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Hello all,

i really really hate noise(mic/preamp noise), and my recording rig isn't that great(fostex fr2le, 2x rode nt5), cleaning up some sfx, that were close mic'ed, is easy with izotope rx2, you basically teach rx2 a noise profile from quiet moments, and it works great, but how do i get rid of noise from a nature/ambience recording? any particular techniques?

ohh and one more question, at what levels should be nature/ambience sounds recorded? i mean nobody will put a -3db recording of nature in a movie or game, i found that -20 is sort of good level, thou there is a little bit of noise then, at least in my situation.

edit: the noise is not that horrible at all, but it still bugs me :)

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Try recording some samples with the mic preamp set to the level that you used for the recordings, but without connecting the mic, and then use the micless file for the profile to subtract noise from the ambient recording.

Most of the noise will be from the preamp, mics are generally quiet compared to preamps.

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hi Iain, just a quick question, what if the mic's have audible hiss themselves. in my case the dpa 4060's have a beautiful sound and wide spectrum but a selfnoise of 24 dB. would connecting them and silencing the environment, be of any use? my sonosax preamps have very low noise specs, so i'd think they won't be an issue.. – Arnoud Traa Oct 1 '12 at 15:36
If you want to build a semi-anechoic chamber, this would definitely give you a base line recording for a profile. – Iain McGregor Oct 1 '12 at 16:10
haha, ok i get your point :) – Arnoud Traa Oct 2 '12 at 8:20


If you want to clean nature ambience, it depends if you want to remove hiss from preamps or if you want to remove atmospheric-nature sounds, who makes a nature-ambience muffled. If you record some ambience outside, you have some ugly frequency about 1khz or lower who gives a lot of (atmospheric) noise in the ambience. Try to drag them out with an equalizer. If you want to make something more clear and not that far, remove some low-end or semi-low end about 200hz. Also a lot of noise will be about 500Hz. If you record some bugs or some stuff in the foreground, I also would recommend to remove some 'hissing' or roaring frequencies to make it clearer.

For recording in the field, it's different than recording loud fx. For that, you need a really good preamp. Building good preamps needs expansive components and cannot be done cheep. Also I recommend to use omnidirectional microphones for exterior ambiences. They are much more insensitive against wind than directional. But it does not change the fact that you need the most finest stuff for non-hissing exterior recordings. And on some level, every environmental-situation starts hissing, because the nature itselfs hiss, for example if there is somewhere a river or far distant wind. But you should be able to record some quite things like wind in grass or so.


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