Background noise is an almost daily problem for the sound editing editor. Be it a podcast, movie, commercial, voice-over, etc. It almost always accompanies the main sound source. Background noise appears for various reasons, and it can be quieter or louder for various reasons. The main task of the editor is to be able to properly get rid of unwanted background noise.
Step-by-step guide to removing background noise in Adobe Audition
Before starting, listen to the entire audio material. Find out what the background noise is, whether it is present throughout the audio or only in certain areas, and find out how loud the background noise is. And now you can proceed to its removal.
Before moving on to methods of removing background noise, I will point out that there are two ways to apply effects. You can do this through the top “Effects” tab, or use the “Effects Rack” window located on the left side of the standard Adobe Audition appearance settings. I use the second method because it is convenient to turn effects on and off.
Remove background noise by Noise Reduction in Adobe Audition
Step 1: Identify where the noise is and analyze it
Select a portion of the audio that contains only the background noise and is free from the desired audio content. It’s important to highlight only the background noise because you’re indicating that it’s extraneous noise that needs to be removed in the future.
Right-click on the selected area and choose “Capture Noise Print”. This action captures the noise profile that will be used for noise reduction.
Step 2: Open the effect window and adjust the parameters
After the area has been analyzed (it takes 1-2 seconds), select the “Noise Reduction (process)…” command. It is located in the “Effects” tab located on the top panel.
You will see a pop-up window with a graph and settings for removing background noise. There will be two settings you can change:
Noise Reduction – a parameter that is responsible for how much background noise will be removed (in percentage). It is usually set at 40-80% depending on how loud the background noise is.
Reduce by – a setting that indicates how loud the background noise is (measured in dB). I recommend setting no more than 10 so that the main sound is not distorted. The optimal indicator is from 5 to 7 dB.
You can also pay attention to the graph shown. Make sure that the green area (Threshold) is white approximately between the red (Low) and yellow (High). Then your noise will be removed without distorting the main sound.
You can also listen to what is taken if you check “Output Noise Only”. This way you can hear whether you have removed only the noise, or whether you have included the main sound as well. If you hear a bit of the main sound, then reduce the harshness of the effect. It is very important to remove the check mark after listening. Otherwise, you will only be left with what you tried to get rid of.
Also, you can use ready-made filters, but I do not recommend this. Noise is something that needs an individual approach.
Step 3: Apply the Noise Reduction effect
After setting all the parameters and listening in real time how the final result will sound, click the “Apply” button. And everything will be ready!
Remove background noise by DeNoise in Adobe Audition
Step 1: Open the DeNoise effect window
To disable it, select “DeNoise” in the “Noise Reduction/Restoration” tab. We do this through the triangle in the “Effects Rack” window.
Step 2: Select the necessary parameters
There are only two parameters to configure here:
Processing Focus – here you specify the level at which you need to focus to remove background noise: mids, highs to lows, only highs, only lows, and lows to highs. I recommend trying each one to understand how it works and which one is right for you.
Amount – everything is simple here, you indicate how much background noise removal will be applied (in percentage).
You can hear how much background noise you’ve sampled and whether you’ve sampled too much if you check the “Output Noise Only” box. After listening, remove the check mark.
Step 3: Apply the effect
After all the settings, close the window and enjoy the sound without background noise.
Remove background noise by Adaptive Noise Reduction in Adobe Audition
Step 1: Select a site and open the parameters
Select the area to which you want to apply noise reduction. Then click on the triangle in the “Effects Rack” window. In the pop-up categories, select “Noise Reduction/Restoration” and then “Adaptive Noise Reduction”.
Step 2: Configure the parameters
There are many options here to help you adjust the background noise removal effect.
Reduce Noise By – is a parameter that determines the level of noise suppression (measured in dB). I recommend to set no more than 10-12 dB, so that the effect of the voice in the bubble does not appear.
Noisiness – here you indicate what percentage of the total sound contains noise (accordingly, it is measured in %). There are no specific instructions here, you need to try to determine what percentage you have.
Fine Tune Noise Floor – the effect automatically determines (in dB) where you have noise. In this parameter, you can specify the exact noise floor above or below the automatically calculated floor.
Spectral Decay Rate – To achieve optimal noise reduction while minimizing distortions, it is important to adjust the setting that determines how rapidly noise processing declines by 60 decibels. Carefully fine-tuning this parameter can result in a more effective noise reduction outcome. However, it is crucial to avoid setting values that are too short, which could lead to bubble-like sounds, or values that are too long, which may cause a reverb effect.
Broadband Preservation – here you indicate that above or below the precisely specified parameter (in dB) it is necessary to preserve the sound from deletion.
FFT Size – here you can choose how many individual frequency bands are analyzed. A high value increases the frequency resolution. It is chosen when there are long-lasting artifacts, such as power line hums or squeaks. Low settings are good for clicks or pops (ie, short-duration extraneous noises).
Step 3: Apply Adaptive Noise Reduction
After all the fine-tuning and listening to the audio in real-time while doing it, I hope you got the result you wanted. Close the window, well done! You can save sound.
Are there any limitations to removing background noise in Adobe Audition?
Yes, they exist, but there are no specific criteria. You just need to understand that eliminating certain types of noise, especially if they are heavily intertwined with the main audio content, may be challenging. It may result in the degradation of the overall sound quality, and create the effect of a voice in a bubble or reverberation. Also, the voice can be distorted and sound unnatural. It is recommended to balance noise reduction with preserving the desired audio quality in all possible ways that were described above.