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How to Clean Up Sound Effects by Removing Low-end Noise

Jul 1, 2008
Since commercial and corporate video production budgets can often be small and executed under a short time frame, the recorded sound may suffer. During post-production, as a result, producers may encounter some terrible audio problems. One common dilemma is a low-end noise or hum that permeates dialog and other ambiance recordings.

There are certainly many software plugins that remove noise and some work quite well. However these softwares often require a bit of study, which may impossible during a tight deadline. Instead, simply use the basic equalization and reverb plugins provided in your video or audio editing software.

Use these procedures in tandem with your default plugins to help rid your audio recording of unnecessary and distracting noise:

First, use a Single Band EQ to try and cut out the offensive hum. This type of EQ will cut out all sound below or above a certain frequency. For example, since low rumbles generally occur around 60 Hz, you can use a Single Band EQ to cut out everything below 80 Hz which will remove the hum without adversely affecting the dialog.

Secondly, a Parametric EQ can be used to "notch out" the unwanted noise by decreasing a thin width of audio frequencies and its octaves such as 60 Hz, 120 Hz, and 240 Hz. The advantage of using a Parametric EQ is that one can notch out the offensive noise without hurting wanted audio.

Secondly, you can boost the desired audio also by using a Parametric EQ. This will give the wanted audio prominence over the unwanted audio. Once can boost the dialog at 5 hz slightly, for example, to give it prominence over a low rumble.

Fourth, after cutting out the lower end, a bit of reverb can be used on the mix. Such an effect can wash over and warm up a "tin can" feel that might come from taking out the bottom end.

Following the above strategies may not completely erase all problems associated with bad audio, but they can improve the quality of the product when unwanted noise and dialog are competing for attention in the mix.
About the Author
Check out SFXsource's sound effect library and demo grehere, sound effects and production tracks here, Sound Effects Library and get free sound effects and musical loops here, Free Sound Effects and Loops
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