Got Noisy Audio? Here's the Fastest and Easiest Way to Clean It Up

You recorded some audio, huh? You forgot to turn off the AC, didn't you? Come here, buddy. Let's clean it up.

It's the dumbest, most aggravating mistake that I made constantly in my early days of filmmaking: forgetting to turn off fans, AC units, washing machines, and other humming, beeping, annoying electronics. It almost ruined one of my college documentaries, because, like a genius, I decided sitting next to a dishwasher mid-cycle was a good time and place to record audio, and instead of being able to hear this WWII veteran's emotional account of being stationed near Pearl Harbor during the 1941 attack, all you can hear are friggin' sprayers blasting dirty dishes.

There are ways to fix this, though, and many post-production apps have very powerful tools that can help you reduce the amount of noise in your audio. In this video, Logan Baker of Shutterstock shows you how to do it in Adobe Audition in just minutes. Check it out below:

The process of locating, isolating, and applying Noise Reduction is usually really fast and easy. I say "usually" because sometimes it can be challenging to actually find a spot in your audio where the problematic noise is completely isolated, and you really need that in order for Audition to take the information from your "Noise Print" and remove it from the rest of your clip.

Now, what if you're not able to fix your problematic audio with this technique? Well, there are many audio tools that Adobe has made available in Audition (and even right inside Premiere Pro) that will help you reduce humming, hiss, background noise, and clipping. Adobe's Jason Levine did a livestream tutorial on YouTube last year in which he shows you different kinds of problems that may exist in your audio and which tools inside Audition you can use to reduce or repair them.

How do you fix problematic audio? What are some clever tricks that you've used to reduce or repair noisy audio clips? Share your thoughts down in the comments.     

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4 Comments

Awesome article. Thanks V Renee!

April 27, 2018 at 8:52PM, Edited April 27, 8:52PM

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There is a free option: Audacity. It is very easy to remove noises with it.

April 28, 2018 at 2:02AM

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For serious work, izotope makes incredible noise reduction plugins and editing software. I've been able to save audio I thought for sure I would have to loop.

May 29, 2018 at 6:23AM

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Batutta
692

very helpful :) I'm using Woowave noise reduction app from app store and it wonderful:)

July 23, 2019 at 5:21AM, Edited July 23, 5:21AM

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Aneta
74

I have some videos about a minute or less than that, from my grandkids, and the audio is not there. What is there is a metallic sound. Yesterday I used an website to fix some of them, about 5, and today I went back to this website, to keep my work with these videos, and it is not working like yesterday. I don't understand why. I upload the video, and it download the same. Can you help me?

December 10, 2019 at 4:09PM

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Goldie G. Raymond
Just a Grandma
81