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Noise Reduction on Outdoor Field Recordings
Old 4 weeks ago
Gear Maniac
K.Lastima's Avatar

Noise Reduction on Outdoor Field Recordings

Hello! Been doing some run'n'gun, low-key outdoor recording. Nothing documentarian, basically just to harvest sounds for later sampking/manipulation.

My question: if one does fairly aggressive high-paying before noise profiling and reduction, will that yield cleaner results (less artifacts, etc)? I've been fooling around with some of this, but thought maybe I could save some time with a little experienced input.

BTW, I'm located in LA, so even "quiet" spaces have that constant highway whir...

Old 4 weeks ago
I know a guy that does sound design for the movie biz there. He uses a portable rig but takes everything out to the desert to record because the LA basin is a noise trap. The better your stuff is the worse it gets. Even at 4 am there is a constant din in the city.
Old 2 weeks ago
Here for the gear
Hi. I think this depends on the end use and context of the recordings you are capturing.

If it's for sampling and interweaving the recording throughout a music track you've created I'm of the mindset to leave the recordings raw and unfiltered up to the point of actually editing it into your music. From there you can decide if it needs noise reduction or an eq notch for offensive frequencies. I welcome the strange hums and noise of field recordings since it is a great way of adding "real world" textures and making your stuff unique. Not to mention the added benefit of it sparking a new creative idea when you drop it in.

If you are trying to capture a specific outdoor sound then I suggest getting closer to the sound source and if that is not an option apply noise reduction in "smaller" increments over several passes until you hit the point of digital artifacts. A single broad heavy handed reduction pass never produces stellar results imo. I use Izotope RX for cleanup and it does an amazing job provided you feed it a good sample to analyze for the reduction passes. Good Luck and hopefully answered the question!
Old 1 week ago
Gear Head

I want to second that- Izotope RX is amazing. Think of it as photoshop for audio. And yes there are times when things are best left alone.
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