Did some audio recording and ended up having a noisy recording? You might still be able to save the audio with these restoration techniques, so don’t throw that audio away yet.
If you are a podcast developer, Adobe Audition CC offers prolific sound restoration and editing functions that aids in designing impressive sound effects. Video denoising using this best video denoiser software is quite compelling, where its customized audio adjustment characteristics are quite the highlight.
Perhaps you had a video recorded and the audio is so noisy that you are looking for how to remove noise from the video.
In this post, I’ll show you a few methods to reduce noise from your audio or video
Before I start with the article, I just want to introduce you to a software called Drum Xtract. It’s a software that helps remove musical elements from an audio recording (usually drums). And can be used to tighten up sound elements within a mix as well. You can read about it here: How to remove drums from a song.
We will go through these few topics:
First of all, you must understand that it’s impossible to remove 100% of the noise from a recorded audio. It’s not possible. Even if it is, your recorded audio will most likely be unusable, due to the diminished quality.
Many people are also looking for quick ways to remove vocals from audio. While that’s not entirely impossible to do, it usually renders not so good results.
I suggest people who want to remove vocals from music to buy a karaoke version music instead.
Alright, now that you’re ready, let’s go!
Audacity is a popular freeware audio software that runs on the PC or Mac. It’s free.
It’s an amazing piece of software that does nearly everything a good audio editor like Adobe Audition can do. It does noise reduction really well too.
If you’re looking for a quick solution to reduce some noise from one or two audio files, Audacity would be good for you.
Get your audio into Audacity. This is easily done by simply drag and drop your audio file into Audacity.
Audacity accepts audio file formats such as wav, mp3 and more. For editing, you’ll want to edit in wav. I’ve used an interview audio recording to illustrate the steps to come.
Find a section of the audio that only has the background audio.
Generally, the longer you can find the better. What we are doing is to select a section of background noise which we want reducing from the entire audio recording.
For my case, I found a fair 1-second background audio in the beginning portion of the audio recording before the interview speech came in.Choose noise removal
After selecting, hover over to ‘Effects > Noise Removal’.Get noise profile
Click on ‘Get Noise Profile’.
Doing this actually allows the Noise Removal effect to learn the noise selection you highlighted. This prepares the noise removal software to remove audio.
Listened to enough annoying noise yet? Time to remove it.
This time, highlight the whole audio file or select the parts of the audio you want the background audio reduced.Using the parameters here can really change output sound
Utilizing the parameters correctly in ‘Step 2’ of the Noise Removal effect can give you the difference in the effectiveness of sound output you get. It’s important to understand them
Once you have the parameters set, ‘preview’ the audio file to hear how it’ll sound with the settings you made.
If it doesn’t sound like something you were aiming for, experiment changing the settings a little and then preview again. Once you get a denoising result that you want, click on OK to commit to the changes.
Prefer to watch a video? See how I do it in the video below:
I use Adobe Audition all the time for noise reduction. Most audio editors have audio reduction effects built in.
Most popular DAWs however, do not have it.
I was mixing audio for a documentary in Logic Studio on a Mac, when i realized I needed a denoising plugin to run inside Logic.
So I started testing noise reduction plugins that are available in the market. Having tried lots of them, I finally settled for iZotope RX. iZotope features a very nice denoising effect that works as a standalone and also as a VST/AU plugin.
Here’s a video of me denoising a noisy interview video using iZotope Denoiser as a plugin in Adobe Audition:
I get this question all the time.
The thing is it’s not that your video is noisy. It’s the audio that was recorded together with your video which is noisy.
This usually happens when you do a video recording on your camcorder or DSLR without a dedicated shotgun microphone like the Rode NTG2 or a suitable lavalier microphone.
There’s no way around it than to invest in a set of dedicated microphones and portable audio record to get good audio when recording videos.DSLR takes good videos, but the in-built microphone is a nightmare for interviews
Anyhow, if you already got your recordings, don’t discard it yet. There is still hope of saving them… for now.
I’ll explain how I normally do the job of removing noise from audio.
You need to find a way to unlink the noisy audio from your video. This is because you have to edit the audio, not actually the video itself.
I use Adobe Premiere Pro to do this. Adobe Premiere allows me to unlink audio, edit the audio in Adobe Audition and then have it saved automatically after I make changes in Adobe Audition.I edit my audio with adobe audition through premiere pro
Once you click, ‘edit with Adobe Audition’, Audition will load with your audio file in it. Within Audition, I use can use it’s built-in noise reduction effect to remove the noise from the audio clip.
However, I prefer using iZotope RX Denoiser as it gives me better control over the noise that I want to reduce.I’m using iZotope Denoiser as a VST in Adobe Audition
If you don’t have a 3rd party VST plugin like iZotope RX Denoiser, just use the built-in denoiser in Audition.
Once you’re done with the edit, just save and close the program.
Back in Premiere Pro, the audio will be updated with the edits you have made. At this point, you’ll have to export your video, so just re-export your video with the now denoised audio clip.
In my opinion, the best noise reduction software in terms of price and ease of use would be iZotope RX.
iZotope RX, since the early days, comes with a multitude of other effects which you’ll find very useful for audio restoring projects. No matter if you’re into broadcasting, audio restoration works or simply a recording engineer looking to clean up your vocalist’s audio files, I guarantee that iZotope will be able to handle all of that.
I’ll briefly talk about the additional software functions that come with iZotope RX.
Note that while the version used in the screenshots below may be an earlier version, the concepts of using it still remains the same.
The difference? Every new version usually has its algorithm optimized to be more efficient in CPU processing and to produce cleaner and higher sound quality.
RX Denoiser works like most noise reduction effects. The advantage that RX Denoiser has over standard audio reduction effects is that it has different algorithms in which you can use to get better results for denoising. It also allows better control over the ‘artifacts’ which are normally left in your audio tracks after you process denoising effects.
In RX 4 you notice a fairly easier interface to use and also an addition of a ‘dialogue’ tab, which gives you more control over denoising audio for dialogues.
Spectral Analyser is another effect which can be really useful if you do audio work for broadcast TV.
With Spectral Analyser, you don’t edit on waveforms but on spectral frequencies. This allows you to zoom in into noise audio frequencies and remove sounds, for instance, a single chair squeak during an interview recording. Drops and cuts in audio can also be fixed. The effect accomplishes this by collecting audio sounds around the problem area.
Try it and you’ll notice it’s a little like ‘photo-shopping‘.
Does what its name implies. Removes clipping that happens in a recording.
This effect has saved me many times when I recorded an actor who suddenly screamed in her role, causing my the audio recordings to clip.
Declicker is great when using it to restore things like old tapes and I found DeHum especially useful when trying to repair a concert sound recording which had lots of hum, due to the audio hardware setup.
Having done many recording outdoors at noisy locations and getting into trouble, here is a list of best practices to put in mind when recording outdoors or in situations when noise is inevitable.
Did I miss any best practices when recording outdoors and when dealing with noisy audio files? Let me know in the comment box below:
Last Updated on October 15, 2020
If you deal with sound recordings on a daily basis, you are probably keen on the numerous issues that can come along with making them sound good. Whether the sound was recorded by a professional recordist or a complete novice, sometimes there are anomalies and noise problems that you simply can’t get away from, even if you follow all the rules to getting great sound on set.
Noise reduction software is your saving grace. There are a few really solid tools out there, some you’ve certainly heard of, and others you may not have. Let’s break down some of your best options.
Accusonus is one of those companies that has gone largely unheard of in respects to audio repair, which is a shame as their offerings are affordable, easy to use, and capable of producing quick results. Here’s a quick overview of their comprehensive ERA Bundles. The ERA Bundle Standard ($149) contains 4 single-knob plugins, each one solving a different audio problem:
● ERA Noise Remover
● ERA Reverb Remover
● ERA Plosive Remover
● ERA De-Esser
The Accusonus ERA Bundle Pro ($499) contains the 4 single-knob plugins as well as ERA D, a joint noise & reverb reduction plugin for post professionals.
You may be wondering about the steep upgrade when ERA-D does essentially the same things as the ERA Noise Remover and the ERA Reverb Remover. The secret here is that ERA-D does something that other tools don’t: 2-channel intelligent noise reduction. This means you can feed in 2 different channels (boom and lav, for instance) and the 2 channels will inform each other of the content, making for a much cleaner denoising process with fewer artifacts. If this fits your situation, I’d say it’s worth the small splurge for the top tier version.
The benefits of Accusonus’ tools is that you can run them in real-time and get results quick. The one-knob style functionality makes them extremely simple for non-audio geniuses to use. It’s definitely worth it for video editors, indie filmmakers or audio engineers who need a clean and quick solution.
Try it out for free and see for yourself.
RX is possibly the most well-known sound restoration software out today. Ever since version 1, iZotope has been pouring R&D into making this software unbeatable.
RX gives you a fully featured waveform and spectral editor with numerous ways to view and select your sound and a complete host of tools including:
Needless to say, iZotope’s flagship software can warrant an entire blog series on its own. If you are an indie filmmaker, video editor, sound engineer or sound designer, this software surely has a handful of tools that will be immediately useful in your everyday work. The advanced version will cost you a pretty penny, but if you can afford the standard version, you still get most of the available tools, minus just a few awesome ones.
Elements RX: $99
Standard RX: $299
Advanced RX: $999
Many video editors will be quite familiar with Audition, as it comes bundled with the Creative Cloud suite (meaning many of you already have this available to you without spending an additional dime).
Audition is not just a noise reduction software, but a complete digital audio workstation, capable of multi-track editing, mixing, sound design, mastering and spectral audio editing. While the noise-reduction tools are relatively bare-bones compared to some other options, it likely has the tools you need the most:
These tools, along with their spectral editor (complete with photoshop-like selection tools), give you the ability to clean out most common sonic problems.
If you are a Premiere Pro editor on a budget, this is a no-brainer. Learn to use Audition as well as you do Premiere or After Effects, and you are golden. If you don’t have the Adobe CC suite, but you want Audition, it’ll cost you $20.99 per month.
Cedar is the grandfather of noise-reduction, the first major competitor in the industry, and what most of the professionals use when lives are on the line, like in the case of forensic investigations.
Cedar’s tools are available in both software and hardware, with different tools for different purposes, such as live event noise-reduction where a zero-error and zero-latency solution is absolutely necessary, or in server setups where huge bulk processing must happen 100x faster than real-time to keep up with the huge amount of audio that needs to be processed.
But most studio professionals on this level would rely on Cedar Studio; their comprehensive set of software that works inside DAWs like Pro Tools. Of course, this bundle of tools will cost about $13,000, with each module costing no less than around $3,000 each. While many of the benefits of these tools can be found in cheaper software, the added top level of quality, speed and efficiency is a need reserved for a select few.
It’s likely that if you need Cedar, you aren’t reading this article, but it’s good to have knowledge of the software by which all the others will be judged in terms of quality and reliability.
If you are an audio engineer, you likely know all about Waves plugins. They’ve been around a long time and have been a staple in every major music and post house all over the world. In that time, they’ve released some pretty great noise reduction plugins, which I’ll parse into 2 categories:
The manual plugins are their older suite of tools and have parametric features to dial in the threshold, band control, and more after you’ve taught the plugin what the noise print looks like.
The intelligent plugins are their newer tools that use advanced DSP logic to differentiate between signal and noise, allowing you to dial in the threshold and, in the case of W43 and WNS, adjust that threshold for multiple bands to dial it in a bit more.
The greatest part of their intelligent plugins is that they work really fast, with almost zero-latency. This means you can throw it on your audio track and not lose sync, which can be a huge time saver.
Of this toolset, W43 may have the best bang-for-the-buck, only costing $49 (depending on the day, as Waves is always having sales) and giving you a 4 band control. If you are in need of not only noise but click and hum removal, those plugins are priced around $89, or you can buy the entire intelligent set for $399.
A completely unique tool, Magix (who bought this software from Sony) offers what some may call the ‘photoshop-for-audio’. The software gives you a spectral view of your audio, advanced selection, brush, clone (yes, clone stamp for audio!) and erase tools, and the ability to extract separate items into ‘layers’ and process them individually.
While Sound Forge Pro gives extreme granularity to editing your audio that no other software really offers (even RX doesn’t offer some of these features, like drawing in frequencies, pitch shifting a single selected harmonic, or spectral casting/molding), this tool hasn’t quite caught on yet with professionals.
Of course, they also include tools for noise ‘fingerprinting’, but you won’t find the number of intelligent algorithms available for noise removal like you see in iZotope RX. Spectral Layers is all about manual control, and if you know how to view the spectrogram to find sound, and use the tools to manipulate it, you may be just as well off with this software.
For $399, Sound Forge Pro is an impressive tool that offers features unique in their own right and makes itself a valuable component in a sound editor’s toolkit.
Soundsoap from Antares (yes, the auto-tune company) has come a long way since it was owned by BIAS (pre-2012) and has made itself one of the simplest, fastest and cheapest options for noise reduction. Despite BIAS no longer being around, the genius behind BIAS’ legendary tools is now CEO of Antares, so you can trust that the development of the software is in good hands.
With its most basic version starting at a one-time fee of $74.50 (none of that subscription nonsense), you get an intelligent noise reduction solution that will work in any professional audio or video editing software environment. While their $250 Soundsoap+ software offers some better algorithms and more fine-tuned control, for a down and dirty solution in the middle of a fast-paced video editing project, Soundsoap might be all you need.
If you are looking for a more specific set of repair tools, you might want to look into Zynaptiq. Since its inception, this company has been focused on making tools that nobody else has made before. For their audio repair products, they offer the following tools:
Un-Veil: learn and reduce the effects of natural reverb in recordings
Un-Chirp: remove ‘watery’ artifacts caused by low bit-rate encoding and noise filtering
Un-Filter: ‘un-EQ’ your audio from things like resonances, comb-filtering, roll-offs and more.
If you don’t know much about audio restoration, know that these tools are making strides towards capabilities previously unseen in the industry. While not perfect, they do work surprisingly well considering the mathematical engineering feats required to create tools like these. Worth checking out if you have the money. The bundle for all 3 will run you about $799.
If you haven’t found anything in your price range, you’re in luck! There are lots of noise reduction plugins available. Many are similar to ones we’ve listed, but just didn’t make the cut, and are likely capable of doing what you need. Many others (usually bare-bones basic plugins) are also often included in software already, like Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, and Audacity (a free audio application).
Do your research and find what works best for you in your price range and what is compatible with your software and your workflow. Know the difference between what intelligent reduction, manual noise-print reduction, and gating have to offer your sound. And keep in mind, not all of these plugins will work equally as well. Use your ears and listen for when you’re reducing too much noise. Nothing sounds worse than over-filtered audio files.
Remember, if you pick the right gear from the start, like low-noise microphones and recorders with low-noise preamps, your likelihood of needing noise-reduction will probably decrease a substantial amount. Check out our guides on buying a budget microphone or recorder to get you started.
Chances are that if you work as an editor, sound designer or the like, you’re in need of a great source for sound effects for your projects. Soundsnap has 360,000+ professional sound effects (and music loops) across every category and is used by companies like HBO, Pixar, Vice, and more. We make purchase options flexible, allowing you to buy a few at a time or to pay for an entire year of unlimited downloads for just $199.