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Identifying noises: Hums, hisses, clicks, and pops

From: Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training

Video: Identifying noises: Hums, hisses, clicks, and pops

It's easy enough to hear most unwelcome noises in your audio, noises like the hum from the fan or a heater, like this, (Hum.) or a cough (Coughing.) or a tape hiss (Audio hissing.) or let's say vinyl record scratches and surface noise (Sounds of vinyl record playing.) or even the cell phone. (Cell phone ringing.) The thing is, with Soundbooth, you can not only hear the noises, you can see most of the noises and as a result, you'll have an easier time removing them. In this movie, I want to show you some noises, in other movies I explained how to remove noises from your audio or at least make them less obtrusive.

Identifying noises: Hums, hisses, clicks, and pops

It's easy enough to hear most unwelcome noises in your audio, noises like the hum from the fan or a heater, like this, (Hum.) or a cough (Coughing.) or a tape hiss (Audio hissing.) or let's say vinyl record scratches and surface noise (Sounds of vinyl record playing.) or even the cell phone. (Cell phone ringing.) The thing is, with Soundbooth, you can not only hear the noises, you can see most of the noises and as a result, you'll have an easier time removing them. In this movie, I want to show you some noises, in other movies I explained how to remove noises from your audio or at least make them less obtrusive.

So, let's just take a look here at this waveform of this little sample that I created for this movie. It's those 5 noises that I have just played for you and some of them are pretty obviously problem areas. When you've got sound that's very exacting like that, in terms of the decibel level, it's probably a tone that you probably don't want to have. We'll hear that again, that hum. (Hum.) If you see this kind of ragged edged thing, that's probably hiss, because the waveform for hiss just looks awful, like the crumbling last little vestiges of a wave as it crawls up on into the shore. Let me just kind of zoom in on that.

You'll get a sense of what that looks like. I will just zoom in here. See how ragged that waveform is? That is what hiss looks like, folks. And then down here to the scratches and the hiss, you can see that's the kind of the hissy-looking waveform and then you can see those pops right there. (Sounds of vinyl record playing.) And the cell phone has this very rhythmic 'pop-pop-pop-pop' kind of a thing. (Cell phone ringing) The thing is just seeing here in the waveform is just the beginning of how you can spot obtrusive noises in your audio, in addition to hearing them. Let me show you the Spectral Frequency Display by dragging this thing up. I could also click this button over here, but let me drag it up because it's cooler to do it this way. There you go.

And there is that hum. This particular hum is 60 Hertz, which equals the frequency for alternating current in North America and lots of times 60 Hertz hums can be heard from light fixtures and things like that and you're recording let's say somebody speaking and that hum is just is going to be there and there's nothing you can do about it until you take it in the post-production, at which time, you can remove that hum and I'll show you how to do that in another movie. Here's the cough and you can see each little individual spike of the cough. Let me zoom in a bit more, so you'll get a better sense of that. That's one and that's another part of the cough. Let me show you.

(Coughing.) You can sort of sense that whole cough there, another thing that can be identified and at least partially removed, if you want to try to remove somebody coughing from the concert, let's say. Here's that hiss sound again and boy hiss in the Spectral Frequency Display looks messy like that and that's just standard. There's just no organization to it at all. (Audio hissing.) Then here's that vinyl surface noise. It also looks like hiss with the occasional scratch 1, scratch 2 scratching. You can sort of see how those scratches can just be selected if you want to remove them. I am going to talk about that in another movie. (Sounds of vinyl record playing.) Click. Click.

And then, finally, there is the cell phone. Now, the cell phone consumes a lot of frequency ranges, but the significant part of it is right there a little bit below 3000 Hertz, which is not that high a pitch. It's below the highest note on the piano, so it's not like extremely high, and it's not necessarily outside the highest human. So, this is the kind of stuff that will interfere with, let's say, a vocal performance, or an instrumental performance, and so you can spot it pretty easily there. (Cell phone ringing.) (Hum.) (Coughing.) (Audio hissing.) Spotting these things all by themselves is relatively easy, but how about spotting them inside something, which is actually the more realistic set of circumstances? Well, I put these noises inside some music and inside a narration.

Let's see how they look there. There's that hum. I'll zoom in on it a bit, so you get a better sense of that particular area. There's the hum running along the bottom, along with this music. And you can see the various frequencies for the keyboard. (Music playing with hum in background.) Now the thing is it'll be nice to get that hum out of that piece of music, which we can do fairly easily, and I'll show you that in another tutorial. Here's that hiss again. (Music playing with audio hiss in the background.) And believe it or not, we can identify that hiss and remove the hiss from this audio using some special tools and they work really very well, so that hiss will go away and I'll explain how to do that in another movie.

And now here's that scratching sound. (Movie playing with vinyl scratching sounds in background.) Little pops going along here, little itty-bitty pops. You can just barely see them. Let me zoom in it a bit, so you can see those little scratches. This is a very quiet scratching noise, which I didn't include in the sample at the beginning. Did you see them right there? (Movie playing.) Right there's a scratch. Here's a little scratch. (Movie playing.) And those guys can be removed too. The louder scratches, this one over here, are much harder to remove, (Movie playing with static.) because that static is a much richer sound that really interferes with the music.

So, this one won't remove as cleanly as this little hiss will when we later show you how to do that. Here's the coughing (Music playing with coughing.) And you can spot those coughing noises right there. The trouble is that kind of blends in with music too, so it's really hard to get cough completely removed without destroying some of the music, but you can get a lot of it at least toned down a bit and finally, there's that cell phone sound. Let's listen to that. (Music playing with cell phone ringing.) Again, you can spot it in midst all the rest of the frequencies in the music, and you can identify this in the Spectral Frequency Display and then later remove it. So, we will talk about that later.

Let me just show you the narration, which basically is similar kind of sense where there's the hum and there's the hiss and there's the vinyl record noise with little bitty clicks right there. You can sort of spot them along the top there in the high frequency area. There's the louder vinyl noise, obviously much louder than this hiss. It's the color. As the color tends toward yellow or red, it's louder than when it's blue like this. So you can see that's a much louder vinyl record sound, much harder to get rid of that sound. Here are those coughs that go way up here in the high frequencies. You can spot them there and then there's that cell phone noise.

Well all these little guys are challenges that will confront you as you work on your audio and the thing is you want to try to remove them, if you can, and so I show you how to remove or at least reduce the volume level on these things in other movies.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training
Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training

52 video lessons · 14780 viewers

Jeff Sengstack
Author

 
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  1. 4m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. What is Soundbooth CS5?
      2m 30s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
  2. 18m 4s
    1. Taking a look at basic sound waves
      3m 53s
    2. Taking a look at complex sound waves
      6m 43s
    3. Understanding digital audio concepts
      7m 28s
  3. 14m 45s
    1. Understanding the workflow
      5m 35s
    2. Touring the workspace
      3m 44s
    3. Customizing the workspace
      5m 26s
  4. 13m 11s
    1. Opening and importing files
      3m 59s
    2. Setting up recording hardware
      2m 35s
    3. Recording vocals and instruments
      6m 37s
  5. 1h 3m
    1. Playing and monitoring audio
      5m 10s
    2. Viewing audio waveforms and spectral displays
      6m 24s
    3. Selecting audio
      9m 14s
    4. Trimming and deleting audio
      3m 59s
    5. Copying, cutting, and pasting audio and inserting silence
      7m 55s
    6. Adjusting volume
      11m 21s
    7. Using specialized volume techniques
      6m 54s
    8. Creating and using loops
      4m 42s
    9. Stretching time and shifting pitch
      5m 14s
    10. Working with video files
      2m 22s
  6. 26m 50s
    1. Identifying noises: Hums, hisses, clicks, and pops
      5m 45s
    2. Removing background noise: Audio tape hiss
      7m 55s
    3. Removing vinyl record clicks and pops
      3m 57s
    4. Removing individual sounds
      9m 13s
  7. 13m 27s
    1. Previewing Soundbooth effects
      5m 32s
    2. Applying and adjusting standard effects
      4m 58s
    3. Applying and customizing advanced effects
      2m 57s
  8. 48m 25s
    1. Applying reverb and echo: Analog Delay and Convolution Reverb
      8m 46s
    2. Using delay-based effects: Chorus/Flanger and Phaser
      6m 8s
    3. Understanding sound-level effects: Compressor and Dynamics
      7m 0s
    4. Applying equalization effects: Graphic and Parametric
      11m 14s
    5. Exploring other special effects: Distortion and Vocal Enhancer
      7m 58s
    6. Setting the all-in-one effect: Mastering
      7m 19s
  9. 46m 42s
    1. Understanding multitrack concepts
      1m 16s
    2. Building a multitrack file
      7m 5s
    3. Adjusting track and clip volume and panning
      8m 54s
    4. Adding effects to individual tracks
      7m 38s
    5. Using Soundbooth sound effects in your multitrack file
      6m 38s
    6. Using three multitrack editing techniques: Duplicating, splitting, and cross-fading
      6m 15s
    7. Working with video in multitrack
      2m 49s
    8. Using professional production studio mixing techniques
      6m 7s
  10. 17m 13s
    1. Understanding how scores work
      3m 30s
    2. Previewing, downloading, and inserting scores into multitrack files
      4m 45s
    3. Adjusting score duration, intensity and parts
      8m 58s
  11. 10m 42s
    1. Dynamically linking to Premiere Pro and After Effects projects
      4m 31s
    2. Turning spoken dialogue into searchable metadata
      6m 11s
  12. 21m 42s
    1. Saving snapshots
      6m 23s
    2. Saving entire files or selected ranges
      11m 59s
    3. Saving and mixing down multitrack files
      3m 20s
  13. 10s
    1. Goodbye
      10s

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