Techniques for Noise Supression in a Mix

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This video covers techniques for noise suppression of audio bleed.

– Pro Tools
– Digirack Expander/Gate
– Waves Q10 — 10 Band Paragraphic EQ Plugin
– Waves NS1 — Automatic Noise Suppression Plugin
– Waves W43 — Noise Reduction Audio Plugin for Video
– Waves WNS — Dialog Noise Suppression for Post Production
– Waves X-Noise — Noise Removal Plugin
– Waves Z-Noise — Noise Removal Plugin


I’ll be demonstrating several different techniques of noise suppression. You can use these if you have a problem of background noise leaking in or bleeding into your audio tracks when you’re recording. I’ll be demonstrating this with a heavily distorted electric guitar track. I’ll show you several different plugins or processing tools that can be applied specifically for noise suppression. You’ll hear some background noise from an electric guitar amp.

[electric guitar]

One thing you could do if you’ve recorded in Pro Tools or any other DAW, is go in and find the parts where the guitar is not playing, and go in and did those things out — and cut them out.

However, depending on your guitar track this would take a long time to edit. So you can use a plugin to kind of automate this process for you. This is called the gate or a noise gate, specifically because you can apply to — cut out or eliminate the noise that leaks in on a track.


Depending on the type of noise that you have, sometimes it’s better to use an EQ plugin like the Waves Q10. I’m only using a signal band and let me show you how you can use this, sometimes if your noise is very focused at a particular frequency you can use a plugin like this to cut out the noise. So if I show you just the noise. What I’ve tried to do is find the particular frequency where the noise is louder, use a very sharp Q, so I’m just pulling out that frequency, I can turn the noise down. This works better for things like hum and buzz, but in some cases if you have noise like this I can find just the one or two frequencies that are particularly bad and cut them out.

Next let me bring up some other plugins, this is the Waves NS-1. One advantage of a plugin like this compared to a noise gate is a noise gate is only cutting down the noise while the guitar is not playing, while the signal is quiet. A plugin like this, the NS1, is detecting noise here at the beginning and then actually eliminating that noise even while the guitar is playing. And so, not only are you just eliminating noise here, but you’re also eliminating the noise while the guitar is playing. You have to be careful, if you turn the slider up too much, it’s gonna be eliminating noise while the guitar is playing, but it could also be eliminating part of that guitar signal. You mostly just want to pull out the noise and leave the guitar signal intact.

So the NS-1 is the most simple version of this sort of thing. But Waves has several other noise suppression plugins that can be applied. The W43 is actually a more complex version of the same thing. You basically have the sliders and different frequency bands. It’s just a matter of pulling out the noise that you like in each of the frequency bands so if you know that your noise is more in the high-mids, you can just pull down the noise in the high kids, but you don’t have to worry about pulling down the signal in the lows or the low-mids. This cuts down on the issue that you can have with the NS1, where if you’re cutting out signal during the — when the guitar is actually playing — you have the issue that it could be pulling out more of the actual guitar signal, not just noise. Here you can focus on different frequency bands and just pull those out.


Next up is another plugin from Waves. They all just have different features and sound a little bit different. This one is the WNS. One thing about that is it will actually suggest the frequency ranges or how you want to set the plugin to cut out the noise.


Next up is the X-Noise from Waves. It also has this adaptive process where it can listen to your track, and figure out what it wants to remove. So if I highlight the noise at the beginning, and let the plugin listen to it. Now the plugin has figured out the noise that it wants to remove and so you can listen to what the output of the plugin or what it’s actually listening to or removing the noise. Here’s the noise that it’s taking out. And the actual audio of the signal. So if I playback the guitar now, you’ll hear that the noise has been removed. This is the part that the plugin is thinking is noise. So it’s removing noise even during the guitar, which is cool.

Last up is the Z-Noise from Waves, has a similar functionality to the X-Noise is just even a little bit more complex.

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Used tags are amp,Bleed,buzz,click,cut,electric guitar,EQ,equalizer,frequency,gate,guitar amp,hum,Noise,noise reduction,noise removal,Pop,Pro Tools,q10,the pro audio files,theproaudiofiles.com,waves

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