Let’s talk about how to reduce background noise and improve microphone sound. These tips will be helpful whether you are on a phone call or recording your voice.
We’ll cover several different areas, so please read each section carefully.
When you’re done reading, you will learn how to ensure the best microphone quality.
Start with the hardware
If you really care about achieving the best sound quality, you really need to spend some money on a better microphone and some equipment. Fortunately, this is actually quite a bit. For example, you can buy Blue Snowball Ice for less than $ 50.
Then you can get a good mic stand or bracket for under $ 10 on Amazon and a pop filter for a similar price. With this equipment, you can set yourself up with a microphone that can focus on your vocals and not on anything else.
But this is not limited to your microphone. You should think about how you set up your office or playroom, and think about how you can rearrange your equipment so that your microphone doesn’t pick up keystrokes, mouse movements, or other small noises.
You should also think about how to keep windows and doors closed to reduce the amount of sound you pick up from outside, and make sure everyone who lives with you knows that you are recording and you need some silence.
Use a program to remove background noise
If you want the purest possible sound, you can go further by using software that prevents the microphone from picking up noise outside of your vocal range.
You can use a squelch to ensure that your microphone only picks up sound when it hears sounds in a specific decibel range. This is ideal for drowning out the hum of fans, cars on the street, or even conversations in other rooms.
There is no squelch setting that works for everyone, so you need to adjust the open and close threshold so that the squelch picks up your voice, but nothing else, and also so that it doesn’t interrupt if you start speaking a little more quietly.
Some programs, like OBS, have a built-in squelch in their microphone filter settings, but if you want a system-wide option for Windows 10, there are two popular options.
The first option is NoiseBlocker, a very easy-to-use noise reduction software that either costs $ 9.99 for full use, or you can use it for free for 1 hour a day. NoiseBlocker can be configured to actively listen for certain noises, and it will block them.
Another option is NoiseGator, which is a completely free alternative, but sometimes there are some frustrating bugs that can often cause it to stop working. The NoiseGator can be used to create a gate that will stop your microphone recording if the sound does not fall within the specified decibel range.
Unfortunately the developer NoiseGator has scrapped the project, so there is no hope of fixing these issues. However, some users have never had a problem with NoiseGator, so it’s worth experimenting with both to find out which one works best.
Clean up sound after recording
Generally, when it comes to recording high quality audio, there is a sequence of steps to follow. The first step is to go out of your way to get the clearest, highest quality sound from your equipment. This means creating a quiet environment and setting up the microphone correctly.
If you’re struggling to minimize background noise, speak clearly, and soundproof your room, you don’t have to worry too much about trying to fix the sound after the fact. The next step is to use programs such as NoiseGator or NoiseBlocker to further reduce background sounds.
If even at this stage your sound is not perfect, you can clean it up for free in a program called Audacity. We’ll walk you through a few quick steps to ensure the clearest possible sound without any voice quality issues.
First, download Audacity for free. Then make sure you have a few seconds of silence each time you record before you start speaking. This will allow you to record an audio profile, which you can reduce in Audacity to eliminate any remaining background noise.
Then try to keep the recording in as few files as possible. Ideally, it is better to have one single entry, as this will simplify editing and preserve consistency. You can always cut out areas where you make mistakes and need to repeat.
With these tips in mind, it’s time to open up Audacity. Once inside Audacity, click File, Import, Audio. Navigate to the audio you want to import and click Open.
After opening, it’s time to reduce the background noise. First, click and drag the start of the timeline to get an empty area of ??the sound. This should be the sound you recorded before you spoke. It should look like the image above.
Then click Effect in the top toolbar and then click Noise Reduction.
A pop-up window will appear. In this window, click Get Noise Profile, making sure the empty sound is still selected.
Then press Ctrl + A to select the entire audio clip. Then click Effect and click Noise Reduction again. This time, click OK after making sure the entire clip is selected and Noise is set to Reduce. The background sound will now be removed.
Listen by pressing the play button. If you notice that some of your speech is too loud, or there is some variation in your speech levels, you can use Effects Compressor.
Use the image above as a guide for correct vocal settings for general speech. If it’s too quiet or too loud, you can also use Effects Gain to increase or decrease the overall volume.
The setting used will depend on how loud you want your voice, but usually a 3–10 decibel boost or cut range is enough to achieve an acceptable voice level.
When you’re done, you can click File Export and then Export as the file type of your choice. By default, you have MP3, WAV, and a few other audio files. If you are unsure what to use, I would recommend MP3.
Thanks for reading our guide on how to reduce background noise and improve sound with a microphone. If you’ve read this far, you’ll find out how to improve your hardware setup, install audio enhancement software, and tweak the already recorded audio to clean up your voices.
Need help or have questions? Let me know by leaving a comment and I’ll try to reply as soon as I can.