The impossible dream?

Hi Wise Folks,

I may be asking too much of just Audacity but I wondered about a couple of things?

  1. Is there an easy way to edit out applause in a musical recording with Audacity? Ex. Throw the musical instruments and vocals on a separate track and the applause on another track, delete the applause track and then re-untie the musical instruments and vocals back on the original track?

  2. Is there an easy way to remove the clicking/scratching sound from a recording from 45 record?

Thanks so much and my best wishes to you for a healthy, safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Paul-L’s DeClicker plugin for Audacity can make a big improvement, you can get a copy here [free] … Updated De-Clicker and new De-esser for speech

However stand-alone $oftware like Brian Davies DeClick was specifically designed for the purpose,
and does the job a lot quicker …

  1. Is there an easy way to edit out applause in a musical recording with Audacity?

That would be no. We can’t take a performance apart into individual instruments, voices and sounds. Inversion, cancellation and other tricks such as that have such crazy, stringent rules that they are effectively impossible.

For example, any performance in MP3 is automatically disqualified. MP3 creates sound damage that kills cancellation.


Hi Trebor,

Thank you so very much or sharing Paul-L’s DeClicker Audacity plugin as well as the link to his stand-alone software.

I’m going to check them bot out. Fun stuff!

Hi Koz,

I kinda’ thought I was asking for a lot form Audacity but it’s such a great program and does so many things so well I thought I’d take a shot. Maybe one day the developers could program the capability of separating the music and vocals from applause, background, etc. so they could be deleted and the song could sound like there never was any applause or noise.

Thank you both so much and my best to you both and Gale, too for a safe, healthy and very Happy Thanksgiving together or otherwise.

Probably not.
You’ve seen in spy movies when they turn on the shower or “static” on a TV so that they can whisper to someone without being overheard in a “bugged” room? In the case of the sound of a shower or TV static, it is not just loudness of the sound that covers up the voices so effectively, it is that these sounds are “broadband noise”. That is, the sounds are “random” and contain frequencies over a very broad frequency range. These characteristics make it almost impossible to separate out other sounds (such as talking) from the noise. The same is true of “applause” noise.

And that’s not to say it’s impossible. There are software packages which can isolate certain sounds, but most people want entertainment quality music or performances when they get done, and the software won’t do that.


As to the applause:
I often use “Vocal Reduction and Isolation” to soften the applause.
The applause in live recordings has frequently the greatest stereo width, thus, I simply isolate the center for that specific part.
Of course, the sound will be mono during this passage.
However, the good news is that the extreme left and right are entirely attenuated. The audio at 50 % between full pan and center is attenuated by 6 dB (with strength setting = 1.0) and so on.