Removing Microphone Feedback in Audacity

By April 15, 2014Audio, Software

Doing things on a budget is more often becoming a means of becoming profitable. But the problem is that once we start buying cheaper products, we start to lose quality. Lapel microphones range in price from $20 to over $400. We bought one for just under $90 and notice that there are some frequency issues where whilst recording there are squeaks and other bits of white noise that we don’t want. Here’s a before and after of our tutorial :

The Original Audio

The Cleaned Audio

To perform this tutorial you will need the following :

Once you have those two items, we’re ready to get started.

Step 1. Cleaning The Audio

Import your audio file into audacity by dragging and dropping it into the main window after opening the program. You will then be presented with the following screen :



At this stage you need to zoom in to the section you wish to clean up. If there are multiple sections that have the same issue you will need to follow this step as well. This process searches the entire media clip and removes the selected issue from the entire track. To zoom in use the magnifying glass icons in the top right hand corner of the window.

Once you have found the section that needs to be amended, highlight it by clicking and dragging on the track timeline (where the blue lines are). From there using the top menu perform the following :

  1. ‘Effect’
  2. ‘Noise Removal…’
  3. ‘Get Noise Profile’
  4. ‘Ok’

The program will look it hasn’t done anything, but it has. It has just identified that the section you highlighted earlier is noise you don’t want and has similar sounds and patterns along in the file that match that. Now is where we tell Audacity to remove them all from the track. So, back on the main screen with the blue lines visible, we need press ‘Ctrl + A’ (windows) or ‘Cmd + A’ (OS X) to highlight the entire track. Then do the following from the top menu:

  1. ‘Effect’
  2. ‘Noise Removal’
  3. Here you can adjust how sensitive you would like the clean up to be. The bigger the number the more sensitive. We recommend 5.56.
  4. Then hit ‘Ok’

You will now see that the program makes a few changes to the file and will notice that the blue lines are altered. Now test your audio file by hitting ‘Space Bar’.

You will need to repeat this process for each individual sound type (Squeaks, reverb, white noise, etc…)

Step 2. Exporting the File

Once you are happy with how your audio sounds, you will want to export it as a single audio file (mp3, wav, ogg, etc…)

To do so, perform the following from the top menu :

  1. ‘File’
  2. ‘Export’
  3. Then just follow the prompts, select a file type and hit save.

You can now use the audio file in movies, ipods, wherever you feel.

We hope we’ve helped you out and will be answering questions below.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

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