How to Remove Background Noise with Audacity

Have you ever wanted to get rid of background noise?

Audacity is a free program that you can download here. It’s a robust audio editing program. This tutorial shows you how to remove background noise.

How was that? It’s super easy! Here is what the audacity wiki has to say:

The Noise Removal

Then, select the audio from which you want the noise removed, which you do by clicking in the track and dragging a selection area with your mouse. Note however that you may not necessarily want to apply Noise Removal to the whole track. This is because most Noise Removal takes some of the music away with the noise, and adds or exposes artifacts in the recording.

If you only have a few spots in the track that need a small amount of Noise Removal, you may well want to select only those areas to remove noise from. But if the spots need a greater amount of Noise Removal, they may once noise is removed have a rather different “feel” or timbre than the rest of the track, and betray that it has been treated at those points.

In this case it may be better to remove noise from the whole track so that it sounds consistent. To apply Noise Removal to the entire track, select all of it by clicking in the Track Control Panel where the Mute/Solo buttons are, or if you only have one track on the screen you can use Edit > Select > All or the hotkey CTRL + A(or (CMND + A on a Mac).

Having selected the length of audio from which you want to remove noise, choose Effect > Noise Removal again, but this time, click the “Remove Noise” button. It may take a few seconds or longer depending on how much track you selected.

If you want to apply Noise Removal at the current settings, you can use “Repeat Last Effect” CTRL + R(or COMMAND + R on Mac) to run Noise Removal after grabbing the Noise Profile, rather than reopen the effect dialog.

If not enough noise was removed, or too much of the recording was removed along with the noise, you can use Edit > Undo and try Noise Removal again with a different noise removal level on the slider, which adjusts the noise threshold. You don’t have to get a new Noise Profile again if you think the first one was fine.

However if the problem is that too much of the signal (music, voice, etc.) has been removed along with the noise, you can also try going back to the selection chosen for the Noise Profile and reducing its amplification (Effect > Amplify). Then use this as a new Noise Profile. Sometimes running the filter a second time using a Noise Profile that is a de-amplified section of track can give a good result. Another possibility is to select and Edit > Duplicate the track you want to remove noise from before applying Noise Removal, and adjust the relative volume of the two tracks (using the -….+ gain slider on the Track Control Panel) so you get the best mix of the original and noise removed tracks.

Note that if the nature of the background noise changes significantly during the course of the audio, it will be best to take an individual sample of the changed noise and apply that noise sample to the section of audio affected by that particular noise.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Let me know in the comments below if you have any other tutorials you’d like me to do!