Cleaning up narration audio in Audacity

The below steps have worked great for me for cleaning up narration audio I’ve recorded. After running through this process, the audio should be ready to be assembled into a video, podcasts, etc.

When recording:

  • Maintain consistent distance between mouth and microphone
  • Don’t record too loud (past maximum) or too soft (too close to noise floor)
  • Leave 5 seconds of silence before start for noise reduction

After recording:

  • Noise Reduction using first five seconds of silence
  • Compressor
    • Threshold: -12 dB
    • Noise Floor: -25 dB
    • Ratio: 5:1
    • Attack Time: 0.10 secs
    • Release Time: 1.0 secs
    • enable “Compress based on Peaks”
  • De-Clicker:
    • default parameters
    • optional – listen to audio first
  • Normalize
    • Normalize Peak Amplitude: -1 dB
    • Do separately for each section if levels inconsistent

These steps will fix noise and levels, giving a good baseline for then incorporating into a video or presentation.

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