My Ears is Ringing

That’s Bronxese, for those of you non-native English speakers. That’s not correct English, and The Bronx is no place to be if you’re concerned with speaking correct English. That’s where I grew up, and by the virtue of the fact that my Dad is an English teacher I managed to come out of that place not sounding like Gilbert Gottfried. My building was beside an interstate highway and across the street from a fire house. Add to that the normal din of New York City noise and I was lulled to sleep each night by cars & dogs, shouts & shots. When I try and fall asleep someplace completely quiet, my ears ring and it kind of makes me crazy.

So for me, ambient noise on a piece of audio is normal. I even miss it if it’s not there sometimes. But for most of the world, the air conditioner or refrigerator or camera motor that wound up on your audio is not desirable. In fact, it can be downright irritating. Of course I think youse guys is crazy, but if you insist, I’ll show you how to get rid of such noise from your audio.

First, let’s assume you’re starting with audio that’s in your Premiere Pro edit (if it’s not, you can just import it directly into Audition). Right-mouse click on the audio clip in your timeline and select Edit in Adobe Audition.

aud_nr_1.jpg

The audio will load into Audition and the waveform will display. Now you want to find a section of the audio that contains only the noise — at the very beginning is usually a good place to look, but you may have to play through the clip to find a spot where there’s only the ambient noise (also referred to as “room tone”, which is always a good idea to record at the beginning of each scene). Then, click-and-drag across the “room tone” on the waveform to select it. In the Effects panel, double-click Restoration to expand it, then double-click Capture Noise Reduction Profile.

aud_nr_2.jpg

What this does is analyze the frequencies present in the room tone and create a profile of those frequencies. Next, in the Effects Panel double-click on Noise Reduction (process). The Noise Reduction dialog appears. First, click the Select Entire File button (which will remove the frequencies in the profile from the entire clip) then click OK.

aud_nr_3.jpg

The noise is removed from the audio clip — go ahead and have a listen. In some cases, the noise removal can cause unwanted side-effects (I’m sounding like a pharmaceutical ad here), so if you’re not happy with the results, Ctrl+Z to undo, then go back to Noise Reduction and use the Noise Reduction Level slider to reduce the amount of the filtering. You can always find a happy medium (mine usually being more towards the green side of that slider, for reasons I’ve already made clear).