Does Your Audio Sound Muddy? Here’s How to Minimize Audio Noise

Recording audio has its drawbacks—one of them is having to deal with excessive noise and background sounds so that the listener can focus on the words being spoken instead of annoying hisses and pops. Often, this is a product of either too much background noise or the use of lower-quality equipment. Thanks to technology, however, you can use software to clean up your audio so that it’s as noise-free as possible.

When you need audio cleaning tips in Seattle, WA, Efficiency, Inc. can help you decide how to best maximize your equipment and eliminate noise from your digital recordings. If your mixes sound muddy or otherwise hard to understand, we can figure out where the problem lies and make recommendations for either better equipment or a different setup.

Optimizing for clear audio

The very first thing you should do, no matter what kind of sound you’re recording, is take at least 10 seconds of “room tone” audio. That’s just a recording of what the room sounds like when no one else is making additional noise. If your microphones are sensitive, they might pick up on sounds like a humming fan or air conditioner.

When you take a room tone clip, this creates a baseline for your audio software to work with. If you forget, don’t despair—there is often several seconds of room tone to be had between takes or in otherwise quiet moments during recording.

Using Audacity to clean up audio noise

If you’re working with audio-only tracks, we suggest giving the free software Audacity a try. It’s created and maintained by audio experts. While much of your audio recording equipment will probably come with software included, this is a simple and cheap way to practice reducing your background noise.

To clean it up, take that room tone/background noise clip you recorded, or select a quiet portion of the track. Select “Noise Reduction” from the drop-down menu under “Effect,” then “Get Noise Profile.” Then select your entire audio clip and hit “Repeat Noise Reduction” under “Effect.”

At this point, you should listen to the audio to see if it’s reduced the background noise enough to be clear. If not, you can play with the sliders.

The sensitivity slider will control what the software considers to be noise, while the frequency setting is usually set at 3 by default. Lower settings are for music, whereas higher settings are for spoken word recordings.

Once you get the hang of it, reducing audio noise is a breeze—and you’ll never suffer from muddy recordings again.

Get help with audio cleaning in Seattle, WA

Efficiency, Inc. is a woman-owned and operated company specializing in high-quality courtroom recording and professional dictation equipment. We serve all of Washington and are eager to set you up with the latest dictation technology, combined with over 125 years of collective expertise and on-site or remote tech support. Call us today to get started deciding which digital dictation equipment could be right for your needs. We look forward to working with you soon.

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