How to Remove Background Noise in Audacity

In an effort to up my podcasting game, I recently bought the Blue Yeti Microphone. I got to admit, there is a real difference in the sound quality, however, it’s so sensitive! I noticed this perpetual hum on every recording, that I think is coming from my laptop or the power cord.

It took me a little while to figure out how to eliminate that background noise, but I eventually figured out how to do it in Audacity! For those who don’t know, Audacity is one of the top free audio editing/recording tools out there.

I hope the steps below are helpful and easy to follow! Let me know via comment if you were able to remove the audio noise from your podcast or recording.

Step 1: Open Audacity and Import the Song File.

First, you need to open audacity, create a new project, and import the song file, as I’ve shown below.

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I selected a recent podcast interview that I did with a someone who successfully raised over $16,000 on Kickstarter. Once the file imports, it will look like the screen below.

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I always like to zoom in on the audio file, because it’s easier to see the nuisances in the sound. You can click the “+” icon in the upper right hand corner to zoom in on the sound. Make sure that after you zoom in, you return to the start of the track.

Step 2: Select An Instance of the Background Noise

Next, to remove the background noise, you’re going to need a highlight a section of the track where you can only hear the hum. This is likely going to be during a pause in speaking, or ideally, at the beginning or end of the track. In the example below, I highlighted the hum I was hearing before the beginning of the track.

You can highlight a section of a track in audacity by clicking where you want to start, holding down shift, and clicking where you want to end the highlight, as I’ve shown below.

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Now that you have the annoying background noise highlighted, it’s time to remove it! Go to “effects” in the Audacity menu and select the option “Noise Removal.”

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Once you click “noise removal” a screen will popup and you should click the button “Get Noise Profile.”

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When you click this button, Audacity will get the noise profile of the sound so that it can detect and eliminate instances of that sound throughout the entire track.

Step 3: Remove The Background Noise!

Now, it’s time to highlight the entire track. I did this by pressing Command + A (Macintosh) or I believe it would be Control + A on a PC.

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Awesome! The track is highlighted. You’re going to go back to the “effects” option again in your main menu and click “noise removal.”

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But wait! Instead of clicking “Get Noise Profile,” you’re going to just click “OK,” because you’ve already gotten the noise profile of the sound. After you click that button, just let Audacity do it’s magic.

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That’s it! As you can see below, the tool removed most of the annoying hum I was experiencing. There are still a few small larger sound instances (moving my chair) that will have to be cut out manually, but the persistent buzz was eliminated. How cool is that?

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Questions?

If you found this tutorial to be helpful, show some love with a comment or share this article with a friend! Let me know if you have any questions!