Use "noise gate" to paste room tone?

Is it possible to use a noise gate (or something similar) to find parts of a vocal recording with quiet, unwanted noises and replace those sections with previously recorded room tone?

quiet, unwanted noises

Such as what? There are a number of different tools and filters designed to suppress Home Recording problems such as lip smacks, breath sounds, P Popping and my favorite, tongue ticks. Since you can’t have software that “knows” what spoken words are, the tools tend to be very different and individually adjustable.

Are you suppressing the refrigerator that goes on and off at the worst possible times?

I don’t know of any tools with two variables. Those are difficult to design and, someone will correct me, impossible in Audacity’s home user programming language. “If X sound happens, then cut it out and substitute Y sound.” I think there’s a fancy programming name for that. “Conditional Branching?”

Where did you get the clean Room Tone from? That one time at 3AM when everything was quiet?


Steve made a plugin called repair channel.
That plugin can be used to patch-in room-tone if you temporarily make a stereo-pair of the vocal-track and the room-tone. That’s a manual, one-at-time process, though.

Thanks for the response. I’m in a reasonably well treated area. I am trying to get rid of occasional lip smacks etc. I find a noise gate achieves this satisfactorily. However, the noise gate causes the removed sections to sound “dead”. I am currently having to paste in room tone to those areas to keep the tone of the entire recording consistant. Does my problem make sense? I’m sure there’s a better way to go about this.

That is to be expected - total silence does not sound natural.

There’s a pair of plug-ins here that make it quicker and easier to copy and paste room tone:

If you find that you need to fix hundreds or thousands of lip-smack sounds, then you either need to improve your reading voice, or find someone else to be the voice talent.

Many home microphones are delivering with an artificial presence boost because “it’s more professional.” What that really does is make Essing more obvious (SSiSSter SSuzy SStopped SServing), and it makes normal mouth noises into tiny nuclear explosions. I’ve been known to make a custom equalizer filter just to suppress that boost. Does a world of good, but it has to be tuned for each microphone…

There’s also the bad joke of solving a lot of these problems by pulling a sock over the microphone.


Paul-L’s De-Clicker plugin can reliably remove the brief (<5ms) high-frequency (>2kHz) lip-smacking clicks without damaging the clicks which are part of speech, see … Trying to meet ACX specifications - #19 by Trebor

Tackling other clicks is more difficult as, apart from context, they can be indistinguishable from legitimate speech clicks.