COMPREHENSIVE Guide: How to Remove Background Noise, Buzzing, Hum in Premiere Pro

LEARN ALL THE SECRETS OF ADAPTIVE NOISE REDUCTION! | Finally learn to use Adaptive Noise Reduction to achieve results that actually work and learn to get rid of that 2-second delay we all know and hate. Also check out the amazing power of Audition CC and use that with Premiere Pro for even better background noise removal.

In this Premiere Pro video editing tutorial, we will dive into the technical side of reducing and removing background noise, background buzz, background hum, and any buzzing or humming sounds using the Adaptive Noise Reduction and shipping the audio track over to Audition for heavy duty background noise reduction and the seamless workflow of Premiere and Audition. We will also FINALLY cover what all those sliders in Adaptive Noise Reduction are, how to reduce that annoying two second “Adapting” phase of the effect, and a super secret trick to applying the Noise Reduction to multiple clips without the re-adapting for each new clip. If you deal with sound, interviews, spoken word, or other in Premiere, you will find great value in this video.

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Site Exclusive Tutorial Recording Notes:

Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.

Remove Noise Using Adaptive Noise Reduction in Premiere

NOTE: This effect is famous for the “two-second delay” at the beginning of each clip on which it is used. This is happening because of the “auto” nature of this effect. The filter essentially needs to “test” the audio track to figure out what it must remove. The big issue is that almost always, the first few seconds of our audio sound like hot garbage.

We’ll fix that issue to the best of our ability right here, right now.

Look to your Effects panel and go Audio Effects>Adaptive Noise Reduction (the same process would apply for the obsolete DeNoiser, by the way) and drag that effect out onto an audio clip.

Look to the Effect Controls Panel and choose the “Edit” button that has appeared with the Adaptive Noise Reduction effect.

Here is a breakdown of the controls in this dialog box:

  1. Reduce Noise By: This is the number of decibels we’re going to reduce the unwanted noise
  2. Noisiness: This is the amount of original audio that we believe has the bad noise in it.
  3. Fine Tune Noise Floor: This is the level below which Premiere will reduce all audio to 0dB
  4. Signal Threshold: This is the level above which Premiere will not touch with this effect
  5. Spectral Decay Rate: This is how long, in milliseconds, Premiere should hold the correction it is making before reverting to no adjustment at all. Setting this too long or too short can give strange sounds especially as your audio moves in and out of bits of speech, blasts of music, etc…
  6. Broadband Preservation: This essentially sets a window which Premiere Pro will target/remove. I.e. at the default of 100Hz, a window of 200Hz is removed and all other sounds, 100Hz greater, or 100Hz quieter will be safe and sound.
  7. The FFT option is something called Fast Fourier Transform and it’s the range of frequencies that Adaptive Noise Reduction will examine.

 

The trick here is to tweak these effects until you get a desirable noise reduction. Avoiding extremes with any slider is usually a good mindset to have while working with this effect.

Now, to fix the two-second delay issue, I’ve found that the more I’m able to drag the Signal Threshold up (to at least 10dB) the much shorter the initial delay is for this effect.

It can be shortened to less than half a second at times.

However! This is still a horrible problem when you have lots and lots of clips of an interview or spoken word lined up on your editing timeline because the effect is restarting and re-analyzing the audio every time you have a new clip and therefore you have a new, terrible, two second delay each time. Unacceptable.

Here is the solution: Go Window>Audio Track Mixer and click on the little tiny arrow near the top, left corner of the panel to drop down the master audio effects for that audio track on your timeline.

Click any one of the open slots for audio effects and choose Noise Reduction>Adaptive Noise Reduction and then use the little knob to adjust each setting as you wish and use the little drop down menu to access each of the settings we talked about above and tweak your Adaptive Noise Reduction.

The beauty of this technique is that the effect is applied to the entire track so the analyzing happens just once at the very beginning of the clip. Still not perfect, but much, much better.

I’ve also found that you can cheat a little at the beginning of the clip and reduce the volume of that part of the clip by Cmd/Ctrl + clicking on the volume path on the timeline and reducing the volume there a few dBs. Reducing the volume to zero seems to prevent Premiere from “hearing” the audio enough to prevent a two-second delay and you’ll still hear background noise while the effect works things out when there is an actual volume on the clip/track.

The best solution is taking the audio out of Premiere and into Audition. I cover that next:

Remove Background Buzzing in Audition

Right click the clip and open in Audition and, thanks to Adobe’s “Dynamic Link” we’ll have our audio popped right into Audition with no problem.

Hit “T” to choose the Time Selection Tool and highlight an area where the background noise is isolated

Go Effects>Noise Reduction>Capture Noise Print

Deselect what we highlighted by going Edit>Select>Deselect All (because we’re applying this noise reduction to the whole clip, we don’t need to do a Select All, everything will be affected.)

And to use this Noise Print go Effects>Noise Reduction>Noise Reduction (process) and Audition will use the Noise Print to target JUST that constant buzzing/humming/background noise and remove it.

You can usually roll with the default settings and get a really great result.

Save the file and Close Audition and the file will be auto-updated in Premiere.