It's spring here and the birds are singing - but sometimes you just don't want them in your recordings ... so my question to you is what are your tricks for getting rid of those birds in your recordings?

6 Answers 6


-> Wait till winter haha!

As a sound recordist, you need to plan your records over the year. You can't expect to go out in summer to make some snow records (here in switzerland you can, you have to go up to 4000 meter) or also you can't expect to got to a air show, record some great air-plane loopings without having all the stupid crowd and PA's on it. I made all this experiences! But for the Air-show, I realized that if I go 1km left or right you have a great place without people and the aircraft needs space and also pass you beside the runway.

Tools like RX2 or other plugins are (from my point) of view surgical tools and makes lot's of artefacts and should only be used last. Think about how large you need to rise the levels if you want to put out birds! RX2 is a tool, not a solution.

Here are some way's to make records without birds or bugs.

Summertime: Depending on your location, summer is ok to record birds, cricket and in switzerland cowbells. This starts from april to september. In this time, you can forget making clean records.

November-Feb: birds are away, bugs are dead, it is silent

Daytime: from 6.00-23.00: Airtraffic: a horrible problem for us recordists. Forget making records in a circle from 100km around an airport.

Nighttime: No other folks, no birds, great for recording

Sunday: Is great to make records, no construction works, but lot's of people -

Make the test: try to make a good record from a train stops/depart at the station without people on the record. Rushour is probably not the best time to do it.

So: It's always worth to think/plan before recording, it safes lot's of time and frustrations.



BOOM Library has DeBird, a tool that uses Deep Learning to automatically remove bird sounds from audio recordings.



iZotope RX 2:


  • yes - this is of course is one of the best tools for this type of work. what I've been doing is using the magic tool to attenuate the bird call and the harmonics, but it seems to always leave the ghost of the sound, do you know of any other ways of trying to get out harmonic sounds from a file?
    – RedSonic01
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 7:36
  • @RedSonic01 Of course there's no other way to grab harmonics or something like a bird call from a sound file than the Fourier transform. If there's a better tool, then it's just a better application than iZotope RX. But I think RX is made for this and there are many ways to tune the results so as to minimize leaving any remains of the removed harmonics (which RX can identify automatically from the sound's fundamental part/pitch). Commented May 14, 2013 at 15:12
  • 1
    @RedSonic: regarding the ghost of the sound, that's mostly (visually) indescernible harmonics and it's your brain at work at the same time. you can tweak the visual settings of the spectrum to highlight low amplitude sounds. What I also do a lot is simply selecting a piece of 'air' using rectangle from another timecode to past over the birdsong, somethimes that works even better than the lasso. And besides telling you to experiment more, also try to not listen too well to the sounds. You might think it's a very obvious sound, but maybe listening back a day later will show you it's not. Commented May 14, 2013 at 16:48

Wait till winter haha!

In all seriousness though, Internet Human's suggestion is a good one. RX2 is an incredible piece of software and brilliant for fixing problems where you can't re-record sounds.

I've come across the same problem here in the last few days, and I've decided to record my source at night. If you're about to record rather than trying to fix already recorded sounds, then I'd keep going back to your location and find the quietest time (or take an educated guess and turn up). If it's not viable to record/re-record, RX2 is the way to go.


  • 1
    I live in Finland and I was actually recording water splashes and impacts in a lake... your suggestion about winter and night would be fantastic however - In winter here all water is frozen and in summer there 24 hour daylight, so kinda stuck there ;) But yeah been using RX2 for the job is the best idea.
    – RedSonic01
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 7:42
  • Wow, that's nuts man! Must make for an interesting eco-system. Any unusual sounds over there that you wouldn't normally get in a day/night cycle summer? Cheers Commented May 14, 2013 at 12:57
  • Summer - not so much interesting apart from tourists - because the summer is quite short it means that we tend to get quite a condensed, because it doesn't get so dark birds etc. are more active during the night. Winter on the other hand has many interesting sounds, like studded car tire resonance, ice cracking on the lakes ... snow makes everything really quiet and cold (-20C and below) allows sound to travel a long way so everything sounds really acute.
    – RedSonic01
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 17:43


You can try Sonic No Noise or Waves WNS- both are pretty and not too pricy compared to something like the Cedar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nQn9KYSIdM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjLF62WQejY


iZotope RX2 and Adobe Audition have spectral healing powers. You can lasso birds out.

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