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Old 02-19-2019, 11:48 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,373

I have not had great success using ReaFIR to remove background noise. AFAIK, good noise reduction still costs some $ (iZotope RX, Waves xNoise, etc.)

If you want to use ReaFIR, I'd put it first in the chain for reasons of workflow: you're more likely to tweak the EQ and other stuff, and you don't want to have to re-learn the noise profile every time you make a tweak.

Compression (or limiting, which is just extreme compression) is relevant to this subject insofar as there are little gaps of (noisy) silence that are coming through despite your gating. In that case, any compression that follows will effectively be turning up the noise floor. Compression is so named because it compresses the dynamic range, which could be interpreted as "making the noise floor and the signal peak closer to each other", which is obviously not what you want if you're trying to avoid noise. Whether or not you use make-up gain is kind of irrelevant, though: the make up gain will not alter the overall signal-to-noise ratio. Indirectly, it is relevant because if you apply compression you may then need to boost the signal (with the noise) to compensate, but it's wrong-headed to say "make up gain is bad". It's just a trade off: if you want to apply compression, you need to balance that with the fact that the overall SNR will suffer (and make-up gain doesn't affect that.)

You might also explore closer micing in the booth (not always desirable, I know) since the closer your mouth is to the mic, the better the signal-to-noise ratio is going to be.
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