How to reduce background noise in your recordings (for free)

How to reduce background noise in your recordings (for free)
How to reduce background noise in your recordings (for free)

Recording a perfect soundtrack without background noise can be difficult, especially in noisy environments. Whether you’re dealing with overwhelming background noise or poor equipment, you sometimes end up with something you can not handle. Fortunately there is a free method to arrange this.

Listen for example what software noise reduction can do:

Soundtrack “noisy”

Band his own
Before you begin: the basic sound of the room

There is a trick that will help you greatly in this process. If you are the person responsible for the sound recording, always remember to start recording 10 seconds of the room’s basic sound. This sound environment is simply the natural sound produced by the environment in which you record (without any product “voluntarily”). Even if you hear nothing at all, a sensitive microphone will identify the noise of air conditioning, computer ventilation, etc. This reference sound environment will be used as a basis for the software to remove background noise. Always having a few seconds of basic background sound in your recordings is always a good habit but if you know you will need to reduce background noise later on, do not forget it! If you do not control the recording process, you will usually still be able to find some of this soundscape in the soundtrack. For example during pauses between shots, or at the beginning or end of the file where not much happens, you will find enough material for noise reduction.
So how does noise reduction really work?

The way to free – Audacity
In this world, who would not borrow the path of free if it is available? If you’re not looking to invest in high-end audio software, Audacity is free software created and updated by a community of programmers and audio recording experts. It accepts a wide range of audio file types, and includes a perfectly usable noise reduction tool. The only limitation is that it only deals with audio, so if you work with video that can complicate things.

Here’s how it works:

Select your basic sound environment by dragging your mouse over an area with no (or very little) audio.
In the Effects menu select Noise reduction .
Click on ” Get Noise Profile “. The menu will disappear.
Click on the timeline again to clear your selection.
In the Effect menu select Noise reduction again.

Click Preview to test the default noise reduction settings. Depending on your sound environment and the original audio recording, these settings may do the trick.
If you still hear background noise, adjust the intensity sliders and click Preview again.

What are the functions of cursors:

Noise reduction : Controls the intensity level of the noise reduction.

Sensitivity : Controls the range of items considered as noise to be reduced. The higher the cursor is, the more the real soundtrack (eg voices) will be affected.

Frequency smoothing : The default setting is 3, moving it down tends to favor the music, moving it upwards will favor the voices.

Important warning: go easy with the sliders. Small variations can have big effects.

Reduce and Residue buttons : Reduce is what you want for a good preview. This button will give you what the soundtrack will look like once the noise reduction is done. If you only want to hear what noise reduction does, select Residue and click Preview.
Remove background noise in a video montage …

Audacity is perfect for cleaning a soundtrack for a podcast or music file. But for voice tracks in video, it takes a long time to export your audio tracks, clean them with Audacity, and then resynchronize them. It’s not impossible to do but it’s not the most effective way of removing background noise, especially on you’ve already trimmed your clips in the timeline. Camtasia (video editing software) has a function of removing background noise which is very simple. This function also works with your basic sound, but you do not have to select it in your clip, Camtasia does it for you.


The sensitivity slider in Camtasia works as in Audacity. The “Amount” slider is equivalent to the Noise Reduction slider in Audacity. By removing background noise in the timeline, you avoid the thought of importing and exporting multiple times from an external program such as Audacity, and it is much easier to make quick changes.
Next steps

There are other programs with similar functions such as Adobe Audition and the very powerful Izotope RX5. These programs have a foothold in the category of professional audio tools and allow you to go much further in audio calibration if you agree to spend enough time and money to master them. Remember, however, that as software efficiency continues to improve, doing everything in your power to minimize background noise in your initial recording will always be your best option.