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Old August 24th, 2008, 10:55 PM   #1
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Removing background noise

I just shot a long interview on the patio of a beach house: the waves were crashing pretty hard / loudly. I can clearly make out the voice of the subject however the ocean noise is fairly loud/distracting... I was wondering how I could go about reducing the BG noise of the ocean/waves. Is there a solution that an intermediate editor, such as myself, could pull off? Thanks for your help!
-Steve

(I have FCS2 by the way)
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Old August 25th, 2008, 12:23 AM   #2
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Hi

You could have a look at this program.

I have not used it myself but Ive been reading about it and it seems to work pretty well

BIAS SoundSoap 2
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Old August 25th, 2008, 01:23 AM   #3
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Hi

There are several ways of achieving this with varying degrees of result and it's by trial and error and practice and also the noise you are trying to alter / manipulate

I agree with Hans and have had good results with SoundSoap myself.

However, I'm amazed what can be achieved with SoundTrack Pro, the App that comes with FCS2, which I see you have.

I had some sailing footage with 18 knt's of wind blowing across the mic recently, lots of horrible low end rumble.

Rather than use the analysing / fix all function in SoundTrack Pro outlined in the Tutorial I just advised you to watch, I just used a high pass filter and applied that to the sound file in SoundTrack Pro.

The Gist of it is that, in the FCP Timeline,

-> Highlight the audio file that needs attention
-> Control + Click in the high lighted audio file
-> "Send to"
-> "SoundTrack Pro Audio File Project"

Soundtrack Pro will open automatically load the audio file you've highlighted into a New Soundtrack Pro Session and ask you to name the New Session and where to file it, after naming, SoundTrack Pro adds a suffix / file extention name like this:

"file name(sent).stap"


to the new session, eg. if the file name in the FCP Timeline was "Cat". It would look like Cat(sent).stap

Now the audio file should be automatically loaded in the new session.

From the Menu bar:

-> Edit
-> Select all (Highlight audio file)

Menu Bar

-> Process
-> Effects
-> Single Band EQ
-> High Pass Filter

In my instance it loads the plugin at 390 Hz

You can play around with the Hz until you get / achieve the desired result.

Menu Bar

-> File
-> Save

Minimise Soundtrack pro, return to FCP and listen to the audio in the Timeline again.

In my case, AMAZING!

You can access many of Apples and I think also Logic Studio's audio Plugins this way.

This is really good value.

Good Luck, sorry I raved on a bit

Cheers

Michael

MacPro 2.8
FCS 2
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Old August 25th, 2008, 07:38 AM   #4
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As Michael suggests, fly your offending audio to Soundtrack Pro. But try this first before EQing:
- In Soundtrack Pro, highlight a section of the Noise in the offending clip that doesn't have the audio you are trying to leave in (ie. the person's voice.) It can be a fairly short highlight
- Under Process > Noise Reduction choose Set Noise Print
- Select the entire waveform in the editor (VERY IMPORTANT STEP!)
- Under Process > Noise Reduction choose Reduce Noise
- A dialog box will open up and allow you to set threshold and such. I've found this method to work QUITE well in removing noise floor and wind noise. Remember - The more aggressive you get with trying to remove noise, the more MP3 like artifacting you may end up with on your finished product. Be prepared to REDUCE and not completely remove the noise and you may be quite impressed.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Lewis View Post
I just shot a long interview on the patio of a beach house: the waves were crashing pretty hard / loudly. I can clearly make out the voice of the subject however the ocean noise is fairly loud/distracting... I was wondering how I could go about reducing the BG noise of the ocean/waves. Is there a solution that an intermediate editor, such as myself, could pull off? Thanks for your help!
-Steve

(I have FCS2 by the way)
Everyone's suggestions are excellent. The usual human voice occupies a distinct area of the audio spectrum. The ocean rumble can be very low while water splashing tends to be high. If by chance these sounds are out of the frequency area the voice is, you can use the audio filters in FCP itself. Try the High Pass and the Low Pass. They work the same way described for the Soundtrack filters. Depending the decibels the ocean was recording at you might be able to remove most of the offending noise while keeping some of the ambient ocean sound. Be careful making the voice sound weird.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 01:33 AM   #6
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For anyone following this post, I'd recommend against Soundsoap. I have it. It works fine as an independent product but it does not work as a plug in to FCP. They do have a FAQ about using it with FCP but a) it misses a key step in the process, and b) it doesn't work reliably even with this step. It appears that the FAQ has been wrong for a couple of years per the various complaints on the internet. I've tried to get them to add the missing step but they refuse to acknoledge the problem and indicated that I should buy their higher end product. I gave them explicit instuctions on how to test their FAQ to see that it was wrong and how to fix it. I don't do business with companies like this.
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