Old 02-19-2019, 11:02 AM   #1
BalSam
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Default Voiceover Noise Reduction - HELP!

Hi,

Iíve recently set up a home studio for voiceover. Been playing around with noise reduction tools (after watching a TON of videos) but Iím unsure which are the best options and in what order to use them...

Iíve tried subtracting room tone with ReaFir, LPF/HPF in ReaEQ and ReaGate but Iím yet to try a Limiter. Is there a definite order in which these should be used? Or maybe I donít need to use all of them??

Iíve also seen one or two vids about using make up gain after compression whereas others say make up gain should be avoided at all costs!

Iím confused.

This is my first post so any and all help much appreciated!
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:48 AM   #2
clepsydrae
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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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Old 02-19-2019, 02:48 PM   #3
DVDdoug
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There's a reason pros still record in soundproof studios with good equipment and good mic position, etc.

Noise reduction works best when you have a constant very-low level noise... Noise reduction works best when you don't REALLY need it. And if the noise is bad, the cure can be worse than the disease.

As clepsydrae says, limiting & compression make the signal-to-noise ratio WORSE. Sometimes that can be offset by downward expansion (noise-gating) but if the noise-gaiting becomes noticeable it can be very distracting.

Quote:
Iíve also seen one or two vids about using make up gain after compression whereas others say make up gain should be avoided at all costs!
WRONG!

Your work will likely be rejected if you don't use make-up gain.

It's true that make-up gain (or ANY analog or digital amplification) WILL boost everything including the noise and that DOES tend to make the noise more noticeable. But make-up gain doesn't damage the signal-to-noise ratio and the listener will hear the same noise when they have to turn-up the playback volume (because you didn't apply make-up gain).
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:55 PM   #4
BenK-msx
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Reafir can do great with the right approach.

https://forum.cockos.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=23

Explains a trick where the wet/dry mix of reafir is modulated by the material's volume, so that when loud, the noise reduction is low level, and when quiet, ramps up.

Makes for clarity and natural results.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:00 PM   #5
clepsydrae
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenK-msx View Post
Reafir can do great with the right approach.

https://forum.cockos.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=23
OP: definitely do this when you use ReaFIR. (Too bad it doesn't have per-FFT-band gating/expansion built-in.)
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:18 AM   #6
BalSam
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Thank you so much for these replies...

I probably should've said in the original post - the main (and most infuriating) issue is the low hum from an air filtration system in the house (exactly the sort of thing you described DVDdoug)

Clepsydrae I've not had great success with ReaFir either so I may have to bite the bullet and buy something else. Sound Recovery by Bitsonic's had some good reviews and I've also seen this -

https://klevgrand.se/products/brusfri/

Thankfully neither of those options seem to break the bank but maybe you get what you pay for?

BenK-msx before I do ANYTHING however, I'm gonna follow your method for ReaFir!!

The other part of my question I maybe should've put in a separate thread...

When it comes to noise gating/HPF/EQ/Compression/De-Essing etc I guess I was talking about AFTER I've successfully gotten rid of the background hum. I'm confused about the order in which these things should be applied (assuming they're all needed/required) once the hum is hopefully a distant memory...

Is there a kind of 'standard' chain for voiceover from beginning to end before rendering?

Oh and I've realised when I talked about make up gain it was AUTOmake up I've seen differing opinions about, not make up gain generally!!

My bad!
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