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View Full Version : Audacity noise reducer sucks :(


addictedtorace
Dec 14th, 2005, 07:53 AM
Is it just me or does Audacity's noise reduction tool not work at ALL? Every time I've tried to use it by selecting a few seconds of background noise to get a noise profile, and then electing to remove that noise, I wind up with this weird wah-wah effect going on... Has anyone been able to use this successfully?

crybabyemokids
Dec 14th, 2005, 08:26 AM
Yes I can relate to you. I tried using the audacity noise removal tool and it totally screwed up the file. Now I use Adobe Audition, which i think, has the best noise removal service. I'm lovin it.


On another topic, which do you prefer, Bearshare (www.bearshare.com) or Limewire (www.limewire.com)

:wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

I'm so badass.


Jay

SFEley
Dec 14th, 2005, 08:52 AM
Is it just me or does Audacity's noise reduction tool not work at ALL? Every time I've tried to use it by selecting a few seconds of background noise to get a noise profile, and then electing to remove that noise, I wind up with this weird wah-wah effect going on... Has anyone been able to use this successfully?
You've probably got the settings turned up too high. Noise removal has to be done with subtlety. Try it with the slider at about 10% or 20%. If it doesn't help enough, try doing multiple iterations, just a little at a time. Make sure you do noise removal *before* using the compressor. If you still have too much noise, find yourself a free noise gate plugin (this will only help if the signal is consistently much louder than the noise).

That's the free solution. There are better noise reduction tools out there. The first software I ever bought for my podcast was BIAS SoundSoap -- it costs $100, and it's a much better noise reduction program, with better learning algorithms and more configurability. I use it mostly for cleaning up phone messages or readings that get sent to me from New York City apartments.

The best option, of course, is to figure out what's causing all the noise (bad room setup, cheap equipment, etc.) and fix it. Of course that's usually the most expensive option, but the only way to get rid of noise that results in no sound degradation is not to have any.

Andy Parnell
Dec 17th, 2005, 05:19 AM
Yeah, I found Audacity's noise removal settings horrible giving you that garbled or glass scratching effect underneath your voice instead of the usual white noise. Even low settings in Audacity tended to do this for me. I tended to use a pass filter instead to try and get the noise removed but didn't have the knowledge to do this very well either a few weeks back.

I now use Soundtrack Pro and its much better although I've got to remember to record say 10 seconds of background noise before starting an interview to get a good background noise profile first as the last interview I've featured, I failed to do it and had real trouble cutting out the crowd noise in the background! There were no real gaps to set the background noise profile to...doh! In soundtrack pro, setting the noise reduction to around -60db tends to be enough to get rid of my studio background noise (white noise, etc).

You learn these valuable lessons overtime. So I think do a 10 second background noise recording first and cut it out after all the post production bits have been done. If anyone else has some noise tips, (especially, noisy crowds in the background, etc) let me know?

Andy

jeffoest
Dec 17th, 2005, 07:17 AM
I have Adobe Audition - a step above Audacity.

I HAVE been able to succesfully use their noise reduction feature BUT I will have to say it's rare and the source material has to be right for it to work well. I have found that if I really want to apply noise reduction to something, maybe I'll get lucky with Noise Reduction but it's hit or miss and most likely won't be of much help.

Towards what SFEley said, do remember that the name of the tool is "noise reduction" and not "noise eliminator"! lol Consider yourself succesful if you can reduce the offending noise by 20% or so without unduly compromising the audio. Also, do play around with the setting a lot. Don't expect miracles!

I think that's just the nature of the tool. It's sort of a last-ditch-pray-and-hope kind of tool.

Obviously, the best thing to do is to understand as best as you can the nature of the noise you are trying to get rid of and work hard to not record it in the first place.

Andy Parnell
Dec 17th, 2005, 09:59 AM
Soundtrack Pro has a nice tool called Noise Gate and another called Denoiser in addition to the usual Noise Reducer function. I've sometimes managed to get to removing the glass effect by using these other tools and playing around with them until I get it right...

Andy

tabulator32
Dec 17th, 2005, 10:02 AM
Soundsoap software works well on PC and Mac.

defiradio
Dec 19th, 2005, 11:04 AM
Would a preventative step be using a compressor/limiter as well? I know a c/l will help prevent the spikes and make the input cleaner, but does it help a little with fighting background noise?

SFEley
Dec 19th, 2005, 11:51 AM
Would a preventative step be using a compressor/limiter as well? I know a c/l will help prevent the spikes and make the input cleaner, but does it help a little with fighting background noise?
Not by itself, it wouldn't. Compressors and limiters only reduce the levels of the loudest sounds; they do nothing for the quiet ones. In fact, if you increase overall gain after you compress (which is usually the idea) you will typically increase the noise level.

That said, some compressors also include noise gates, and that would help if your noise level is low or moderate. Gates work by turning the signal off completely when it drops below a certain level. So you'd set the threshold just below the quietest speech in your podcast, but above the noise. The catch with gates is that when the signal is on, so is the noise. So if your noise is too distinguishable, a gate will make the whole thing sound like a CB radio.

cybercooler
Dec 20th, 2005, 05:20 PM
I made a tutorial on how to use this feature. Bottom line is "tweak" it works alot like Sound Soap. In both cases, using too much makes it sound like your're underwater. I love Audition's hiss removal, and the fact that it has a 30 band EQ. That rocks.

gregleck
Dec 21st, 2005, 11:42 AM
Just by trial and error, I found something which works well for me.... especially useful if you are recording somethng "in the field" with your voice-recording capable MP3 player.. but also yields good results when recording direct into your computer.

I amplify the signal using the Audacity's default settings and then make my noise profile from the resultant file. In order for it to work, you have to use the lowest setting for noise reduction.

commonercast
Dec 27th, 2005, 12:20 PM
I found that Dave's tutorial over at School of Podcasting (where I am a satisfied customer), was very helpful in removing the noise.

tsidock
Jan 22nd, 2006, 09:05 AM
Just by trial and error, I found something which works well for me.... especially useful if you are recording somethng "in the field" with your voice-recording capable MP3 player.. but also yields good results when recording direct into your computer.

I amplify the signal using the Audacity's default settings and then make my noise profile from the resultant file. In order for it to work, you have to use the lowest setting for noise reduction.

I too, found ths out by trial and error. Remember Audacity is FREE! (And a good free tool at that). The best thing is to eliminate the source of the noise but that isn't always practical for podcasters on a budget. Next best solution is Sound Soap by BIAS its $100 I also agree that Adobe Audition is awesome and has many other pro sumer tools like RMS normalization. But is $300.

I finally found a deal on a db266XL compressor for about $150, it has compression, limiting and a noise gate. It is also very touchy to get set correctly but once dialed in I just leave it alone! It works great.

Do it in hardware when feasable.

Tom

tnettekoven
Mar 19th, 2006, 06:05 PM
I just tried it the other day as well and I had the same problem. I suppose we can't complain too much for a program that's generally really good when just one feature doesn't work well.

Sorry,
tnettekoven