When recording audio, especially from a laptop or headphone mic, it’s common that you’ll often hear some room tone noises in the back of your voice. Often, the way this is avoided on film sets or other recording environments is with the use of special equipment that can take a ‘room tone’ beforehand which helps equipment better pick up on audio that is actually desired.
Fortunately, you don’t need anything super fancy to get rid of that annoying buzzing sound, you just need Audacity.
Tutorial Disclaimer: While the operating system used in this example was Mac OSX, the same steps can be followed for a Windows machine.
1. Getting a Noise Profile
- So, you have your audio recorded and you’re ready to start editing it.
- Lets use this beautiful bit of sound as our example:
- The first step is identifying a spot in your audio that is just the room tone.
- Note: The room tone in your audio might not look like the one used in this example.
- Highlight this portion of the audio:
- Go to ‘Effects’ and find ‘Noise Reduction’.
- You’ll then see a window pop up
- Click on ‘Get Noise Profile’.
2. Reducing Room Tone
- Now, lets head back to the noise reduction window.
- You should now notice that you’re able to click the ‘ok’ button at the bottom. You can play around with the settings i.e. Noise reduction, Sensitivity, and Frequency Smoothing, but this is better done after you’ve tried removing room tone and potentially want to tweak the result.
- Once you’re ready, click the ok button.
Congratulations! Your audio should now have less room tone. If you find you’re still not happy with the result, undo your change, go back to the noise reduction menu, and play around with the settings until you find what works for your audio. Happy recording!