I am trying to build a setup where I can do screencasts from my computer (Ubuntu 18.04). I have looked everywhere (I've been researching for weeks) for information regarding how to get noise-cancellation with a microphone working on Ubuntu. Most of the answered questions are about echo-cancellation or noise-cancellation that works over a video call like Skype or Hangouts. I'm trying to do simple recording--with nobody on the other end and no software in between peers, which is why echo isn't even an issue. I need a microphone that can filter out background noise such as people talking or dogs barking, but still captures my voice. I have seen other people doing this with a $30 headset on Windows.

I bought a few "noise-cancelling" microphone headsets to try and they work on Windows, but not on Ubuntu--which doesn't surprise me. From the research I've done, this seems to be because of real-time audio processing software that Windows has. Does Ubuntu have such real-time audio processing software? According to my research, the PulseAudio echo-cancellation module doesn't do this.

If not, has anyone found a microphone that can filter out high-noise (such as dogs barking) that works on Ubuntu for simple recording, not for a multi-person call? I am guessing that we need a headset/microphone that does all of the audio processing in hardware/software internally, then outputs that already-processed signal into the computer via 3.5mm jack or USB, so that no additional processing would be needed. Does a self-contained noise-cancellation microphone like that exist?

Is it possible for us Ubuntu users to get the same quality sound for screencasts as Windows people? Or must we bow the knee to Windows on this one?

EDIT: Just to be clear, I am in a location where I can't consistently find a quiet room. Sometimes you can hear people yelling, through the walls and such. I'm not talking about filtering out simple "white noise". The issue is unpredictable, loud noises.


You can try Audacity

Audacity is a linux program, that comes via the package audacity. I have used it for filtering.

It can be installed from the Ubuntu repository universe

sudo apt install audacity

which will probably work well. If you want a newer version (which may or may not work in your version of Ubuntu), you can find it via the following link (use a PPA for Ubuntu),


Audacity (as well as other audio program packages) is bundled with Ubuntu Studio, which is a special flavour of Ubuntu for multimedia.

Ubuntu Studio is a free and open source operative system, and an official flavor of Ubuntu. Ubuntu Studio is the most widely used multimedia orientated GNU/Linux distribution in the world. It comes preinstalled with a selection of the most common free multimedia applications available, and is configured for best performance for the Ubuntu Studio defined workflows: Audio, Graphics, Video, Photography and Publishing.

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  • I do have audacity, and have tinkered with it, but am not an expert by any means. How do you recommend using it to filter out loud background noise? I know that I can filter out noise based on a sound-profile, but I need this to be dynamic and real-time, so I don't have a noise profile. – Feliks Montez Aug 2 '18 at 16:52
  • Well, I'm no expert, and I don't know Audacity well enough to know, if/how it can be part of a dynamic and real-time filtering system. I used it for post-processing. – sudodus Aug 2 '18 at 18:26
  • Sorry, I shouldn't have called what I wanted post-processing. I'm looking for something that processes the data after it has come in from the microphone jack, but still before it gets to a recording program. I fixed the terminology in my question. – Feliks Montez Aug 2 '18 at 19:41

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