Remove a Sound in Adobe Soundbooth
The usual way to remove unwanted sounds is to determine the frequency range of the sound, then reduce the level of that frequency range while the sound occurs. This can be a tricky task depending on the nature of the sound and the experience of the editor — it helps to be able to guess the approximate frequency of a sound before trying to deal with it.
Adobe Soundbooth makes the process a lot easier with it's Spectral Frequency Display. This allows you to see a visual representation of the audio waveform and offending sound.
In the tasks panel, click Remove a Sound. The following options appear:
Using one of the tools, select the area around the sound you want to eliminate (note: There is also an option to keep only the sound you select). The selection tools are (from left to right):
- Time Selection: Select all frequencies over a given time period.
- Frequency Selection: Select a range of frequencies over the whole clip.
- Marquee: Select a rectangular area of frequencies and time.
- Lasso: Select a hand-drawn area of frequencies and time.
The example below shows an unwanted burst of 10kHz tone in an audio file. The tone is visible as a horizontal yellow line in the first image.
The second image shows what happens when you use the marquee tool to select the unwanted tone. A small window pops up allowing you to reduce the gain of the selected area. Lower the gain until the unwanted sound is reduced to an acceptable level.
- In most situations the unwanted sound will be more spread out than the simple example above. You will need to use your discretion when selecting the exact area to work on.
- In most cases the unwanted sound is unavoidably entwined with some of the sound you want to keep. You may need to compromise the need to reduce the sound with the need to maintain the quality of the desirable audio.
- Sound removal is never perfect. In many cases the best you can hope for is a moderate improvement.