The Office and ask how they do it.