Using Audacity to Denoise Sound for Videos

Open the soundtrack in Audacity

Following my recent experiments with sound for video using both a Rode Videomic Pro – both on its own and with a Zoom H5 Recorder, it became apparent that even with leveling the sound to a reasonable level, there is still some background noise when recording in the field.

After some research I found this noise could be cleaned up nicely using the free Audacity program.

Here is an example with a soundtrack that I recorded recently with the Rode Videomic Pro attached to the Zoom H5 Recorder.

This is before cleaning the noise up.


And after cleanup.

To do this in Audacity is very quick and easy.

Here is how to do it.

  • 1) Open up your soundtrack in Audacity.
Open the soundtrack in Audacity
Open the soundtrack in Audacity
  • 2) Select part of the track that only has the background noise in it.  In the screenshot below this is the bit I highlighted in blue using the selection tool in Audacity.
  • Select part of the soundtrack that only contains the noise
    Select part of the soundtrack that only contains the noise
  • 3) From the Menu in Audacity – select Effect -> Noise reduction.  Then just click on the “Get Noise Profile” Button.  Leave the sliders alone for now.
  • Press the Get Noise Profile Button
    Press the Get Noise Profile Button
  • 4) Now select the part of the soundtrack that you wish to apply the noise reduction too.  I my case I selected all the soundtrack.
  • Select the audio you want to clean up the noise in.
    Select the audio you want to clean up the noise in.
  • 5) Now use the Effects -> Noise Reduction menu again.  This time DO NOT click the “Get Noise Profile Button”, but use the sliders to reduce the noise as required.  Clicking the Preview button will play the sound back with the effects applied.  When you are happy click OK and the noise reduction will be applied to the selected part of the soundtrack.
  • Use the Sliders in Step 2 to reduce the noise
    Use the Sliders in Step 2 to reduce the noise

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