Help Using HitFilm's Audio Noise Reduction Feature

danielcrickmandanielcrickman Website User Posts: 2 Just Starting Out

I'm working on a project, and the audio sounds very clear and crisp- except for an underlying annoying sound that was picked up on set. It was something that we didn't have control over and couldn't turn off, and it makes the audio much worse. I've been trying to use HitFilm's "Noise Reduction" feature, but I'm having trouble understanding how to use it. All it says is "Capture noise print" and "add to noise print", but I'm not sure how to capture a noise print. If anyone could help me with this, I'd greatly appreciate it:)

Comments

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,950 Enthusiast

    Taken from the manual.

    This is a quick way to clean up audio which is suffering from unwanted background noise.

    After applying the effect, move the playhead to a frame containing a clean example of the noise. This should be a frame where there is no other interfering noises. For this reason when recording audio is is always worth recording a section of 'clean' audio before recording your actual subject. Clicking the Capture noise print button samples the frame, so that HitFilm can recognize the noise.

    In many cases the noise will be immediately removed. You can adjust the amount of removal with the Reduce by property - note that too much reduction can result in unnatural audio. Threshold is used to retain audio data, determining precisely how much of the original is removed. You can add additional detail to the noise print using Add to noise print, or reset the noise print entirely.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,313 Ambassador

    36:40 in this video.

  • HitFilmer128619HitFilmer128619 Website User Posts: 322

    I tried the noise reduction, per the instructions in the video. I kept tweaking the reduction and threshold. 

    There were a couple clips where it worked ok, but it drastically decreased the sound. 

    Mans there were one or two clips where the noise reduction had zero affect. I was moving the sliders all over the place and the audio didn’t change a bit. 

  • BobikarBobikar Website User Posts: 1
    edited September 2018

    Hi!

    Is there a step by step explanation how to use the noise reduction tool? The video from above does not help. 

    After clicking the "Add noise print" button, how do I actually apply the noise reduction? Because from simply clicking the button there is no difference in my audio whatsoever. It does not automatically reduce the noise. I used audicity before and that was quite simple. Here I dont get it. 

    Thanks for your help!

  • cjtman2cjtman2 Website User Posts: 3

    I am having the same issue with the audio not responding to the change.

  • silarsilar Website User Posts: 67 Just Starting Out

    Same here.  Seems like no matter what I do, I can't get it to work.  I have some clips where there is some white noise/hiss in the background.  If I add noise reduction, it doesn't seem to do anything.  If I drop the threshold down from 100% it then just lowers the overall audio down to the 'Reduce by' db level.  It doesn't actually remove the hiss.

  • HictorHictor Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 327 Enthusiast
    edited July 2019

    Personally, I'd advise ye gents to seek out Audacity rather then rely on this feature of Hitfilm just yet.

    Audacity's Noise Reduction/Profiling feature, I feel produces better results.

    Bare in mind, however, that you are *reducing noise* rather then completely removing it. So regardless of which tool you use, insure that you're steadily applying reduction in increments. It's a treatment, not a cure. Treatments are gradual; cures often involve not shooting in that troublesome location in the first place, but sometimes that's simply not an option.

    So at the end of the day, you'll have to settle with the best that you can get. An unfortunate reality in production.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,313 Ambassador

    To build on what @Hictor writes, note that, technically, a noise reducing plug-in is basically a graphic equalizer on steroids. Rather than 3, 6, 10, 30 bands of EQ a noise reducer has thousands (maybe over 10,000, depending on the algorithm). They work by taking a "noise print," which is a sample of the noise/hiss. This noise print is a snapshot of the bands where audio exists AT THE SEGMENT MEASURED (so, measuring hiss from a quiet area won't account for additional noise if, say, a fan kicks in or a car goes by).

    This snapshot is basically a record of the bands where noise exists, and the noise reduction is taking those bands down.

    You can NOT eliminate noise with this method entirely. It's better to get a clean recording to begin with. Note that trying to reduce TOO much noise will start grunging up the audio you want to keep. Voices can take on a scratchy, metallic quality, for example (Which can be used as a creative effect).

    Dedicated audio software can have noise reduction plug-ins of varying complexity (and some noise reduction plug-ins, such as those from WAVES can kind of generate their own noise prints on the fly, but that's mostly done by taking new snapshots when audio drops below a certain threshold), but the basic principle remains the same.

    Audio remains Hitfilm's weakest feature set - this is fine, since Hitfilm tries really hard to be a one-stop shop, and succeeds remarkably well (Hitfilm won't noise reduce as well as Audacity, but Audacity can't do VFX at all, right?). It's got the goods for basic editing, basic cleanup and some creative options (The Doppler shift is really Hitfilm's killer audio effect), but for detailed editing, you're going to want a dedicated audio program.

    This carries through to other NLEs. Vegas Pro has the best audio tools in NLEs (as Vegas started as a multitrack audio editor and added video later) followed by Resolve (Blackmagic purchased a mature audio editor and integrated it into the NLE), but any "real" TV/Film production might do temp mixes in the NLE, but the final mix is going to be farmed out to a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Pro-Tools is the most common DAW on the market.

    Audacity is a strong program, and it happens to be free. Audacity has the advantage of being able to use free and commercial VST plug-ins to expand the feature set.

    Hitfilm really needs a good time/pitch shift algorithm to round out the essential audio tools (it's really the only missing "essential" effect), and it would be very helpful if a future revision could use VST plug-ins, but, I suspect such a feature, if added, would be one of the few "Pro-Only" features, like the ability to use third-party OpenFX plug-ins.

    Anyway, in Hitfilm, the basic steps are to select a segment of pure noise (this can be hard to find. When filming you want to capture a "room tone," which is an additional recording of the environment from the camera position with no one talking), then generate the noiseprint. This only gives Hitfilm the EQ bands to change, and doesn't start magically reducing noise. This merely sets the audio range the sliders affect, so that's when you need to start playing with controls. Generally 12dB or so is about as much as things can be pushed before you start hearing it in the main audio. Depending on the audio you might be able to push as far as -24dB. After that, things will degrade quickly.

    As Hictor implied, it can be better to stack Noise Reduction plug-ins at lower levels of cut, resampling the noiseprint after the first instance of the effect is active. Better fine-tuning.

  • MoonsonsInspiredMoonsonsInspired Website User Posts: 1

    "You can adjust the amount of removal with the Reduce by property - note that too much reduction can result in unnatural audio. Threshold is used to retain audio data, determining precisely how much of the original is removed. You can add additional detail to the noise print using Add to noise print, or reset the noise print entirely." 

    Some follow-up questions from a new video editor:

    1) What should the threshold % be set to when capturing the sample frame? Assuming the "reduce by" is set at 12dB as Triem23 suggested above.

    2) If I am trying to reduce buzzing background noise, approximately how many times will I have to add a Noise Reduction effect?

    3) Does "add to noise print" mean you are adding to the noise print a completely different noise you want removed  such as clicking of the mouse? So to clarify, background buzzing and mouse clicks will be reduced.

  • TaisaDesignerTaisaDesigner Website User Posts: 3

    Hi! I just found that some of my video-tutorials have an annoying whistling sound on the background, caused by my computer cooling system. :(

    I have bought the audio package so I could apply noise reduction... And it does nothing. Absolutely no difference, it doesn't matter what I try. I think it should make at least something... But there is really no change on the sound.

    Any help about this?

  • HictorHictor Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 327 Enthusiast
    edited July 2019

    Hi @TaisaDesigner

    If you read this prior to my edit, ignore what I said about In & Out. Its not needed.

    With the audio in the Editor Timeline, bring the play head to a spot where its quiet (I mean, it has the fan noise and the room but not your voice, or anything like clicks for example)

    In the Noise Reduction effect, click "Add To Noise Print"

    And that's pretty much it.  Do not reduce it by too much or else you risk killing your vocals as well.

    I should probably make a tutorial for this on Youtube. 

  • TaisaDesignerTaisaDesigner Website User Posts: 3

    That is what I try, I add the "Noise reduction effect" to the audio track of the video at the Editor. Then I use the "Add to noise print" button when I am on a frame that clearly shows the noise. But I notice no change at all. Neither at the preview nor at the exported video. Even when I move the Reduce by to 100 dB. The Treshold makes all the sound quieter, even if I set 99,9%.

  • TRjobbTRjobb Website User Posts: 1

    Just spent 19€ to get noise reduction, but it doesn´t do a thing. I followed 2 tutorials, bu there is no change in noise whatsoever, no matter what values I put the sliders to. Equalizer works, and through that one, I can reduce a little of the noise.

  • DrGrizzlieDrGrizzlie Website User Posts: 3

    Also just purchased the add-on, and my initial tests are leaving me...unimpressed. My entire audio gets quieter, which I then try boosing with compressor or levels and the light hum/hiss that my lav mic produced still creeps in.

     

  • WJHandyDadWJHandyDad Website User Posts: 3

    Agreed, we need a clear and concise explanation of how to use this feature, because when I use it all I get is a quieting of the audio up to the "noise print" and then from that point on the audio is completely gone.  No matter what I set the sliders to, same exact effect.  Really disappointing.  I am trying to lose some of the breathing sounds that my lavalier mic is picking up... sounds like I'm constantly gasping for air.  Please help!!

  • TheBenNorrisTheBenNorris Staff Administrator, Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 1,572 Staff

    The noise reduction plugins work by taking a user-defined "noise print" and attempting to remove that print from the rest of the video. In my opinion, this is designed for removing consistent background noise, such as buzzing, humming etc. No doubt this will have little effect on "breathing sounds" as these are not a constant or consistent sound. One fix for that exact problem would perhaps be to invest in a pop filter/mic cover if possible.

    Hopefully this description helps with how to use it, and that you can understand why it will not work on sporadic noises.

  • scruz877scruz877 Website User Posts: 1

    Overall

    Extremely disappointed with the Noise Reduction plug-in.

    In my ideal use case, it did nothing but change overall volume.

     

    Steps

    -Watched videos in this thread

    -My video has consistent, constant computer whir

    -My video has hundreds of isolated computer whir frames

    -Captured isolated frame(s)

    -Tested Reduce By & Threshold Level 

    -Added to noise print

    -ZERO change in computer buzz noise

    -Effect reduced volume of both speech and computer whir

    -Experimented 10 times over numerous days

     

    Final Thoughts

    This product got me no closer to my goal of removing constant computer whirring from my audio.

    Found 0 noise reduction success stories online.

    Honestly I feel scammed - now I need to get a refund and still solve this problem.

     

  • fxhomer270202fxhomer270202 Website User Posts: 1

    So how I resolved it, I used full clips without cutting any parts. That is how it always worked on mine, and then i cut out the parts that I didn't need.

  • il3mil3m Website User Posts: 2 Just Starting Out

    I'm having problems with the noise reduction as well. I wanted to reduce the background humming noise but it doesn't work! Can I get a refund?

  • CleverTaglineCleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,047 Ambassador

    @il3m Please contact FXhome support directly if you wish to request a refund. This is primarily a user forum. While FXhome staff do post on occasion, they don't handle personal account issues here. The rest of us—including moderators—are fellow users, and not official FXhome staff.

  • il3mil3m Website User Posts: 2 Just Starting Out
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