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Fixing Noisy Audio


Fixing Noisy Audio

How frequently have you shot some great video, only to get it home and find that there’s some annoying noise in the background? Maybe you were interviewing someone near a road, or a pesky air conditioning unit was humming away in the background – or it could even have been the motor on your camcorder itself. This is particularly likely with tape-based models using just the on-board microphone.

But never fear. All is not lost. There’s quite a lot you can do with the right filters. Whilst entry-level editing software sometimes has the ability to remove a certain amount of background noise, lots of standalone audio editors have considerably more powerful tools. So in this week’s tutorial, we’re going to show you how to clean up hiss and hum – using free software.

There are a number of capable, free audio editing apps. One option is NCH Software’s WavePad audio editor. However, we’re going to be using the popular Audacity for this tutorial. Unfortunately, despite both applications’ many abilities, one thing neither can do is load video files directly. So your first, rather laborious job will be to extract the audio from your video. Most editing apps will let you output audio only from a video file, but you will probably be required to do this for each individual clip needing treatment, one after the other.

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