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Question regarding noise removal in audacity?

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Erin Herbst
Question regarding noise removal in audacity?
on Jan 22, 2014 at 4:15:31 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm pretty new to video recording. I interview my clients using my Canon 70D and my AudioTechnica AT803 omnidirectional lapel mic. I'll record about 5-7 seconds of just silence at the start of each clip, then in post-production I'll take the audio into Audacity, highlight the silence and then use Audacity's noise removal feature to take our any additional "white noise" (generally just a soft buzzing from HVAC, fans, etc. so I can get crisper audio).
When I'm about to do the noise removal, it allows me to set a bunch of different things such as noise reduction (dB), sensitivity (dB), frequency smoothing (Hz), attack/decay time (secs), and the option to either remove or isolate noise. Would someone be able to explain to me exactly what these terms mean and what adjusting these settings either up or down will do? Like I said, I'm a newbie (only 17 years old) and while I've found that the noise-removal feature works great for getting a cleaner sounding end product, I really don't mess around with these settings because I don't know what they correlate to or change in the audio. Any incite would be SO MUCH appreciated. I've attached a photo just for reference. Thank you all!

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Richard Crowley
Re: Question regarding noise removal in audacity?
on Jan 22, 2014 at 5:33:06 pm

Please remember that reducing or eliminating extraneous noise AT THE SOURCE while recording is FAR FAR PREFERABLE to artificial methods after the fact (in post-production editing). Most noise-reduction schemes cause audible trauma of varying amounts to the remaining track. I use "noise-reduction" only as a last resort when all else fails. IMHO it should never be relied on as a normal part of production.

It is quite likely that spending a couple of hours with some of YOUR example tracks and experimenting with the settings will yield a better working familiarity with the controls available to you vs. theoretical definitions that may be difficult to apply to the Real World.

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