What on earth is this sound and how do I fix it?

I have little knowledge of audio but am trying to learn how to do some basic things with audacity. I understand how to remove noise and how to deal with cycles (I think) but I am not sure how to deal with this file. What is this noise in the background and how do I fix it?

Sorry, here is the file…

That sounds like it might be Windows trying to do noise cancellation with the idea of cleaning up a conference or Skype call. Modern computers aren’t tape recorders any more, they’re communications tools and sometimes you have to turn some of those enhancements off. Here’s a recent one:


And a note from the manual:


This may not be it, but it sure sounds like it.


Thanks, Koz… I will keep that in mind for the future. Do you know how I might be able to remove that noise from the file?

remove that noise from the file?

No. We’re stuck. That’s why we tell people to send us pure clean sound in a sample clip when they want help with effects or filters. Once you have distortions like that you can’t take them out.