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Offline daze

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I'm still trying to figure out the best way to handle shows with loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) songs.  For example, acoustic shows, or a single pianist, where the audience levels can be as much as 10-20 db higher than the music.

I've read and re-read threads here, I've had some success when it's "just" between the songs by using the audacity envelope tool, but when it bleeds into the music I'm still struggling (I've played around with the envelope tool, compressor, hard limiting).  If anyone has any additional tips it would be much appreciated.  I have audacity, cool edit pro, izotope rx5, and ozone 8 as my tools. 
« Last Edit: March 27, 2022, 03:05:43 PM by daze »

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2022, 04:58:37 PM »
De-click using RX7 works best for me.  Between tracks, you can use gain reduction subtly
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Offline daze

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2022, 05:21:56 PM »
De-click using RX7 works best for me.  Between tracks, you can use gain reduction subtly

Thanks.  I'll play around more.  I'm trying to make sure I know all the various ways I can attack this type of problem.  I'm also trying to figure out the best way to deal with shows where someone fiddles with their gain during the first few songs.

Offline roffels

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2022, 06:53:38 PM »
I use Izotope and select the loudest frequences when people are cheering, and attenuate.

Alternatively, I compress everything so that the music is as loud as the cheering.

Further, and this method is a huge pain, in Audacity I'll copy the cheers/claps to its own track, mix it in at a lower volume. I'll blend the "audience" and "music" tracks by fading out/fading in overlapping segments. This works fine for when there's no overlap between the music and cheering, but sounds a little wonky when they overlap.

Offline daze

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2022, 07:05:22 PM »
I use Izotope and select the loudest frequences when people are cheering, and attenuate.

Alternatively, I compress everything so that the music is as loud as the cheering.

Further, and this method is a huge pain, in Audacity I'll copy the cheers/claps to its own track, mix it in at a lower volume. I'll blend the "audience" and "music" tracks by fading out/fading in overlapping segments. This works fine for when there's no overlap between the music and cheering, but sounds a little wonky when they overlap.

Thanks!  I'm learning how to use Izotope spectral repair for singular loud claps, but I haven't figured out how to work Izotope for the thunderous audience applause in these shows where the music isn't nearly as loud. 

Offline morst

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2022, 08:06:31 PM »
I use Izotope and select the loudest frequences when people are cheering, and attenuate.

Alternatively, I compress everything so that the music is as loud as the cheering.

Further, and this method is a huge pain, in Audacity I'll copy the cheers/claps to its own track, mix it in at a lower volume. I'll blend the "audience" and "music" tracks by fading out/fading in overlapping segments. This works fine for when there's no overlap between the music and cheering, but sounds a little wonky when they overlap.
do you invert the signal of the disagreeable part so that it cancels perfectly?
If you surgically pare away all the music from the nasty-junk track, and put neat little fades on the end of each unwanted sound, then invert that track and mix, it should cancel them nicely!?

Offline daze

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2022, 08:54:55 PM »
I use Izotope and select the loudest frequences when people are cheering, and attenuate.

Alternatively, I compress everything so that the music is as loud as the cheering.

Further, and this method is a huge pain, in Audacity I'll copy the cheers/claps to its own track, mix it in at a lower volume. I'll blend the "audience" and "music" tracks by fading out/fading in overlapping segments. This works fine for when there's no overlap between the music and cheering, but sounds a little wonky when they overlap.
do you invert the signal of the disagreeable part so that it cancels perfectly?
If you surgically pare away all the music from the nasty-junk track, and put neat little fades on the end of each unwanted sound, then invert that track and mix, it should cancel them nicely!?

I've never tried inverting the signal, I'll explore that also.  Thanks for your help and ideas.

Offline morst

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2022, 09:27:26 PM »
do you invert the signal of the disagreeable part so that it cancels perfectly?
If you surgically pare away all the music from the nasty-junk track, and put neat little fades on the end of each unwanted sound, then invert that track and mix, it should cancel them nicely!?

I've never tried inverting the signal, I'll explore that also.  Thanks for your help and ideas.

polarity invert and add is just like subtracting.

Consider in math that these statements are more or less identical
1 + (-1) = 0
1 - 1 = 0

When doing arithmetic (linear*) operations on sound, such as volume level up or down on a bit-by-bit basis, this totally works.
Flipping the nasty crud upside down and mixing at full level with the original will make it drop to nothing, You might need to mix less than equal to leave something there, so it doesn't sound like a dropout.

* by linear I mean only affecting a single variable at once. In this case, volume level (intensity)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2022, 09:31:13 PM by morst »

Offline daze

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2022, 09:58:56 PM »
do you invert the signal of the disagreeable part so that it cancels perfectly?
If you surgically pare away all the music from the nasty-junk track, and put neat little fades on the end of each unwanted sound, then invert that track and mix, it should cancel them nicely!?

I've never tried inverting the signal, I'll explore that also.  Thanks for your help and ideas.

polarity invert and add is just like subtracting.

Consider in math that these statements are more or less identical
1 + (-1) = 0
1 - 1 = 0

When doing arithmetic (linear*) operations on sound, such as volume level up or down on a bit-by-bit basis, this totally works.
Flipping the nasty crud upside down and mixing at full level with the original will make it drop to nothing, You might need to mix less than equal to leave something there, so it doesn't sound like a dropout.

* by linear I mean only affecting a single variable at once. In this case, volume level (intensity)

Thanks for this explanation, this is definitely something I need to play around with.  There's such a steep learning curve in all of these programs, but the best way to do it is to do it. 

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2022, 03:29:00 AM »
Marking thread.

Offline kindms

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2022, 02:44:43 PM »
In Audacity I use the limiter

I select the loud clapping or whatever, set the limiter to a soft limit and reduce the crowd that way. Obviously easier to do between tunes but can be implemented for tracks

I do this and then once i have cleaned it up bring the entire file up to 0 before fades etc
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Offline daze

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2022, 06:37:03 PM »
In Audacity I use the limiter

I select the loud clapping or whatever, set the limiter to a soft limit and reduce the crowd that way. Obviously easier to do between tunes but can be implemented for tracks

I do this and then once i have cleaned it up bring the entire file up to 0 before fades etc

Thanks!  I need to explore the limiter function more and get a better grasp of hard v soft limiter.  The problem I always have, when I'm grabbing something between songs (and especially when the song, or the artist speaking, bleeds into the horrific applause/screaming) is that I hear a noticeable volume difference immediately before/after what I'm trying to tamper down.  I like the audacity envelope tool as that really helps soften/minimize/eliminate that abruptness.  I'll play around with the limiter and see what I can figure out.

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2022, 07:04:10 PM »
In Audacity I use the limiter

I select the loud clapping or whatever, set the limiter to a soft limit and reduce the crowd that way. Obviously easier to do between tunes but can be implemented for tracks

I do this and then once i have cleaned it up bring the entire file up to 0 before fades etc

Thanks!  I need to explore the limiter function more and get a better grasp of hard v soft limiter.  The problem I always have, when I'm grabbing something between songs (and especially when the song, or the artist speaking, bleeds into the horrific applause/screaming) is that I hear a noticeable volume difference immediately before/after what I'm trying to tamper down.  I like the audacity envelope tool as that really helps soften/minimize/eliminate that abruptness.  I'll play around with the limiter and see what I can figure out.

to expand a little. I guesstimate by looking at the WAV form about what the peak audio is and then limit the crowd to that. so im taking out the peaks that prevent a more accurate 'amplify' of the true peak for the entire show if that makes any sense.
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Offline daze

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2022, 07:17:16 PM »
In Audacity I use the limiter

I select the loud clapping or whatever, set the limiter to a soft limit and reduce the crowd that way. Obviously easier to do between tunes but can be implemented for tracks

I do this and then once i have cleaned it up bring the entire file up to 0 before fades etc

Thanks!  I need to explore the limiter function more and get a better grasp of hard v soft limiter.  The problem I always have, when I'm grabbing something between songs (and especially when the song, or the artist speaking, bleeds into the horrific applause/screaming) is that I hear a noticeable volume difference immediately before/after what I'm trying to tamper down.  I like the audacity envelope tool as that really helps soften/minimize/eliminate that abruptness.  I'll play around with the limiter and see what I can figure out.

to expand a little. I guesstimate by looking at the WAV form about what the peak audio is and then limit the crowd to that. so im taking out the peaks that prevent a more accurate 'amplify' of the true peak for the entire show if that makes any sense.

That makes sense.  That's what I played around with using the compressor function last night.  I'll play with the limiter next.  Thank you!

Offline tim in jersey

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Offline daze

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2022, 09:13:24 PM »
This may be an interesting read for you, daze. 

https://taperssection.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=887c56f86bcdd5c9341ab7e8ebbfae7a&topic=137594.0

Thanks.  I somehow missed this during my search!  It will take a few careful reads for this to sink in, but it looks like another valuable tool for the arsenal. 

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2022, 09:16:25 PM »
Thread is 12 years old and I have it bookmarked and still constantly refer to it.


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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2022, 10:39:36 PM »
Thread is 12 years old and I have it bookmarked and still constantly refer to it.

I'm still not sure I understand it, I'll fiddle around and see what I can figure out.  Thanks again.

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2022, 07:55:11 AM »
Thread is 12 years old and I have it bookmarked and still constantly refer to it.

I'm still not sure I understand it, I'll fiddle around and see what I can figure out.  Thanks again.

Parallel compression isn't all that complicated when it comes down to it — it's mostly a way to create a compression curve (more compressed for loud bits, less so for quiet bits, making the quiet bits louder without making the whole thing sound unnatural) without mucking around too much with numbers.

If the crowd noise is louder than whatever else is going on, dynamic compression is a great way to lower its relative volume; as kindms suggested above, just eyeball what dB level the actual music reaches, and compress the hell out of anything that exceeds that in the sections with crowd noise. If you have loud music plus loud crowd it's trickier, and starts requiring things like Izotope filters.

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2022, 09:21:40 AM »
Thanks for the explanation and additional information. What is the difference between parallel compression and dynamic compression?  (Is it, that in parallel compression, your ultimately overlying the compressed track on the original track?).

Izotope filters are also something I'm trying to learn.  Steep learning curve but I trying to immerse myself.

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2022, 04:07:46 PM »
Thanks for the explanation and additional information. What is the difference between parallel compression and dynamic compression?  (Is it, that in parallel compression, your ultimately overlying the compressed track on the original track?).

Dynamic compression just means compressing the loudness of the sound, so the peaks are lower. To distinguish it from data compression, like turning a WAV into an MP3.

Parallel compression is splitting your file in two and dynamically compressing them differently, then remixing them.

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2022, 07:37:24 PM »
Thanks for the explanation and additional information. What is the difference between parallel compression and dynamic compression?  (Is it, that in parallel compression, your ultimately overlying the compressed track on the original track?).

Dynamic compression just means compressing the loudness of the sound, so the peaks are lower. To distinguish it from data compression, like turning a WAV into an MP3.

Parallel compression is splitting your file in two and dynamically compressing them differently, then remixing them.

Thanks for articulating that so clearly.  It seems like parallel compression may not be the best route for the problem I'm trying to solve right now (someone pointed that out in the thread tim in jersey referenced), and I'll play around with dynamic compression, and limiting, and compare and see what sounds best.  But I have a ton of other recordings that I think can benefit from parallel compression.

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2022, 03:40:44 PM »
In Audacity I use the limiter

I select the loud clapping or whatever, set the limiter to a soft limit and reduce the crowd that way. Obviously easier to do between tunes but can be implemented for tracks

I do this and then once i have cleaned it up bring the entire file up to 0 before fades etc
Followup scenario/question to the Audacity Limiter usage.

I am attempting to use it on a recording where I've determined that the peak of the music (I selected a loud passage and used the Analyze > Measure RMS tool) is Left: 16.9, Right: 18.4, Stereo: 17.6. When I go into the Limiter dialog and attempt to enter -18.5 for the 'Limit to:' parameter, it throws a message: 'Value not in range -10 to 0'.

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2022, 10:59:39 PM »
In Audacity I use the limiter

I select the loud clapping or whatever, set the limiter to a soft limit and reduce the crowd that way. Obviously easier to do between tunes but can be implemented for tracks

I do this and then once i have cleaned it up bring the entire file up to 0 before fades etc
Followup scenario/question to the Audacity Limiter usage.

I am attempting to use it on a recording where I've determined that the peak of the music (I selected a loud passage and used the Analyze > Measure RMS tool) is Left: 16.9, Right: 18.4, Stereo: 17.6. When I go into the Limiter dialog and attempt to enter -18.5 for the 'Limit to:' parameter, it throws a message: 'Value not in range -10 to 0'.
it is only able to limit in +/- 9.9 dB increments. if you do it at -9.9 then do another -9.6, you'll get it to -18.5. (although if the signal is clipping that much, it may not reduce pre-amp distortion noise)
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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2022, 11:11:45 PM »
Such a simple solution, thanks!

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2022, 01:57:05 AM »
Such a simple solution, thanks!
A simpler solution might be to use a different plugin that can do it all at once.


Two passes = twice the low level noise added during processing

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2022, 10:21:08 AM »
Thanks, I will try the Apogee plug-in: https://apogeedigital.com/products/plugins/soft-limit

Can anyone recommend one? I have a Mac available and saw that there’s a limiter audio unit built in.

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2022, 06:35:55 PM »
if you do it at -9.9 then do another -9.6, you'll get it to -18.5. (although if the signal is clipping that much, it may not reduce pre-amp distortion noise)

Is this that "new math"?  ;)

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Re: reducing loud audience applause between (and sometimes during) music
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2022, 02:23:55 AM »
if you do it at -9.9 then do another -9.6, you'll get it to -18.5. (although if the signal is clipping that much, it may not reduce pre-amp distortion noise)

Is this that "new math"?  ;)
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