How to remove background noise

Whether you’re a full-time content creator or you’re doing it for fun, background noise is an interference that anyone making videos will know well. And it’s not only creators that find background noise annoying, it can impact the experience for your viewers. 

While most of us would love to be able to make videos from an ultra-quiet location, this isn’t always realistic. Editing and removing background noise from a video to ensure your content is effective and has great audio is possible.

What is background noise?

There are many different types of background noise and each noise  will influence your video.

Some types are irritating sounds you immediately want to remove. Others can be beneficial for your video and improve your content. 

Environmental noise
You can’t control this type of noise and usually want to remove or quiet it down as much as possible. Environmental noise refers to sounds like traffic noise, people talking, animals, trains, or alarms. 

Mechanical noise
Like environmental noise, mechanical or electrical noise is often something you’ll want to remove. It’s things like your refrigerator, air conditioning systems, or motors for other appliances. 

Most creators will use music in videos at some point. It’s a great way to improve your content as long as you’re using appropriate music that complements your content and the topic.

For example, it’s not ideal to use rap music if your video is about floristry. You’ll more likely want the softer notes of classical music to match the tone of the video content.

Ambient noise
This type of noise refers to sounds such as flowing waterfalls, white noise, rainfall, wind chimes, or gentle music. Ambient noise is something that can improve your content if you’re filming a light video, for example, a yoga flow or guided meditation. 

Bad-quality audio noise

If your microphone is a little dated or your recording gear is not the best quality, you could experience background noise. This could appear as a hissing, whining or clunking sound depending on the problem.

How to remove background noise from video

Removing background noise from your video content is crucial to maintaining viewer engagement. Nothing can be more disappointing than having your excellent recording plagued by distracting noise in the background.

This is especially true for talking head videos where the background sounds can distract from what you’re saying.

As always, prevention is better than cure. When that’s impossible, there are other ways of removing background noise from a video.

If you’re new to creating and video editing, you’ll likely turn to an online AI tool or app to remove background noise from a video. There are tons of choices available, some free and some paid for, with varying results.

For iPhone users, you can use the native iMovie app’s features to edit your background sounds. Within the audio filters tab, you can apply edits to your sound and can even use the equalizer to suppress unwanted noise in your video

There are many third-party apps available for download that can assist in editing out background noise, regardless of your device.

Another method is to record your video and audio files separately to get the best visuals and sound. This approach enables you to film and record multiple clips and then splice them together, choosing the clips with the least background noise for a cleaner, more professional result.

This method is particularly useful for creators who add music to their videos in post-production. This way, you’ll be able to ensure that the melody isn’t drowned out by any background noise.

While these more rudimentary and accessible tools and methods can reduce noise in your videos, the highest quality content demands the highest quality solutions.

Let’s elevate our audio editing game, and explore these more advanced solutions which have the potential to take your video content to the next level of quality.

Professional tools for pristine audio

This free digital audio editor can be installed onto any computer using Mac, Windows, or Linux. In this program, the ‘noise reduction’ feature removes background noise from your audio.

Once you’ve imported your audio, you need to select the background noise alone in the audio timeline to be used as a sample. The ‘noise reduction’ feature will use this sample and apply the logic to remove it from the entire track. 

Removing the background noise isn’t a one-click process, you’ll need to play around with the noise reduction, sensitivity, and frequency smoothing levels to suit. You may need to preview your audio a few times to reach your desired outcome. 

Final Cut Pro
Although it has many features for video editing, Final Cut Pro can be used to edit audio alone too. The ‘noise removal’ feature is a quick checkbox you can try first to see if it improves your audio. While this can work, it sometimes alters the voice audio which might not deliver a great outcome. 

You can also try compressor presets, hum removal, or playing around with the equalizer for improvements. You could even use the built-in analyzer to see if any of the suggestions work.

 As part of Apple’s pro apps collection, Final Cut Pro can only be used on Mac or other Apple devices. So if you’re using Windows, this isn’t the tool for you.

Adobe Premiere Pro
Premiere Pro is a valuable video editing tool for any content creator, enabling you to change almost everything. For audio editing, this tool has a couple of options. 

The first feature is ‘DeNoise’ which can be found in the ‘audio effects’ tab. You simply drag and drop this onto your audio and use the 0-100 slider in the edit function to see what works.

Be careful you don’t slide it too high that it messes with the voice element. You’ll want to test and listen a few times to ensure you get the best audio results. 

You can get even more granular when removing background noise in Premiere Pro by using the ‘Essential Sounds Panel’. The mixing tools in this feature allow you to enhance, repair and mix your audio with options including noise reduction, hum removal, and reverb reduction. 

Adobe Audition
As a next step from Premiere Pro, you can import your audio into Adobe Audition to further improve your sound quality. DeNoise can be used in the spectral frequency display, and it’ll work the same as it does in Premiere Pro. 

If this isn’t enough, you can continue editing and enhancing your audio to remove background noise

For example, ‘spot healing’ can be used to quickly remove specific audio elements like a bird tweeting. The ‘sound remover’ feature can also be used to remove more complex sounds like a car alarm or siren. 

Adobe Audition offers slightly more control over noise reduction than tools like Audacity, but it can be a little more complex too. You’ll want to play around with it quite a lot or watch tutorials if you’ve not used it before. 

If you’re serious about content creation and you’re forging ahead in your content career, Izotope is a great option. It uses machine learning and restoration tools to intelligently clean up audio via a selection of plugins.

The RX 10 for Content suite of plugins is particularly good for content creators, offering several tools that help you enhance audio quality and remove unwanted sounds. With voice de-noise, repair assistant, and breath control as just some of the features available, it’s a one-stop shop for audio improvement. 

Using background music in your videos
No matter what you’re creating, managing background noise is pivotal, and striking the right balance is paramount.

If your creative vision involves incorporating background music, our extensive library offers a premium selection of audio tracks to enrich your project. Boasting a rich collection of genres and artists, it offers the perfect sound for every story.

Why wait? Explore the symphony of options at your disposal today!

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