What tricks do you have for easily removing tape hiss?

More often then not there’s no place on a recording that’s just hiss from which to get a noise profile. What I’ve been doing is generating a second of white noise at the end and getting my profile from that, then deleting the white noise. It works very well but it’s time consuming and tedious.

Let’s say I’m working on an album of FLAC files ripped from a CD, having 30 tracks, all with hiss. I import each track one at a time, edit, then export. I do it this way because it’s easier than editing the metadata for every track which I’d have to do if I imported them all into one window. But there doesn’t seem to be a way to save the noise profile from track to track, and a new one has to be generated every time. Any of you have any tricks that would make my life easier. Bottom line is I just want to remove the hiss in the easiest way possible. :slight_smile:

See this page from the Audacity Manual: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/noise_removal.html

And for details this page from the Audacity Wiki: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Noise_Removal

I tend to use slightly softer settings for the NR controls - and I wrote this additional pieces for the as-tet-unpublished Manual for the next Audacity release:

Alternative settings

For heavier noise, the default settings above are recommended, increasing the “Sensitivity” slider if necessary.

For light noise (for example FM hiss or web-stream carrier noise) the default settings in Noise Removal may be a little too aggressive, possibly introducing tinkly artifacts.

  1. Noise Reduction (dB): Try setting this to about -12. It will still have an appreciable effect on low level noise, but will reduce the risk of tinkly artifacts.
  2. Frequency Smoothing (Hz): Try increasing this a little, typically to around 500 Hz.
  3. Sensitivity control (dB): Reducing this can further help to make the effect less aggressive, but may require a lot of experimentation for only slightly better results. For a quick result, this slider is usually best left at the default 0.0 dB.

    And thanks to Steve for suggesting these settings.


These days I tend to leave it at around 300 Hz unless I hear tinkly artefacts, in which case I’ll try pushing it up to around 500.

I found some ways to speed things up considerably by using a shortcut key for the white noise generator and with the help of a handy utility, ClickOff. It automatically clicks dialog buttons for you. :wink:

Do you want to vote for a feature to save and load Noise Profiles in Noise Removal?

What you could do is save a project that has a muted track containing noise for your profile, and always launch Audacity by opening that project.

That said, Noise Removal should retain the Noise Profile once captured until you quit Audacity. If the OK button in Noise Removal is not greyed out, then it has a Noise Profile.


Hi Gale, you’re right, it does retain the profile. I thought I’d tested that at one point and found it didn’t for some reason. Well, that’ll help a lot!

I don’t believe it’s necessary to have a feature to save and load profiles, at least for me at this point. It might be helpful if someone uses several different profiles and switches between them frequently. Out of curiosity, you’ve asked me several times if I want to vote for something. Is there a way I can do this myself?

The “Feature Requests” list is at Missing features - Audacity Support but you would need to apply for a Wiki account to directly edit that page. The formatting is fragile - one mistake and all the nicely formatted lists unravel :imp:

If you want to add a vote for something on that page you can post to Adding Features - Audacity Forum or e-mail our feedback address .


There’s a new topic at http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=79584 for anyone wanting to vote for save and load of Noise Profiles.


Okay, so to “vote,” you find the topic on the features requests page and post that you’d like to add it to Audacity. Or send it as feedback via Contact Us. Is that correct?

Yes. Either of those. Or PM me, Steve or waxcylinder.