How do I get rid of unwanted sounds

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How do I get rid of unwanted sounds

I'm using Audacity 1.2.4. And recording to a digital voice recoder & music player from Diasonic Technology. The imports are Mono.   I would like to know how to get rid of unwanted sounds.   The only thing I want to hear are peoples voices.  My phone number is 321-279-1478.  Thank-you for helping on this problem.
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Re: How do I get rid of unwanted sounds

Gale Andrews

    | From [hidden email]
    | Tue, 23 May 2006 21:15:58 EDT
    | I'm using Audacity 1.2.4. And recording to a digital voice recoder &
    | music player from Diasonic Technology. The imports are Mono.  
    | I would like to know how to get rid of unwanted sounds.   The only
    | thing I want to hear are peoples voices.

Do these files have a  .WAV extension and are you importing them into
Audacity with Project > Import Audio, if so what happens, do they appear
as only a few fractions of a second long on the timeline above the track and
just sound like a squeak? Or does Project > Import Audio fail and you try to
import them with Project > Import Raw Data but you get added distortion
above the voices on a file of the correct length?  

Typically these sort of files are WAVs (which format Audacity supports) but
use a variety of non-standard compressions which players and editors cannot
always recognise. Even if the files are importing properly it might help if
you are able to send one of these files to me privately as an email attachment:

[hidden email]

then I could judge what type of noise is on the recording that might be
removable or if it is a valid file that Audacity can import in the first place.

If it is a valid importable file of the correct length but has some kind of noise
or distortion going through it you could try the noise removal tool under the
Effect menu by selecting a section of track that is noise only and using that
section as a "noise profile"  with which to filter the noise out. I have pasted
in instructions for the noise removal tool below this message if you want to
try that. Otherwise if as I suspect Audacity cannot import this file properly
you may have to use a conversion tool to decompress it to a standard WAV
then import that into Audacity.  Free programs you could try to do this

dBpoweramp, for Windows and Linux

SuperPlayer,  for Windows: (just drag the file you want to convert
into the program)       

ffmpegX  , for OS X : (just drag the file you want to convert into
the program)

Or if you have an up to date version of iTunes you can convert the file
to .WAV or .AIFF.  You set the conversion format in iTunes Preferences
under Advanced > Importing > Import using WAV or AIFF encoder. Then
you have a right click option to convert the file.

Or if you have a batch of these files you could burn them to an audio CD
and rip them back to WAV or AIFF with free CD extraction software like


or Exact Audio Copy

Gale Andrews


Noise Removal

This effect is ideal for removing constant background noise such as fans,
tape noise or hums. It will not work very well for removing talking or music
in the background.

Removing noise is a two-step process. In the first step, you select a portion
of your sound which contains all noise and no signal, in other words, select
the part that's silent except for the noise. Usually this will be at the start or
end of the track, but if the track has no lead-in or lead-out, try zooming in
to hit a precise spot between music or speech. Then choose Noise Removal...
from the Effect menu and click "Get Profile". Audacity learns from this
selection what the noise sounds like, so it knows what to filter out later.

Then, select all of the audio where you want the noise removed from and
choose Noise Removal again. This time, click the "Remove Noise" button.
It may take a few seconds or longer depending on how much you selected.

Most noise removal takes part of the recording away with the noise and
adds or exposes artefacts in the recording.  If not enough noise was
removed, or too much of the recording was removed along with the noise,
you can Undo (from the Edit menu) and try Noise Removal again with a
different noise removal level on the slider. 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 music has been removed along with the
noise, you can also try 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.

It may still be impossible to get a satisfactory result when the noise
is very loud, when the noise is variable, or when the music or speech
is not much louder than the noise.


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