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Noise is a fact of life when recording anything, and podcasting is no exception. Whether it’s the constant, low-level whirring of your computer fan or the chaotic din of traffic, animals and passing airplanes—some sort of noise is nearly inescapable.
And no one likes a noisy podcast. It makes it hard to hear what you’re saying, fatigues the listener and gives the whole production an amateur feel. Fortunately, there are things you can do to mitigate noise in your recordings and achieve a clean, professional sound.
This article will cover noise reduction strategies for every stage of the podcasting process, from tips on optimizing your recording space to mic techniques for cleaner recording and detailed instructions on how to remove background noise from audio.
In the battle against noise, a quiet place to record is your first line of defense. By minimizing noise in your environment, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches when cleaning up your audio later. Here’s how to get rid of background noise from the get-go:
Once you’ve found a nice, quiet place to record your podcast, set up your microphone and dial in your settings to ensure you’re capturing your voice as cleanly as possible. Proper mic setup can go a long way toward a professional sound, and it all starts with selecting the right pickup pattern.
Next, position your microphone about six to twelve inches away, angled up toward your mouth. This way, the mic will pick up your voice much louder than any potential background noise. Turn up the gain (microphone volume) only as much as you need to, and record a short test to make sure your sound is nice and clean. For more tips on making your voice sound good, check out 5 Hacks for Recording and Mixing Podcast Vocals.
If you’re using Yeti X to record your podcast, you’ve already got a powerful noise reduction tool at your fingertips. Yeti X comes with Blue VO!CE, a suite of broadcast vocal effects for fine-tuning your sound. To access Blue VO!CE, you must first install the Blue Sherpa desktop app or Logitech G HUB software.
Among other useful effects like voice EQ, compression and de-essing, you’ll see an effect called Noise Reduction. You can use the slider below to adjust the overall amount of noise reduction, or click the three dots next to the effect to open a menu with more detailed settings. The Sensitivity, Bias, Release and Maximum Attenuation controls will allow you to dial in the perfect amount of noise reduction. Learn more about using Blue VO!CE with Yeti X here.
Blue VO!CE features a real-time noise reduction effect for cleaner recordings.
If you’ve followed the suggestions above to minimize noise in your recordings, you may not need any further help. But, if you still end up with some noise in your recordings, you’ll need to do a little work in post-production to achieve a squeaky-clean sound. This is where noise reduction software comes in handy.
Noise reduction software intelligently analyzes your audio to separate the noise from the important content as transparently as possible. iZotope RX, Hindenburg Journalist Pro and Audacity all feature excellent tools for noise reduction. Read on to learn how to remove background noise from microphone audio with each of these tools.
With advanced features for surgically removing everything from wind and bird noises to electrical hum and distortion, iZotope RX is considered by many to be the industry standard noise reduction software. RX can be used as a standalone app or a set of plugins in your audio editing software, but we’ll focus on the latter here—specifically the Voice De-noise plugin. Here’s how to remove noise with iZotope RX Voice De-noise:
Created specifically for broadcast applications like radio and podcasts, Hindenburg Journalist Pro includes several powerful and easy to use features for enhancing spoken-word productions. The Noise Reduction plugin can be a lifesaver, and its simple one-knob interface means anyone can get great results quickly. Here’s how to remove noise in Hindenburg Journalist Pro:
Audacity is a free recording software that’s been around for decades, and it just happens to have an excellent noise reduction tool built right in. Even if you mainly use a different program for making podcasts, Audacity’s Noise Removal tool can be an excellent option for cleaning up your recordings before editing. Here’s how to remove noise in Audacity: