The final step in my recommended noise reduction and unwanted sound removal workflow is to use the Sound Remover effect. The Sound Remover effect was added to the most recent version of Audition. It's a powerful tool. It does some amazing things. It uses what Adobe calls the Semi-supervised Source Separation. And that may sound like mumbo jumbo, but just let me run that past you again.
Semi-supervised meaning: You tell it what to do. And it also figures out what to do. And then source separation: It literally separates the stuff that you want to get rid of from the good stuff. It does an amazing job of taking away unwanted sounds and leaving the good sounds behind. It works very well with sounds that are prominent like a hum, like this.
Now the noise reduction effect can take care of that too, but this one works better with a hum. Also works well with a fan noise like this. Takes that up pretty well. Doesn't work very well with hiss, for example. So leave that for the noise reduction.
Where it really shines though is with dynamic sounds. Sounds that change over time like a cellphone ring. Like this. Or I think you'd be amazed by these sirens. Go to the 'noise-siren+music.wav' over here. Let's do that. Even this part here. We can use the Sound Remover effect to get rid of those guys and leave the music behind.
It's really remarkable. Let's go back to 'noises-music.wav' here. We'll start working on that file. Let me get rid of this hum. Now the workflow that I use with the Sound Remover is a little bit different than the workflow I do with the noise reduction. That's because I like to work inside the Preview Mode here to see how things work.And when you preview the Sound Remover, it can take a little bit of time, because it's working really hard.
So let me show you the process that I go through here. First of all, I make the selection of the sound that I want to remove. So I'm going to expand the view here a bit by pressing the plus key a couple of times. Now I want to select just this area at the beginning. We slide this to left here. I want to get just that area there. So I'm going to use the Marquee selection tool here. Just like that part right there. We need to get it above here, because it's so quiet up there. I really don't need to select that. There's some sound back here that I might want to get later, but we'll just do one pass here in this particular instance.
Now I want to get that sound model. So I go to Effects. I go down to Noise Reduction / Restoration. Now if I were doing Noise Reduction, I just click on this and get the Capture Noise Print within that effect, but it works a little bit better to get the sound model in advance here.
So I'm going to click on this and get the sound model. You get this message saying you're going to do this thing and it's going to be part of the Sound Removal effect. That's fine. But though they call it Sound Removal here but in fact it's called Sound Remover. So I won't show this again. Click OK. Now we've got the sound model.
Ok, I'm going to click away now. I'm going to select the area that I want to preview. Now most times you're probably going to want to apply this to an entire file. Here I've just got this one section I want to apply it to, but if you apply it to an entire file or preview the entire file, it can take a long time if it's a long file. So I want to select just a part of the file when I do this process. Then I'll select the entire file later when I'm done tweaking this particular instance of this effect.
So to get my selection tool here, my time selection tool, and select just this part of the file, and go get my effect. Effects, Noise Reduction / Restoration, Sound Remover. It's already previewing that process and showing you the end result right down there. You can see that that hum is virtually gone. If it had been the noise reduction effect there'd be some residual hum down there, but it's gone here in the Sound Remover.
Let's just preview that by moving the playhead about there and play this. Amazing. I'm going to turn it off for the time being here. Bring that down there and see what it sounds like with the hum. So go back and turn it back on again. It'll preview; now it's going to play back. Crisp and clean. It takes care of that hum without breaking a sweat.
Now there's some presets here and some controls down here. I'll explain those in just a moment, but you can see how it works really well just by selecting that hum. Let's move on down the line to that fan. So we hear a couple of clips there. It's the fan sounds like here. I'll get rid of the selection so I can play it.
You can see that has more frequencies here. I want to make sure I get that hum up there. Let me get the Marquee selection again. Select this area there. Like so. We'll go get the sound model: Effects, Noise Reduction / Restoration, Learn Sound Model. I'm going to click away and select this section herewith my time selection tool and select just that area there. And we'll apply the Sound Remover again: Effects, Noise Reduction / Restoration, Sound Remover.
Watch what happens down here to that fan noise. It's previewing that section there. And it didn't get rid of all of it. That's because the fan noise is kind of complex .It's not just a hum, it has overtones and things like that. So we need to adjust some things. Let's just take a look at the presets. There's High Content Complexity, that would be typically speech. High Noise Complexity, in this case that's what we want to play with here, because that hum's many frequencies. So let's switch to High Noise Complexity and see what happens to these settings 10, 40, 10, 40.
They're going to go to 100, 40 and 14, 40. What that means is now it's a high complexity in terms of the sound model, the thing you want to remove. Notice the preview is taking much longer now. It's working really hard to make that model and then remove it. Alright; let's see what it does this time. And it does remove more of the sound.
Let's play this. So it took care of that fan noise pretty well. You can adjust these guys manually, if you change the Sound Refinement Passes to a greater number. It just goes over and over again and actually improves the quality. The same thing down here, if you want to have the content be more complex and the refinement process meaning pass it several times. It will work harder and take longer and it might do a better job. Let's move on down the line here to something else.
Moving on down to the cough that was down here. The cough is basically impossible to remove, but I do want to show you the process. You can give it a try. Take the Marquee selection tool. I'll select this cough right there. So let's try to move that cough there.
To do that I need to get the model again: Effects, Noise Reduction / Restoration. Get that model. Now I'm going to select this region here. There to there. Back to Sound Remover. And we'll see how it does with the cough. There's that cough that it's trying to fix right there. I'm going to change it from the High Noise Complexity to just the (Default) setting. It'll go faster now. You can see it did a pretty good job of getting rid of it apparently. But let's listen to it for a second.
I'm going right through there and play it. It's still prominent and the music kind of dips there. So it's really hard to get rid of cough. It's a very complex sound. And I don't think that this effect could do that or any effect could really do that, when the cough is in the middle of music like that. But it can get rid of a cellphone ring, because it's fairly easy to identify a cellphone ring. So let's take care of that one.
I'm going to use the Paintbrush tool here. It's best to use a selection that can do things fairly discreetly. So I'm going over here and zoom in a bit by pressing the plus key a couple of times. And get the Paintbrush tool here and that will select the area for us. I'm just going to paint over that little part right there.
Now I want to paint over this next part. If I click and paint, it's going to do a new selection. But if I hold down the Shift key, I can paint multiple instances here of these various little stripes there. I can get several versions of this sound like that. And get this one down here as well. So I'm using the Shift key to do multiple selections. If I wanted to use the Lasso tool I could here, but if I change the Lasso tool like this and hold on the Shift key it will start all over again. You can't combine the two selection tools.
So I go back to the Paintbrush tool do this work all over again And Shift key; hold this down; a couple of times here. We'll grab these parallel lines; a few sets of these guys which should be sufficient. Notice it didn't quite cover up that little yell there. I'm going to paint it again; make sure it's darker or opaque. Ok. We've made this little selection here. Let's go over to Effects, and go back down here and get the sound model.
Let's cut the sound model now. Let's select that area so I'm going to zoom out a bit with the minus key or the hyphen key. Let's select that region there. Go back. Get the time selection tool. We'll get just that cellphone ring there. This next one here is completely different, so that won't work here. Effects, Noise Reduction / Restoration, Sound Remover (process)...And look what happens there. That cellphone ring is virtually gone down here just using the (Default) setting.
We'll preview it. You could maybe faintly hear the cell phone back there, but nevertheless that was pretty darn good. You can change the (Default) setting hereto Ringing Cell Phone Removal right there. Look at the numbers again 10, 40, 10, 40. We'll change it. Numerous passes here for the content. And slightly more complex sound model here. Let's preview that now.
In fact it's not as good as the default setting in my view. I'll go back to the (Default) setting again here. Maybe just fine tune a little bit by saying that sound model should be a little bit more complex, perhaps like that. And also we can change the FFT Size. But we'll first check this. So just a little clicking there. The FFT Size refers to Fast Fourier Transform. And basically the smaller the number, the smaller the sample area that's being changed.
So smaller numbers sometimes works better when you've got little bits of sound like that. Let me change this to a smaller number and see how that changes things. It might not help. Let just see. It tends to remove more sound there. So it'll be more muffled now. You can hear the sound get muffled there. Let's take a high value here like 16,000. You see that that also does not help. So basically the middle ground here is probably the best bet.
Let's go back to about 8,000. Let's try that. I get a little bit of cell phone ringing here. Let's try this. I think you can see how that works. And if I had done a better selection here that might have come out a little bit better.
All right; let's take a look at the siren now which I think will just be amazing. Let's listen to it first of all. I'm going to zoom in a bit here by just right-clicking over here and dragging this little area so we can get a better look at this. I get my Paintbrush tool, needs to be a little bit larger but I'm going to keep it small like this, to show you that you can paint twice.
Do this here like that. Now I get this bottom part as well. Like so. Bring this down like that, holding down the Shift key here as I go along. I get these overtones here. Like so. Same routine, I'm holding down the Shift key. You have to actually drag it to mark it, you can't just click. So you got to click and drag to make that work. Let me just reset this now. Zoom Out (Frequency). This again. Like so. Like that; so it's more opaque. This. Get that up there, and I think we've got a pretty good selection.
I'm not going to get this part here, because the sound is so similar that this should take care of that. So I'm going to go get this sound model: Effects, Noise Reduction / Restoration, Learn Sound Model. I'm going to click away now. And I'm going to just work on the entire file here, because it's a relatively short file.
So I'm going to go to Effects, Noise Reduction / Restoration, get the Sound Remover (process)...Right now it says (Custom) up here. So it's taking a while. Let me switch back the (Default) here. Let's do that instead. There you go. Look at that. The siren is essentially gone.
A little bit left over there. Let's listen to it. Sort of hearing it there. Sirens are in fact relatively complex, because they change frequencies. Even though it's of similar sound, but the frequency change makes it complex. So let's increase the complexity here. Like that. We'll go through another preview. It'll take longer. There you go. Let's try this again now. It's a little bit muffled. That's the problem when you do that. There's always this kind of fine-tuning, right? But then there's this preset.
Let's try that. There's fewer artifacts or Less Artifacts and More Artifacts. We'll go with Remove Siren - More Artifacts here. See how that works. If you see, the settings are now 20, 40 and 19, 40; basically the default settings. Let's listen to this now. Is that not amazing? The siren is gone. I'll turn it off. Back here. Turn it back on. Remarkable.
So there you go. The Sound Remover tool does this great job of lifting unwanted sounds away from the sound that you want to retain. It takes care of dynamic sounds, sounds that change over time and sounds that are prominent, sounds that are in the foreground.
- Open your project in Audition and select the area you want to adjust.
- Go to Effects > Noise Reduction/Restoration > Learn Sound Model.
- Select part of the file to preview Sound Remover. Go to Effects > Noise Reduction/Restoration > Sound Remover.
- Repeat this process (selecting, learning, removing) to clean up audio.
Contributor: Jeff Sengstack