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Edit WAV file to remove white noise

Discussion in 'Software' started by Roystacy, May 21, 2008.

  1. Roystacy

    Roystacy Private First Class


    Okay, I used Sound Recorder to record a audio interview from a cassette tape to a WAV format so that I could put onto a CD. Now, the fun is how do I get rid of the white noise, background shhhhhhhhhhhhh sound? I am using Audacity 1.3 but the edit functions are all greyed out. I am also having a heck of a time using Audacity to cut snips out. See, the interviews make mention of particular names that are currently confidential. Thanks. RSS
  2. chookers

    chookers Staff Sergeant

    Firstly, open it in Audacity and make sure it has been imported. Check under Edit and you should see it saying, "Undo Import." Waves should be imported anyway when you try to open them from Audacity but if doesn't, try using the Project menu: "Project - Import..." and navigate to your file.

    Next trick, use View - Zoom Normal to spread out the wave file across a wider area to make selection of the part you want to edit easier and more accurate.

    Now use your mouse to highlight the section you want to deal with - the options should no longer be greyed out.

    If you need the wave file to be wider for even greater accuracy of name cover up, you can zoom in, either use "View - Zoom in" or Control+1.
    Last edited: May 25, 2008
  3. dlb

    dlb MajorGeek

    I was thinking that it might be a good idea to re-record the interview, but instead of using the mediocre Sound Recorder, use either Audacity or Wavosaur and remove the noise as you record it. You can also make note of the timings when the names are spoken, which would make editing a bit easier.
    Wavosaur http://www.majorgeeks.com/Wavosaur_d5418.html (freeware)

    Good luck! And keep us posted!
  4. Appzalien

    Appzalien Staff Sergeant

    I have not used Audacity in along time but I have an old version of cooledit pro that should be similar. When you want to remove noise it usually requires several steps as the total volume of the file will be decreased when removing the noise so it will have to be boosted in the final move. What I would do with cooledit is to zoom in and find a place (could be at the begining or end) where there is a silence area of considerable size, highlight it and listen to make sure its all hiss and no talk. Then open the hiss click and pop edit section and run an analysis on the blank area to create a profile. Then go back to the main window and select (highlight) the entire file and go back to the click pop hiss edit and using the profile from the blank area apply it to the entire file. Afterwords you may have to boost the sound by 10 to 25% to get it back to where it was.

    Cutting out areas is similar, zoom in, highlight, listen to make sure its what you want out then for me it would be "remove(or delete) selected area" probably under the Edit tab. There are usually two choices "remove all but selected" or "remove selected".
  5. Roystacy

    Roystacy Private First Class

    Thank you very much, guys!!! This is why I love coming to this site on almost a daily basis. People helping each other without the "looking down the nose" attitude because I don't know as much as everyone else. I dropped from another group because you ask a question and they come back with all kinds of garbage. Thanks again!!!

    Take care!!

  6. Hardwired

    Hardwired Private E-2

    I second the cool edit approach. I do think there's a bit of a 'glitch' in that
    you'll have to be sure what the coding is for the wav file. Such as 16 bits and
    32kb /sec or 44.1 etc.

    The method is to simply sample ,select, part of the audio which has the noise
    but no audio. Then the program is told to subtract this noise from the entire
    program material.

    I did this with an old rolling stones recording from a live concert which had
    lots of 60hz hum with probably some 120hz also as well as plenty of tape hiss.

    The cool edit made is so very quiet that it nearly sounded like a studio
    recording. I was impressed.

    Making cooledit work well is simple if you try not to over do it right from the
    start. Also take note as to whether the noise is consistant through out
    the recording or if it changes due to other factors than tape hiss.

    In that case you'd want to clean up sections as they are affected by their
    particular kind of noise.

    Please post back here your results. We all learn something from your efforts.


  7. Appzalien

    Appzalien Staff Sergeant

    Hey! didn't you know, cool edit has a bunch of plugins you can still download so you can work with mp3 ogg flac mp4 and wma files too.

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