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How to remove white noise out of dialogue track

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Jasmine Kim
How to remove white noise out of dialogue track
on Dec 21, 2013 at 10:28:03 pm

Hi all,
I recorded an interview and trying to edit the track.
It was recorded in a room with an open window (had to be open for a specific production setting) and now I have this awful white noise throughout the entire interview.
It's 95% like this->





I'm mainly using ProTools.
I thought of deleting the section where the voice isn't there, and replacing with a very low white noise to give it a natural feel. But then it still feels awkward when the voice comes in.
Does anyone have tips for a sound beginner like myself?
Thanks a lot in advance.


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Ty Ford
Re: How to remove white noise out of dialogue track
on Dec 22, 2013 at 3:58:10 am

Hello Jasmine and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

That white noise isn't from opening a window unless you were three feet from Niagra Falls.

Did you hear this noise when you were recording? Sounds to me like a file corruption or some weird file transfer problem. Put the media back in the camera it was shot on and playback. See if the noise is still there.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Jasmine Kim
Re: How to remove white noise out of dialogue track
on Dec 22, 2013 at 7:34:56 am

Hi Ty,
Um, yes, it's not exactly same as the youtube clip. I just meant that that's basically the type of white noise that's recorded.
Behind the window is a busy street with lots of cars passing.
I can't put it in the camera as I don't have the equipment. The voice sounds just fine and so is the rest of the interview. It's just that part where it's shot in the room with the open window.
Is it even possible to almost completely remove it in ProTools?
Thanks a lot!


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Ty Ford
Re: How to remove white noise out of dialogue track
on Dec 22, 2013 at 1:48:39 pm

Hi Jasmine,

Without hearing the actual track, it's difficult to say. Traffic noise is seldom constant. BEcause of that, it's not a likely candidate for automated noise reduction. There are third party plugins like RX that canbe used to get to specific offending sounds, but it's a more detailed process.

Some Pro Tools systems have a plugin called NR (Noise Reduction). It may or may not help. Can't say from here. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease, meaning that the results don't sound very natural.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Richard Crowley
Re: How to remove white noise out of dialogue track
on Dec 23, 2013 at 1:16:18 am
Last Edited By Richard Crowley on Dec 23, 2013 at 1:17:15 am

Most of us are familiar with what white noise is. If you had posted a sample of YOUR audio, we might be able to offer something better than generic responses.

In general, there are no magic tricks to removing noise. And the more like broad-band noise (i.e. "white noise") and or random (like traffic noise) the more impossible it is to "remove" or even "reduce" without causing serious trauma to the signal (voice) you want to preserve.

You didn't say what was the producer's motivation for recording audio in such a noisy place, but I hope the reason was more important than getting a decent voice recording. Typically there isn't much compromise there. This is as much an artistic cost/benefit judgement-call as it is a technical question.


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Jasmine Kim
Re: How to remove white noise out of dialogue track
on Dec 23, 2013 at 11:09:09 pm

Hi Richard,
As I have returned the drive back to the editor for some update, I don't have the audio file with me.
But what I meant by traffic noise is not the actual car sound such as honking, engine, etc. It's the fast car driving sound you hear on a highway. And actually it's mostly "broadband noise" with a little bit of highway sound occasionally.

According to you and Ty, it seems almost impossible to magically remove the white noise.
I hope that the producer knew this before shooting the scene... hm...

Thanks!


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Eric Toline
Re: How to remove white noise out of dialogue track
on Dec 24, 2013 at 1:55:09 am

You don't have a sound problem, you had a location problem.

Eric

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


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Ty Ford
Re: How to remove white noise out of dialogue track
on Dec 24, 2013 at 2:34:56 am

Hi Jamine,

For future reference, most car scenes, if they are shot on location, are shot with the car in question hauled up on a process trailer and pulled by a tow truck.

http://www.midwestcameracars.com/process_trailer_1.html

They do this so the car's engine isn't running so there's less noise and because they rig pipes on which to mount cameras.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Peter Groom
Re: How to remove white noise out of dialogue track
on Dec 25, 2013 at 9:05:09 pm

I'd come back when you have an actual sample to let us hear
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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John Fishback
Re: How to remove white noise out of dialogue track
on Dec 27, 2013 at 4:52:20 pm

If you have room tone without the voice, blend that in when the voice isn't there. That way you'd have a consistent background ambiance. I'd try a broadband NR plugin. As stated, it won't remove the traffic noise, but it may reduce it a bit. Good luck.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.8.4, QT10.1, Kona 3, Dual Cinema 23, ATI Radeon HD 5870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.3, Motion 4.0.3, Comp 3.5.3, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.3)
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