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In the previous movie, I showed you how to use the Selection Tools--specifically the Rectangular Marquee tool--to eliminate the sound of a cell phone dinging in the background of this interview we're listening to. If you're going to be working along with me, you can keep working on the file we used in the previous movie, or you can open 05_03_interview_clicks from the Exercise Files folder to start with this file already in progress. As you can see here, these are the areas where we eliminated the cell phone noise. But this audio file has additional problems. There's this constant clicking going on in the background, from what I believe might have been a ceiling fan. Let's listen to the section we're working on.
(audio playing) And we saw in the previous movie that even though we can see the vertical lines that represent a lot of these clicks, you can't just select them and delete them all because some of them occur over the speaker, and deleting the clicks will also delete the sound of his voice at that moment. So instead, I'm going to select the Spot Healing tool. The Spot Healing tool in Audition works much like the Spot Healing tool does in Photoshop. Basically, you just paint over the blemish--or in this case, the problematic audio--and then Audition examines the surrounding frequencies and tries to use them to cover up the trouble spot.
It's kind of like in Photoshop when you use the Spot Healing brush to go over a pimple on someone's face. It fixes it by examining the skin tone and the colors of the surrounding pixels and blends them over the problem area. So in this case, we have this clicking sound that occurs simultaneously with the person speaking. I can see the majority of the clicking sound right here, but a lot of it is hidden within this blob, which is the person's voice. I'm going to use my bracket keys to make my tool a little bit smaller here. And I was going to brush over that area. Audition process that for a moment, and you can see that area is now slightly darker, indicating the frequencies there are lower or have been reduced in volume.
Let's take a listen. (audio playing) Still hearing a bit of a click there. (audio playing) And I think this hotspot here might actually be part of it. So let's brush over that, I am seeing a little bit here. This does involve a bit of experimentation to see what you'll have to do to reduce sounds. (audio playing) And I believe I got it. And I continue doing the same with all the other problem areas of this piece. (audio playing) So I quick double-click here, I can clearly see the clicks here.
I probably should have made my brush a little bigger, but that's all right. Let's do this. Let's see how that sounds. (audio playing) So I eliminated that second click in there. Now, there's a lot of clicking going on here, so if you want to practice with this file, feel free and see if you can get rid of all the clicks you can find. The point is I was able to get rid of the clicks without affecting the way the voice sounds. So again, if you have access to the exercise files, you can go through and see if you can find and fix more of them with the Spot Healing Brush. It can be good practice to see if you can spot the entire noise in a Spectral Display, and you want to experiment with different brush sizes to see how well you can eliminate the sound.
You're going to find that the Spot Healing tool works really well for some things, but not very well for others. But it can be really surprising and satisfying to find how you can fix something you thought was unfixable. Let me show you one more example. I'm going to open a file from my exercise files called Nobody Else. So rather than just one person talking, this is a complete song with a bunch of instruments and vocals all playing simultaneously. I'm going to jump to about maybe 15, 16 seconds in, and what we're listening for here is this annoying squeak that occurs every time the acoustic guitar player shifts his fingers to change chords.
I'll play a few seconds and see if you can hear what I'm talking about. (audio playing) Okay, so the sound I'm talking about happened three times.
The first was back here right around the 30-second mark. Let's zoom in a little bit more. See this bright spot right here. I'll go ahead and select that-- I'll get my Selection tool here. I'm just going to loop that so you can listen to it. (audio playing) So you should be able to hear that squeaking sound that's going on. Here it is in context. (audio playing) Pretty annoying, right? And once you hear that, you can't not hear every time this plays. Now, as you can see, the Spectral Display is absolutely packed with frequencies because we're listening to a band in full swing here.
Which tool will be best for getting rid of that squeak? You could try the Marquee tool. Draw around and delete. Now, you might think a gaping hole like this would be obvious, but let's see. (audio playing) But it's actually not too bad. I mean, I can kind of hear it, but it's not too bad. I'm going to undo that. Well, it's kind of an irregular shape. What about the Paintbrush tool? I'm kind of going to paint over that and delete again, deselect, listen to that. (audio playing) That's actually a little bit better.
But I can still hear a little bit of it. I'm going to undo again. So what about the Spot Healing Brush? Let's try a large blob around that and let's listen. (audio playing) So that works pretty well for me, and to my ears it sounds a little bit more natural than just cutting out that area altogether. Plus, in this example it's much quicker to paint over an area and have it auto heal than to draw a marquee and press delete. So if the two techniques accomplish pretty much the same goal, I'm going to go with a quicker one.
This way I can roll the song and find the next instance. (audio playing) I see it coming up here. That's only a small one, so let's just paint in there. (audio playing) And one more bright spot here. (audio playing) Maybe a second time here. I still kind of see that.
(audio playing) All right, that's much better for me. Now, this is really going to depend on the file you're working on and the nature of the unwanted sound. But the point is you have several tools at your disposal here, and now you should have a decent understanding of how they work. I should mention though, that these tools are really for brief unwanted sounds. If you have a long unwanted noise, maybe like a background hum or just a general room tone, you can't and shouldn't really use selection-based tools for that. We'll look at how to tackle problems like that next.
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