Noise Gates help

I had to record and interview in a dressing room. Audio is great, but there is the noise of an a/c unit running through it. Can I use a noise gate to overcome it & if so roughly what setting?

Hi @David

Not sure about this one. The best way would be to have a play around and see if it can somehow be removed. It would be dependant on the quality and actual audio itself, but please make sure you back up the original before playing around to ensure it can be switched back should anything go wrong.

Sorry I couldn’t be of much help, but I hope I’ve at least helped you find the solution. Someone else on here might have a better answer for you, but feel free to give mine a bash and see how you get on.

Please do let us know how you get on and if you need anything further.

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Thanks - the audio is good, and the a/c sound isn’t awful, just could do with reducing it a bit…I will think it over. Thanks @DavidHunterScot as always

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A noise gate won’t achieve what you’re looking to achieve here. A noise gate works by “removing” noise below a threshold level you set. Using a noise gate here you could set the threshold level of the background air con noise but once your and the interviewee’s voices are heard you’ll exceed the threshold so the air con noise will be back in the background and this probably wouldn’t sound ideal. Also, you’d have to be very careful if you went down the route of doing this that your attack and release times were set right.

I wouldn’t suggest noise gating here as I think it would sound unnatural due to the air con sound cutting in and out with the actual interview audio.

Your other option is adaptive noise reduction. If you let Adobe capture a noise print of the air conditioning (without your voices) then you could run the noise reducer to try and eradicate that noise but in doing this it would also remove any part of the voices that are also on the same frequencies Adobe detects as being the sound you want to reduce. This could affect the quality of your audio.

Which ever option you chose make sure you save an original of the audio in case you’re not happy with the results of trying to remove the air con sound.

The retrospective lesson is to always consider the environment you’re recording in before recording. Sometimes it’s impossible to get a “clean” environment to record an interview in so you just have to accept the background noise as being inevitable and make the most of your situation.


morning Mark - I was kind of wondering along those lines. The only thing is, I don’t know if I have enough time of just the a/c running without us talking. I will wander along these lines and see what happens. It is not awful, but if I can clean it up a tad, then so much the better. Thanks Mark, I shall have a look (and make sure that I keep the the original file safe). Cheers Mark

Good luck David

Just bear in mind people will listen primarily for the content. If the air-con isn’t too bad that it detracts from the interview then people will be focussing on the content and the air-con noise may well fade into the background of their listening experience as it did your recording experience.

Also bear in mind we’re usually also hyper critical of our own audio too so hopefully it’ll turn out alright for you.

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