How to Reduce Background Audio Noise

There’s nothing worse than going to transcribe a meeting or courtroom hearing only to find that the voices are nearly inaudible due to loud and obnoxious background noise. The good news is that you don’t have to suffer through that hassle if you do a little prep work before recording. These are a few of the best ways to reduce audio noise when recording.

Reduce subject-to-microphone distance

The best way to cut through the background noise is to put the microphone or recording device as close to your subject as possible. Consider using a lavalier mic that hangs down from the subject’s neck or stationing the microphone in front of the speaker’s mouth for best results. With the microphone right there, you’ll be able to hear what the person is saying regardless of what’s happening around them.

Eliminate background noise sources

This may be easier said than done, but try to get rid of any background noise before the recording begins. For example, turn off any noisy air conditioning units or hold the meeting in a room far from a noisy street. You may be able to tune out these sounds during the meeting, but they’ll become harder to ignore once you start transcribing the session.

Set up directional microphones

Another one of our audio noise reduction strategies is to use directional microphones for the meeting. Unlike standard microphones, which record audio from the entire room, directional mics only pick up sounds coming from a single direction. Keep in mind that this can be a large investment, but it’s hard to put a price on a high-quality audio recording.

Reduce the number of open microphones

Microphones that are recording are often referred to as “open.” When you have more than one open mic, you’re significantly increasing the chance of picking up background noise. If your meeting will have more than one microphone, only keep the speaker’s mic open and close the rest.

Add a low-cut filter

A low-cut filter is perfect for reducing low-frequency background noise, which is what most background noise is. This filter can make the subject’s voice sound a little strange, but clarity is the key when transcribing audio, and this filter is sure to provide just what you need. The best part is that most mics already have this filter, so just be sure it’s activated when recording.

Use real-time noise suppression

Devices exist these days that eliminate background noise in real time by using advanced algorithms to separate speech from background noise. Like directional microphones, these systems aren’t always cheap, but they’re another must-have for transcriptionists looking for crystal-clear audio.

Invest in one of our recorders

Following these audio noise reduction strategies should help combat that background noise, but for the most reliable audio recordings, buy a recording device from Efficiency, Inc. We sell devices made by Philips and Olympus, so you can trust you’re getting a high-quality product each time. Talk to our team today to get more tips and see which device is best for you.

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