How to reduce background noise on mic

How to Reduce Background Noise on Mic

Nothing is worse than being in a Zoom meeting or recording an audio or video on your computer, only to realize that the speaker’s voice is faint due to background noise. This article will tell you how to reduce background noise on mic. There are a few things you can do to reduce background noise on mic. You may ask yourself, “What is considered background noise, and will it be picked up through my mic?” 

Categories of Background Noise

There are four categories of background noises. The first is impulse noise, which is considered high in frequency but short in duration. This could be a pop, bang, or clicks.

The second is broadband noise, which is noise that is carried over a large range of frequencies. Some examples of broadband noise would be buzzing or hissing. 

The next background noise is narrow-band noise, which are continuous sounds involving a narrow range of frequencies. These noises could be anything caused by disconnects with the mic.

The last category is irregular (sometimes called electrical) noise, which is unwanted noise. These sounds vary in range, volume, pitch, length, and frequency. These noises are hard to get rid of and could be considered thunder, rain, car horn, siren, or even speech issues. In order to remove the most background noise possible, follow one of the different methods below. 

Methods and Options to Reduce Background Noise on Mic

Methods and Options to Reduce Background Noise on Mic

Are your headphones plugged in or connected through Bluetooth correctly to your computer and mic jack? Are there any noises around you that you could prevent? Examples could be televisions, people from open windows, people inside the building or your house, fans, music, time of day (busy traffic time). Is the mic close enough to your mouth? Sometimes if the mic is far away, it picks up more on background noise than your own voice. A tip would be to get your own mic or use headphones instead of AirPods. Speak more clearly and slowly. 

Option 1: Noise Suppression if You Have Windows 10 

This is a feature provided by Windows 10 that will allow you to turn on a noise reduction option. Go to the Search Box and go to the Control Panel App. Find where it says View and change it to Category. Find “Hardware and Sound” and click on Sound. Go to the “Recording Option”. Hover over the Microphone Device and right-click. Select Properties. Go to the Levels tab and adjust the microphone Boost level to +10dB. Then change your mic volume to 100. Go to the Enhancements tab and check the box for noise suppression/cancellation. Click Ok and apply changes.

Option 2: Noise Suppression if You Have a Mac

This is the same feature offered by Windows but it is a Mac version. Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner and go down to system preferences. Click on the sound option. Click on the Ambient Noise Reduction and check the box next to it. Hover over the slide feature until you get the correct balance between sound volume and noise. 

Free Software for Recording Audio

Free Software for Recording Audio
  • GarageBand (free) – Only available for iOS. Most Macs come with it but you would have to download it separately on your phone from iTunes. It is strictly an audio editing software unlike iMovie where video is an option as well. GarageBand lets you edit audios, sounds, and recordings in addition to its  noise cancellation option.  
  • Audacity (free)- Available for both iOS and PC. This is similar to GarageBand. Once downloaded, follow these steps to use the noise cancellation feature. Press Record but don’t speak for a few seconds. Click on the recorded part. Go to the Top and click on Effects. Click on noise reduction then Get Noise Profile. There are options to change but the recommendation is to keep the  default setting. Click OK. Record Again. 

Software for Recording Audio That Cost Money:

  • Krisp (free and a $5 plan for more GB storage)- Available for iOS and PC. You are allowed to download a free version which includes acoustic echo cancellation, room echo cancellation, power saving mode, 24/7 support, and 1GB of storage. You may also download a pro version for $5 a month which includes everything the free version has but has 10GB of storage.
  • iZotope ($16.66 a month) – Products that are available with the subscription: Noise cancellation, RX pro, ozone pro, neutron pro, nectar pro, neover pro, tonal balance pro, and insight pro. Although this website seems expensive it does offer lots of features other softwares do not. 

How to Reduce Background Noise on Mic: Conclusion

These are the options for you to utilize if you have trouble with background noise while recording audio. It can be annoying and frustrating to hear the noise after recording what you thought was good audio. Although some downloading can be time-consuming it will be worth it for you in the long run. 

Written by Olivia Morehead

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