How to Clean Up Noisy Voiceover Recordings with iZotope RX

April 5, 2017 by Andrew Emge in How-To

How to Clean Up Noisy Voiceover Recordings with iZotope RX

Learn how to quickly fix common voiceover audio issues including background noise, mouth sounds, and plosives.

Your clients expect high quality dialogue, and sometimes this can be a challenge. iZotope’s RX Audio Editor has become a go-to for sound professionals in film, TV, game audio, and broadcast to repair, enhance, and restore problematic audio quickly and easily. So we put together these quick tips and tricks for RX to help you deliver clean, high quality sound to your clients.

Voiceover Microphone TechniqueCreating professional voiceover, narration, or podcast recordings starts with proper recording technique. Achieving crisp, clear results requires good mic positioning – on axis with the subject at an appropriate distance depending on the mic – and use of a pop filter to reduce plosives.

However sometimes resources are lacking, the unpredictable occurs, or a client delivers what sounds like a 19th-century wax cylinder recording. In situations like this, use these RX tips and tricks to fix common voiceover recording problems:


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Remove plosives with De-plosive

iZotope RX De-plosivePlosives are strong blasts of air from letters such as P, T, K and B that impair the sound of your recording. They’re typically heard as low-end thumps between 20–300 Hz, though sometimes as high as 500 Hz.

iZotope’s RX 5 Advanced provides a De-plosive module to identify plosives, and then separate and remove them from the audio signal while preserving the fundamental frequency and harmonics of the dialogue.

Be sure to use De-plosive before filtering the audio at all. The function uses a frequency band between 20-80 Hz to detect plosives – so if a high-pass filter has already been applied, it is possible that plosive detection may not work correctly.

Remove mouth clicks with De-click

iZotope RX De-clickSensitive microphones can bring out mechanical noises of the mouth which can be very distracting. The De-click module can easily remove mouth clicks and lip smacks from your recording without affecting intelligibility.

The De-click module’s three tabs (De-click, De-crackle, Interpolate) are useful for repairing a wide range of clicks, pops, crackle, and even distortion artifacts.

By detecting and smoothing out amplitude irregularities, De-click can quickly remove mouth noises as well as a variety of other short impulse noises including clicks caused by digital errors, interference from cell phones, etc.

Remove background noise with Dialogue De-noise

Recording in a noisy city apartment, or even forgetting to turn off the air conditioner (oops), can introduce background noise into your voiceover or narration. RX’s Dialogue De-noise module is a simple, no-latency denoiser perfect for quickly attenuating a distracting noise floor without sacrificing harmonic content of the dialogue.

iZotope RX Dialogue De-noise

 

The noise threshold curve determines the amount of denoising. To avoid wasting time tweaking controls, Dialogue De-noise can intelligently analyze the audio to determine the best noise threshold for your signal. This can also be used to write automation in a DAW if you need to override the auto settings and manually correct the noise threshold.


Address rumble, hiss, and ess with Corrective EQ

To help mitigate steady background noise even further, use the Corrective EQ module before the Dialogue De-noise for prepare the audio file for enhancement or restoration and allow the subject to be heard more clearly and prominently.

Use Corrective EQ to cut harsh high frequencies, remove rumble from dialogue, or cut distortion overtones to increase the intelligibility of a your voiceover.

iZotope RX Corrective EQ

Below is an example of some production audio from a boom mic, but this method can just as easily be applied to background noise in a voiceover recording.

Create a Module Chain to rinse and repeat

If you frequently process audio in a specific way, Module Chains allow you to consolidate all these steps into your own signature processing chains for lightning-fast editing and enhancement of your audio:

Learn more about iZotope RX here and get repairing!


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Enter Pro Sound Effects Upgrade Your Sound Design Rig Giveaway:

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