trouble with amplify and noise removal

Hi – I am working on a MAC OSX10.9.3 using Audacity 2.0.5. I am trying to edit a book recording. I am not at all sophisticated and am following simple instructions I was given. When I try to amplify, it’s been working but takes over 10 minutes. That seems a little long. The real trouble is with noise removal. My instructions tell me to go to highlight some dead air, go to effect and click on noise removal, then click on get noise profile. Then it tells me to highlight the entire recording, click effect and noise removal again, accept the automatic settings and let audacity do its thing. Each time I do this, it tells me it’s going to take a really long time – 10 - 15min., and the computer starts giving me that pretty little circle that tells me it can’t handle what I’ve asked it to do. Very frustrating! Any suggestions?

How long is the book recording? Last time I got a book out of the library it was on 9 CDs at about 70 minutes per CD. That’s what, ten and a half hours? The speed of processing depends on a lot of things, but it pays well to have a fast computer, a ton of memory and an SSD instead of spinning metal hard drive. And even then you’ll probably have to wait for it.

That’s also based on the computer not doing anything else. No fair leaving a bunch of applications “sleeping” in the Dock with the little highlight blue light on.

It depends on your show, but it’s not a dreadful idea to do it chapter at a time rather than trying to process the whole show at once. What company was recommending your processing? I don’t know that I would trust the Noise Removal default settings blindly like that. The only reason those settings exist is to have a place to start from, not to actually use them. It’s like buying a car painted the standard color.

We have a partial list of things to do to make your performance ACX audio book compliant without going through too much trouble or causing audio damage.

I know it’s too late, but how much background noise is there in the show? Can you tell if there is a TV on in the next room or that you live on a busy street? Can you tell how big your room is from the echoes? Those kinds of things don’t respond very well to Noise Removal.

Post a bit of the show here so we can get an idea of what you’re doing. Here’s how to do that.

Include a bit of Room Tone or dead air also so we can tell your recording environment.

And no, there’s no good way to speed it up past doing it in chunks or doing it on a bigger computer.


The Spinning Beach Ball Of Death (SBBOD) happens when the computer allocates resources to the job and the job exceeds those resources. It doesn’t mean the machine gave up. It just suddenly realized the magnitude of the job.


Thanks for your reply. There is not a lot of background noise to begin w/; recording was done in a quiet space. This is a very amateur production – our local library is recording some books that the Nat’l Library for the Blind would not because they are local authors. The recording is broken down into files of 40-50 pgs.

I’m having trouble w/ consistency. Last night, after I posted my question (when the computer basically stopped trying, telling me it was going to take 14 min to do the noise removal and seemed stuck), I tried again and it took less than 5 minutes. I don’t know what the factors are that make the difference. I will make sure there are no other programs running and hopefully that’s the problem. My Mac is brand new, and unlike pc’s, doesn’t seem to have all this hidden stuff that could be running.

Thanks again for your help.