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I've got a recording setup where it's very difficult to eliminate certain noises in the recording itself - I suppose you could say it's a type of field recording. It's a microphone built into a VR headset that is strapped to my face, so I can't change the positioning, and there is a very limited set of mods I can make to the physical mic itself. I've tried hot-gluing some foam over the mic opening as a pop filter but it doesn't do much and it's difficult to fix in place. I also can't just learn to breathe in a different way, because I'm often quite active and immersed in the activity when I'm making the recording.

Long term I probably need to get a proper lav mic, but in the meantime I'm stuck with this current setup, so I need a post-processing solution.

I've found there's a specific whistle in my nose that I find extremely irritating and I saw a tutorial showing you how to eliminate certain frequencies from your recording. Basically you take a narrow band in the EQ, boost it high and sweep along the frequencies until you hear the bad frequency get really loud. You then know you've found the problematic sound and you just lower the volume of that band until the noise is dealt with.

You can see in this clip how I've used a parametric EQ to isolate 5763Hz and cut out a band 100Hz wide by -20dB, and you can hear the difference in the sound:

I'm not trying to eliminate the breathing sounds entirely, just that horrible whistling noise.

Is this the right way to go about it?

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    Is it the right way? Did it work? If it works, it’s the right way. If it doesn’t, it’s not. Mar 17, 2023 at 14:43
  • I suppose as someone completely new to this space I'm really looking for a sanity check, and that's also why I gave the example of the fix so you can hear the difference. If people who know what they're talking about look at this and think it's reasonable then I guess that's my answer. Mar 17, 2023 at 15:15
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    This is kind of hard to answer. "Is it a good way?" really depends on what software you have access to. If all you have is EQ, then it's the best you can do. Modern "AI"-based noise reduction can probably do a far better job in one-click.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 18, 2023 at 10:40
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    That's actually a pretty good answer tbh. I ended up finding an RNNoise based VST plugin that's open source and it works way better: github.com/werman/noise-suppression-for-voice I've answered my own question with this information. Mar 22, 2023 at 9:46

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Based on a comment I got that said "if all you have is EQ, then it's the best you can do. Modern "AI"-based noise reduction can probably do a far better job in one click", I found this VST plugin that's free & open source: Real-time Noise Suppression Plugin.

This works way better, and although the breathing is much lower than feels natural, the overall sound is much better.

So I'd say the answer is that there is better noise reduction out there for free as long as you have access to VST plugins, which basically every sound program under the sun should do.

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