I’m not going to lie, digital noise reduction tools have saved me more than my fair share of times. This has a lot to do with the way that I think. I’m mostly focused on the image that I’m shooting and not on the audio. Obviously, this is a mistake that I’ve paid for in the past and have consequently grown from. However, what is there to do when your audio is just… bad?
All it takes is a couple passes through some audio message boards to see that noise reduction is a common topic. Luckily, with the implementation of some surprisingly simple tools, you can clean up your audio to a usable, quality point. Before I dive into what the discusses in the video, I should point out that the tools used in this sponsored video are located in a variety of different audio software sets. Audacity, Pro Tools, and Audition are just a few examples of the options. In this video, the guys at RocketJump Film School use RX4 Advanced by iZotope.
The basic noise reduction tools are easy enough to understand, and Kevin Senzaki does a very good job showing you the method (very similar from software to software) to take away those annoying room tones and hums. Where things get interesting is with the DeClicker, the Spectral Repair, and the DeVerb tools. Specifically with the DeClicker, it’s important to keep your mind open as to what it can handle. It takes care of more types of sounds than you might imagine, from loud footsteps, as shown in the video, to mic crackle and other high attack, mid to high range sounds.
The Spectral Repair Tool gives you the ability to target specific tones and process them out of your sound. This may seem basic, but as demonstrated in their beachscene in the video, it’s invaluable. The DeVerb tool does the impossible. It removes reverb. The explanation in the video seems to make it seem like it’s less accurate and user friendly than it could/should be, but the result is pretty impressive. By far, excessive reverb is the most frequent issue I face. This is mostly when dealing with camera audio, but sometimes grabbing those moments only captured with camera audio are the most important.
Regardless of if you intend on purchasing the software used/advertised in this video, there is a lot of advice and information that you can glean from taking eight minutes and listening to what these guys have to say.
An Intro to Noise Reduction (Droneward Bound)
Via Youtube Description:
Some SOUND ADVICE: Noise Reduction can be a tricky trade off– that’s why it’s important to know what the current tools available can do, and what they can’t. This makes you more prepared on set, and allows you to make informed decisions about your sound recording situation– what is acceptable, what is a real problem, and what can save you time or ultimately hurt you later on in post. In this tutorial, Kevin Senzaki walks us through the audio repair we had to do on our short, “Droneward Bound.”
We encourage you to play around with different tools available to you and to learn the weaknesses and strengths of the software you have available– you don’t need expensive programs to keep yourself informed, problem solve, and to be creative when capturing sound.
We were already big fans of Izotope’s RX4 audio editor for audio repair, which is why we’re thrilled they sent us a couple of licenses to try out. Check out their new update, RX5, here: bit.ly/1ho3Dor
While we focus on RX4 in this video, we hope that it gives you a better understanding of how audio repair works and its capabilities in a broader sense, and that you can apply that understanding to the tools you have available.
Watch “Droneward Bound” here: youtu.be/F75-Cs0bFns
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)