Is there an easy way to remove spikes in volume (coming for example from a feedback loop when recording) from the audio of a video file?

I have this video for example which had problems during the recording with really high spikes in the volume, and I would like to edit the file and then submit it to the uploader.

Is there any way to do this without having to manually edit the file, in other words: Are there tools that can analyze the audio of video files, identify spikes in the volume, and automatically adjust the volume (or even completely mute) for those short segments? (I am running Ubuntu 16.04 and don't have access to Windows or Mac computers)

Another approach would be to set a max limit on the volume for the entire file, is this possible?

  • Add some reference timestamps. No one is going to watch a 1.5 hour video.
    – frcake
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 7:20

1 Answer 1


Your first problem with mixing this is that you have the main dialogue source panned hard left. I suspect you have a lavalier or remote wireless mic on the left channel, and camera mic on the right. You should do the following:

  1. Identify which channel of the two is causing the spikes and process this one only.
  2. Set up a compressor across the channel with the spikes and set the threshold just higher than the normal (acceptable) level so that it compresses and/or limits the excursions over the identified limit.
  3. Don't record the lavaliers too high next time - sounds very hot. I suspect the lavalier channel (1) is your problem.
  4. You can process this offline using sox and then just re-conform the audio back to the video using FFMPEG.
  5. Oh - and Pan dialogue centrally - in fact make the entire mix mono. You can accomplish this with SOX.
  • Thank you for your help! Do you know if sox can be used to process the whole file to automatically remove spikes? (I'm not an audio engineer myself but just someone who found this video and liked the content but would like to remove the spikes in volume)
    – sunyata
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 11:24
  • 1
    sox.sourceforge.net/sox.html#EFFECTS look for the "Compand" effect - this is compression and expansion. You will just have to experiment, but you can do everything you need to with Sox and FFMPEG.
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 11:25

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