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Audio Noise Reduction Software like iZotope RX6
  • I've started this thread for the discussion of audio noise reduction/repair software and techniques.

    I've only just started using iZotope's RX2, but compared the other noise reducers I've tried it's damn near magical (disclaimer: I'm far from an expert in these things). Using the Sound Forge noise reduction plugin I would have to stack multiple low dB reduction passes on top of each other to get a reasonable sound, and every stage could introduce musical noise artifacts, but RX pretty much always manages it in a single pass.

    Any other good ones?

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  • +1 on iZotope RX2.

    As an alternative, I have used the built-in one in my version of Adobe Audition 3.0 because sometimes it does a better job. RX2 has a huge amount of control as you of course will know - you can separate out tonal and broadband noise, and lots of other options. Sometimes none of that helps and the simpler Audition one works perfectly. So I tend to go between those two.

    Techniques: multipass is a good technique, also inverting so you just hear the output noise, which helps to isolate unwanted birdies in the sound, and finally, reversing the audio before noise-reducing can sometimes give you more to play with while preserving the transients (reverse it back afterwards, of course).

    Another thing which can help with interior recordings of musical instruments is to noise-reduce so much that the background completely disappears in quiet passages, then put some reverb back in afterwards - it can fool the ear into thinking you had a really quiet venue.

  • Yep, a +1 for iZotope RX2 from me as well. I have always used it for audio production and transferring vinyl to digital, but it's also amazing for video work too. If you can get a good sample of the noise on it's own it's amazing how good a job it can do of separating it from the frequencies you want to keep.

  • +1 iZotope RX2. It's really great. Haven't had the need to try anything else.

  • Other alternatives:

    Sonnox restore suite - http://www.sonnoxplugins.com/pub/plugins/products/restore.htm

    Very nice results from this and low CPU overhead (lots lower than RX2)

    CEDAR - expensive but simply the best http://www.cedar-audio.com/

    Waves - X Noise / Z Noise - not bad - decracjler is ok http://www.waves.com/content.aspx?id=259

    http://www.waves.com/Content.aspx?id=205

    Waves WNS - strap it on zero latency (ish) not bad at broadband noise removal http://www.waves.com/content.aspx?id=9943

    Waves W43 - emulation of old stylee noise removal - some history here on SOS http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan11/articles/waves-w43.htm

    NML Revcon - not noise but ambience removal - very good plug ! http://www.tacsystem.com/en/products/softwares/000563.php

    Others - Sonic NoNoise, Adobe audition etc DINR, McDSP filter is good too.

    I own and use all the ones above and aside from the obvious CEDAR They all have strengths - RX can remove mild distortion very well and broadband noise but you need to learn how to really use it to its full extent for best results - Sonnox are great as they combine several processes in one plug so strapping it over your dialogue for example can save on CPU juice and it works very well, Revcon always makes me laugh at how it removes terrible room (one day PAs wont be doing audio on location ? :p)

  • @soundgh2 Revcon sounds interesting! How much better is it than Audition's "Dereverb single source" preset?

  • Some googling for dereverb also turned up this software: http://www.dyvision.co.uk/reverbremover.html

    Haven't tried it yet, but there's a 30 day trial and it's very reasonably priced at £34.26 + VAT.

  • Not tried that mate - Revcon works well and not tried Audition for years - also of course don't forget a good old expander and fill works well too as well as careful EQ - never reach for a denoisy plug before trying those - much less artifacting.

    Distantly mic'd stuff, if it's not reality, I tend to try and get some wild tracks from location or last resort ADR if it's dialogue - or generally huff and moan at production in a surly childish manner about actually hiring a sound guy as in the end it's MUCH cheaper and infinitely better than replacement / turd polishing lol If you are stuck try editing the dialogue hard and use room fill and EQ.

    The SPL plugins work quite well at altering the dynamics of the sound either side of the bits you want too - http://spl.info/en/products.html

  • iZotope RX2 is amazing. I had some pretty horrible lavaliere audio that was recorded a couple weeks ago and it was so bad that we were thinking we were gonna trash it. I spent about 6 hours using spectral repair and other functions in RX as well as mastering in apple logic and throwing a soft noise gate on it and it sounds zoo much better. Totally usable, rx is well worth the $300

  • @soundgh2 "never reach for a denoisy plug before trying those - much less artifacting." Indeed, I have not seen a too good solution yet. The best way to reduce the noise - don't capture it in the first place if possible and as far as recording (prices are quite reasonable lately) there a quite a few options out there that will save you a lot of work/time reducing noise in post.

    All of the software introduce some artifacts. You can get decent results if know how to work them, but never perfect.

    I have used this in the past and it stands apart form the rest. It might as well be the best;) The price is way to high unfortunately, but the post didn't mention price, just "Any other good ones" ; )

    http://www.sonicstudio.com/sonic/products/sonic_nnproductoverview.html

    this one in particular: http://www.sonicstudio.com/sonic/products/nonoise_sr.html

  • About the video that Vitaliy posted:

    Great introduction to a good software suite. Thanks for this!

    But, it could be a good example of how sometimes Technology without thought, is not all that positive as development. At one point they happily remove the characteristic noise of the old recording(even if its not overly intrusive). I don't know if they were asked to do this or its their own proposition( I hope the first, just a hollywood idiotic idea)

    Well, I found this to be interesting and somehow wrong. They are "restoring" something that is a essential cultural component of old recordings. There was not perfect recording at these times to begin with, so they are messing with its nature(just because we are used to noise free and clear sound lately). Actually is exactly this imperfection of the recording process and the sound reproduction of the time ,that in an instant brings you back to the older times passed because we culturally make the connection to this era.

    So some questions came naturally:

    Do we need to "fix" the imperfections of other works of art just because we can? What is the identity of a work?

    If it is a now days recording done bad or on a low tech equipment - ok, go ahead,clean it up the best that you can. But restoration of older material always has to consider other, cultural context factors as well.

    To bring it to the video and film - maybe we should get rid of the grain of the 8mm and 16mm just because it doesn't fit the the standard of the squeaky clean sterile flat tv's image?

    No, thanks.

  • Can't see the video (on iPod at the moment) but in general I agree with @luxis - you have to respect the qualities of the source material, which means knowing when to stop.

  • The built-in spectral cleaning in Samplitude/Sequoia is almost as good as Renovator, so that is a real bargain. Fact is, different programs each have their strengths. The people in the video use chunks that are too wide for those clicks, BTW. Those clicks are narrow. General rule: only remove the minimum.

  • @luxis indeed - after many cold years swinging a pole on locatin then mixing and tracklaying onto final mixing now I can happily report that shit audio will always be shit audio lol for some reason "fixing it in the mix" now seems to be the expensive norm - as an analogy - would anyone go out with a £10 lens and happily shoot at insanely noisy high ISOs badly framed out of focus and at wrong framerates and expect it to turn out right in post.

  • @soundgh2 Yep - a phrase involving "turd" and "polish" springs to mind! I think of it as a 10:1 ratio - spend 1 unit of effort getting it right on the day, or spend 10 afterwards, doing your best with it in post.

  • Just mixed a channel 4 doco where they only had cash for 1 sen MKH 60 no radios and no sound guy - noone was monitoring the audio as it went to the camera - you can imagine :) seems to be more of the norm these days, keeps me in beans and toast but art it aint !

    The only way is essex is mixed on an Avid by the onliner as a side note lol

  • Voxengo Redunoise is the last resort when izotope RX fails. It has quite awkward and not intuitive interface, though. But once you understand how it works it can be tuned to sound very natural and transparent.

  • RX 3 Advanced Key Features:

    • Remove or reduce reverb from audio using the new Dereverb module.
    • Clean up dialogue in real time with the new Dialogue Denoiser.
    • Monitor your audio and loudness compliance using Insight, iZotope?s comprehensive metering suite, now included with RX 3 Advanced.
    • Advanced features and settings for Declip, Declick, Time and Pitch, Channel Operations and more.

    Updates in RX 3:

    • Work “up to six times faster” in the RX 3 stand-alone application, using RX 3′s intelligent DSP and optimized multicore processing
    • Time-saving features include a completely redesigned user interface, the new RX Document format and multi-file workflow
    • Addition of audio recording and monitoring, SRC sample rate conversion, waveform statistics, and more
    • Overall enhancements to Denoise and Declip modules, parametric EQ, drawing and selection tools, MBIT+ dither, and more

    http://www.izotope.com/rx

  • If you know how to tweak it, the NR that comes with Soundtrack Pro is pretty damn incredible. It just takes practice to know which noise sample to print, and how to apply it. Got nominated for a Maverick Movie Award for the work I did with it, so I can't complain.

  • @shian

    :-)

    For non Apple guys who want easy way, I suggest to check - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=MAGIX+Audio+Cleaning+Lab+ , they have trial, btw if you need it for short project :-) last year version with big discount is also ok :-)

  • I'm on Adobe Creative Cloud, and have had good luck using Adobe Audition for audio noise reduction.

  • Izotope RX3 is quite tasty - the de-reverb is quite useable.

  • @test 1 - thanks for that - useful to know. I might upgrade as I only have a previous RX suite which didn't include de-verb but I love their NR and Ozone suites.

  • Izotope makes some killer stuff. I haven't tried their NR stuff yet, but I'm keen to, now. If it's anything like their Ozone suite it's probably awesome.