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How do you remove background noise in Final Cut?
July 23, 2008 8:54 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to remove background noise from a Final Cut project?

I tried using the Hum Remover just by playing around with the harmonics, but I don't really know what I'm doing. Is there a good, simple way to get rid of a constant background tone using Final Cut?

Or, is there a way to export audio from Final Cut to Audacity, edit it there, and then export back to Final Cut?

(I've read that Soundtrack Pro is good, but I don't have it so it's not an option.)
posted by soma lkzx to Technology (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
SoundTrack Pro is the "good, simple way" to do this "in" Final Cut, since it's assumed you'll have the whole suite. If not, you'll need to get hold of some alternative software that offers noise reduction or audio restoration. Amadeus Pro is the cheapest one I know ($40). Next up would probably be Bias SoundSoap ($129). They all work the same way that SoundtrackPro does, I assume (I use ST, but Amadeus does it the same way): You select a short portion of your audio track that contains nothing but the hum, then tell the software to make a "noise print" or sample of it. Then you deselect all and run the reduction process, which essentially subtracts the sound you isolated from the whole track.

In every case (even with STPro), you have to export the audio from FCut, process it, then bring it back; Here's how I do it:
Export just the audio as a QuickTime movie using current settings. Process that file and save it. Delete the original audio (or just slide it past the end of the existing tracks to delete later if you want to play safe), and drag the processed file in to replace it. If you don't change the length, it'll still sync.
posted by dpcoffin at 9:59 AM on July 23, 2008

PS: I haven't used Audacity, but maybe it has this functionality, too? The feature list says it'll remove hum, but I don't know if it does so with EQ or filtering (using your ears), or the way ST and Amadeus do (using the software's ears). You'd do the export/import part the same way, in any case...
posted by dpcoffin at 10:05 AM on July 23, 2008

If you're trying to remove a ground loop hum, it will be either 50Hz or 60Hz, depending on what part of the world the piece was recorded.
posted by rhizome at 10:43 AM on July 23, 2008

When you Say background noise, perhaps you mean, cars in the distance, rumble, etc.
Exporting the audio out of final cut and bringing it into any audio editing software (soundtrack, pro tools, audacity), will do the trick. I find using an EQ over a Hum remover to be more effective.
Try an EQ with an high and/or Low pass filter, and start rolling off frequencies until the unwanted sounds diminish. Know that you probably will not eliminate all the noise from the audio track. In these case, I like to cover it up with another audio track, maybe music, depends on your project.
posted by JamesMCS at 1:57 PM on July 23, 2008

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