How to remove unwanted background noise in Soundtrack Pro

I’ve been having issues with a subtle background hissing noise when capturing audio for the narration on my documentary Blvd. Warriors, and I finally found a great combination of techniques to reduce, or even completely remove the unwanted noise. I’m working with Soundtrack Pro, but most professional level audio programs have similar commands.

  1. Under the “Process” menu, go to Effects > EQ > Channel EQ.
  2. Once the palette opens, click on the “Show Presets” button on the lower right side of the palette.
  3. Open “User Presets” in the palette, and scroll down to “07 EQ Tools”, then sample various selections, based on your needs. This will help punch up the audio or sound you want to keep.
  4. Once you’ve chosen the effect that most appealing, click the “Apply” button (“Bass Improve 03” worked for me). Before applying the effect, you can use the play button within the palette to test out the various options.
  5. After applying the effect, close the palette, and double click on the Track you’re editing to pull up that Track’s waveform.
  6. Move the cue to just before the beginning of the audio, so you only hear the background noise you want to remove.
  7. Go to Process > Noise Reduction > Set Noise Print. This will select that sound as a marker for the sound to be reduced.
  8. Go to Process > Noise Reduction > Reduce Noise. This will pull up a palette that will give you some options to reduce the offending sound. Be sure to test the results before clicking on the “Apply” button. In some cases, you may not want to completely remove the sound. Use the “Noise Threshold” and “Reduction” levels, to adjust the sound accordingly. Again, you can use the play button within the palette to test out the effects.

That’s it. Give me some feedback, and let me know if this helps, or if you have some other techniques to reduce background noise.