Unwanted noise that bleeds into an audio track is rarely welcomed when it comes to recording production sound. Whether it be the hum of a nearby generator, the zip of cars from a distant freeway, or a plane passing by overhead.
Post-production tools like iZotope's RX, Waves noise removal plugins, and other processing software has come a long way in helping clean up muddied audio tracks. But recording the cleanest audio at the source is still the most crucial thing a production sound mixer can do. Doing so can save tons of time and money when it does come time for post.
Sound Devices has released the NoiseAssist Noise Suppression Plugin for MixPre II series recorders to help reduce unwanted noise on location. The plugin uses a signal processing algorithm to reduce background noise, which is especially useful for productions requiring a fast turnaround and little time for post. The plugin is also ideal for live broadcasts and streaming as well as previews on set, feeds to video village, or IFB.
The plugin has a simple user interface with only one adjustment that reduces the amount of background noise. The software can be used on any channel, bus L, or bus R. Unfortunately, the plugin isn't free and has a price tag of $300. It may seem sound steep, but it beats spending extra time in post cleaning up an audio track. Plus, it's a one time purchase. The same plugin is available for the 8-Series recorders including the Scorpio, 888, and 833.
In order to use the plugin, the MixPre II series recorders must be running firmware v7.00, which includes several new features including output delay from 0 to 400 ms, a 48.048 kHz sample rate for the MixAssist plugin, and support for P.I. Engineering's X-keys keypads, sticks, and keyboards. Additionally, USB 1 and 2 can now be used as sources for headphone presets in audio mode.