Freedom! Tech Tips: How to remove background noise

During these difficult times that we are in, more and more people have had to adjust to the new lifestyle of working from home, and with that comes many challenges. Depending on what type of job you work, you may be required to have various online calls and meetings with your co-workers which again, brings it’s own challenges.

Working from home can be tough, and when in online video calls you want to remain as professional as possible which sometimes can’t be the case for people who live with families or have pets. Background noise is something we all want to avoid when in our calls, we want people to hear us and listen to us…not what is going on in the background. My tech tips video will show you exactly how to remove.

I haven’t forgotten about all the video editors out there! I usually base my tutorials around helping other content creators improve their content that is centred all around gaming, however in my tutorial I will show you exactly how to remove your background noise in Premiere Pro – not just for gamers.

In this article, I am going to break down the step by steps of removing your audio from both live calls and in post-production. This saves the time of watching a video, waiting for me to get to the part you need. Everything will be right here for you at your own leisurely pace. Lets get started!

Discord – Live video calls

As much as my tutorial is based around Discord, the software that Discord uses to implement the removal of background noise is available to the public for their own personal use too. This will work for other video call services such as Skype, Zoom etc. We’ll talk more on that later.

At the bottom right side of Discord you will notice three icons; a microphone, headset and cog wheel. This cog wheel typically indicates your ‘User Settings’ for most devices and it’s the same here. Go ahead and click on ‘User Settings’.

This brings you to a new screen in Discord, with subheadings on the left side. One of the options is ‘Voice & Video’, click on that.

From the screenshot I have placed to the right, you can see that the top left for your input device will display the microphone you are using, change this if you wish to use a different microphone. For me, I am using my RODE NT-USB.

Underneath, you have your input volume. Adjust your input volume accordingly to your mic, however the most common input percentage is 70% – which works fine for me. Input volume is how much audio your mic pics up at a time. If set to 100%, your mic is going to use 100% of it’s power to pick up every piece of audio in the room.

Lowering this to 70% will decrease massively how much noise your microphone will pick up when in video calls, how ever it doesn’t remove everything and if you’re in a professional call, you want your audio to be as formal and professional as possible.

Underneath your input volume you have a ‘Mic Test’, which I recommend switching on when adjusting your levels. The mic test will allow you to hear the play back of what your mic is picking up with you speak. If you are not speaking into your microphone but the mic test is picking up slight moments of audio, this is white noise.

At the very bottom of the screen you then have your advanced options, and one of the first variables it gives you is ‘Noise Suppression’. Now this beautiful tool is very incredible, and the reason for this is because it uses something called “Krisp”. For those who haven’t heard of Krisp, they are separate company that sell audio packages on their website which also contains this exact noise suppression that it provided Discord with.

Krisp is very credible and like I said at the start, it can be installed separately for people who don’t use Discord but also still like to remove background noise from their audio. Because it’s an application that is installed onto your computer, this means it will work with software such as Skype and Zoom. I hope this helps users who don’t use Discord and still would like a fix.

Switching on Noise Suppression in Discord does an absolutely fantastic job at cleaning up any audio background noise there is, I have personally tried this and use this myself in video calls. I really hope this helps many of you out there who were looking at how to solve this issue. Now, let us move to Premiere Pro where I show you how to remove background noise in your videos!

Premiere Pro

I love video editing, post-production is my passion. Everything that you edit and export to show your viewers is your product that you want people to buy into and come back for more. Nothing turns me off more when I watch a video and hear background noise and white noise continuously throughout the video. This is a very easy thing to do, and here I will show you how to fix that, lets get started.

Open up Premiere Pro and drag your audio into your timeline. Once done, in the top left corner of Premiere Pro you should have ‘Audio Track Mixer’. If not, then click on Window > Audio Meters and it will give you the mixer.

You will notice that has many volume sliders, each represent which timeline your audio is on. If your audio is placed onto audio track 1, then you are going to be working with audio mixer 1. To get the grey columns that you are seeing in my screenshot, there is a drop down arrow in the top left corner of the audio mixer.

Just above the black line that you see, there will be yet another drop down arrow which will give you the option to apply ‘DeNoise’. Once applying it, I set my percentage to 60%. This tool in Premiere Pro is incredible and works absolute wonders. As said in my video, I work in my kitchen which have many active appliances going all at once so I heavily take advantage of DeNoise and it works wonders for me. It very much depends on your circumstances, what room you are recording in etc. But I find that 60% works flawlessly for me when removing any form of background from my audio whilst retaining my voice at a very high quality.

Before I closed my video off, I introduced another tip that would really help people if they didn’t want to keep manually adjusting their noise levels. I personally believe that manually adjusting is the better way to go due to it giving you complete full control over the noise in your audio, I do this for every video I make. However, I will show you another way that could help you and make your editing days just that little easier.

At the top of Premiere Pro, you will notice some headings, one of those headings being labeled ‘Audio’. Click that and you will notice the entire layout of Premiere Pro will change. The settings on the right side is your main focus, clicking onto your audio in the timeline will unlock these settings.

Change your audio type to dialogue and then underneath have a browse at some of the pre-sets. These pre-sets are there to already determine for you what type of room or voice you have, and when applied will block out and enhance your audio. These very from female voices to male voices, small rooms or even large rooms. Play around with these settings as these could help you.

I really hope that the information I have given really helps people out there to battle some of the difficulties that are audio. Audio can be a messy thing, making sure that the audio is clean from white noise can sometimes be very tricky too, however in the 10 years of my video editing journey, I can truly say that the tips I have provided really do work and are really great tools to work with.

Please feel free to comment any questions below.

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