How to Remove Background Noise From Any Audio

Updated on April 6, 2017

Background Noise Reduction is Possible With Plugins/Software

When you record a song, or song parts, or even if you just record some audio, it can be really great, obviously. Sometimes though your audio is ruined by background noise. It is even more annoying when it happens outside of your control and this will be made even worse after normalizing your audio as it turns EVERYTHING up.

But, fear not! You can remove audio hiss! You can filter audio noise! It can all be solved, and fixed, and sorted, and, and.. and let's get on with the guide!

If you prefer to watch the guide rather than read it.. it is your lucky day. There is a video below explaining how to remove background noise from audio. You can watch what I am about to write about.

A short video explaining how to remove unwanted noise from audio

How to Reduce Noise in Audio - 'The Guide'

Ok, so you prefer reading, no problem.

To apply a noise filter, or even remove this background noise from your audio completely, we cannot just press a key on the keyboard and fix everything. We will have to download some noise reduction software. I think this is the best noise reduction software available. Do not worry though, it is small and it is free and it is safe. Let's start!

  • 1. Download a program called Reaper. Reaper is a free DAW (digital audio workstation) which is basically what songs and other things are combined on to make a song. There are many around but Reaper has a trial basis that does not lock you out.
  • 2. Once you have installed the program, be sure to agree to set your audio setting when it first launches. This is quite simple, you just select the only option on the drop down menu - your audio card. If you do not know what it is, it is simple, just select whatever is there. Press apply or/and then OK.
  • 3. Right click in the other left side of Reaper, below the icons but above the play and record icons and select 'Insert new track'.

If you have audio already recorded..

  • 4. Drag and drop your audio into the track.

( this is the perfect way how to extract clear voice from a noisy audio file )

  • 5. In the top bar, left click and hold, and select a part of your audio that ONLY has the BACKGROUND NOISE in it, or background noise and other unimportant noise. It is good to leave the mic running before or after you record so you can do this. Something to remember for the future!
  • If the noise you want to remove is running through out the audio you have, find at least a few sounds when there is a break from the audio you want and select the time it lasts for.

  • 6. Select 'Track Insert FX' by left clicking under the record button/on the track in the mixer.

  • 7. A pop up will appear. Click on the top left, selecting 'All Plugins'. Then, click on the bottom left 'Filter:' box and type 'reafir'. Before you finish the word something called: 'VST: ReaFir' should be the only option in the main box, click it to highlight it and then click OK.
  • 8. The VST/Plugin will open up. Go to 'Mode:' and from the drop down menu select 'Subtract' right at the bottom of the list.

  • 9. Click the 'Automatically build noise profile' box and make sure it is clicked/checked.
  • 10. Make sure you have ONLY the background noise within your audio selected.

  • 11. Play the audio through once in the selected area.
  • 12. Then BE SURE to uncheck/click the 'Automatically build noise profile' box.

All Done

Have a listen to your audio now. It should now be the same as ever but, without the annoying background noise. If you are unsure on anything, feel free to watch these steps "live" in the video above.

If you want you can drag the FX Plugin onto other tracks you have where it has the same background noise and the FX Plugin should do the same thing - remove it. Or, you could simply do what I have just described on the other tracks with the same background noise, for fine tuning.

Questions & Answers

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        David Marquez 

        8 months ago

        Thank you for this article. I found it while searching for background noise reduction. This is certainly fascinating, I did not know I had a plugin in my Reaper for this. However, this does introduce some effect in the sounds, particularly in low volume parts of the recording. I tried it with a vocal recording I did in my home where the air conditioner noise is in the background. It removed the air conditioner noise however it also affects the quality of low volume parts of the recording, it sounds a bit like when you are in a phone call, it's difficult to describe, it's not too bad though, for some it might be hardly noticeable But this approach does the job when you have no other option.

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