How to Get Rid of Static Noise in an Audio File

by Seamus Islwyn ; Updated September 22, 2017

A loose plug, a faulty cable or a malfunctioning microphone can all introduce static into your audio recordings. Ideally, you should eliminate static during the recording process. However, if you've captured an audio recording that unfortunately contains static, and you don't want to rerecord it, you can remove or at least reduce it by using a digital audio editing program like Audition, Audacity or GoldWave. These programs get rid of static by analyzing its sound frequency profile, then removing these frequencies from the audio file.

Use Adobe Audition's "noise reduction" function to remove static from a recording. Open the audio file in Audition, then highlight a part of the recording that contains only static. Right-click to select it and click "capture noise reduction profile." Hold the control key and press the letter a on your keyboard to select the entire audio file. Click the "effects" tab, then double-click "noise reduction (process)." Move the "noise reduction level" left or right to apply less or more of the effect. Click "preview" to preview the altered audio. Then click "OK" to apply noise reduction.

Get rid of static using Audacity's Noise Removal filter. Open the file that contains static, then highlight a portion of the audio that contains only static. Select "effect" in the top menu bar, then choose "noise removal." Click "get profile" to load the static into memory, then click "close." Select the entire audio file, then click "effect" and "noise removal" again. Drag the slider to determine how much of the static Audacity removes. Click "preview" to listen to the altered audio without changing it, then click "remove noise" to get rid of the static.

Run audio through GoldWave's "Noise Reduction" feature to remove static from it. Open the file, then click and drag on the waveform to highlight a section of the file that only has static in it. Press the control key and the letter c on your keyboard simultaneously to copy the static to the clipboard. Press the control key and the letter a together to select the entire waveform. Then click "effect," "filter" and "noise reduction." Click the radio button next to "use clipboard." Click the drop-down menu under "presets" and select the level of noise reduction that you want to apply. Click the "play" button to preview the audio, then click "OK" to apply the changes.

Tip

  • Zooming in on the waveform can help you find a section of pure static.

Tip

  • Always back up the master recording before altering an audio file.

About the Author

Seamus Islwyn has been writing for radio, print and online publications since 2003, covering subjects from independent Canadian music to automobile smuggling in the Balkans. His work has appeared in the "Tirana Times" in Albania, and he also composes and produces electronic music. Islwyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from McGill University and a certificate in radio broadcasting from Humber College.

Photo Credits

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