A Simple Trick To Help Remove Background Noise In Videos

The questions always start the same .  “Hey, I shot some video but there’s a [insert description here] noise in the background…how can I remove it?”.  There are many tools that will remove “noise” from audio, from the filters in the free Audacity software, to Izotope Music and Speech Cleaner to Bias SoundSoap.  But they don’t work like magic…you have to give them some help.

That means all noise removal programs need to know what sound you want removed…they can guess, but they are often not very accurate.  And to let them know what sound should be removed, you typically need to isolate at least 2 seconds of the the sound for the software to analyze.  That means 2 seconds of the sound by itself…not 2 seconds of the sound mixed with other sounds in your videos.

Unfortunately, most people learn this lesson the hard way.  They shoot their video without giving a second thought to the sound aspect of it, then get a big surprise when editing…unwanted background noise.  And if you don’t have a few seconds of only the background noise, removing it can be very difficult without destroying your good audio too.  Read that again…very difficult…to the point where it’s usually easier just to re-shoot the video.

The solution, while it may not help someone in the above scenario, can help you greatly going forward.  And it’s so simple.  All you do is let your video camera record for about 10 seconds before you start talking and then let it run for about another 10 seconds after you are done.  If there is any background noise being picked up in your video, this will give you plenty of footage where the noise is isolated all by itself.  And it will be far easier to remove with audio editing software as a result.

10 seconds before + 10 seconds after = a simple trick to help remove background noise in videos.

Comments (3)

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  1. Philippe says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you so much for all your great tips.
    I have a footage in the scenario you mention. I have 5 minutes of background noise prior to the footage. The footage is recording a single man voice in a very silent environnment. When I sample the noise over those 5 minutes with Amadeus Pro for Mac, it rip off some valuable frequencies in the man voice giving a pretty strange non-human feeling to the initially warm voice.
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you in advance,

  2. Hey Dave,

    can you do the same for a clicking noise my camera makes when storing the video to the memory I have tried using an external mic but it still picks it up for some reason?


  3. abhishek says:

    nice post . I tried audacity but it didnt worked well , any other free tool ?