Fix Video Audio

Most bad audio can be fixed, and whatever can’t can be replaced.

Two cavemen journey out into the world of prehistory. As both cavemen revel in the discovery that the world doesn’t end at the edge of the village, a train’s whistle comically blares on by. Although microphones have advanced to a point where the background noise can be eliminated, some noises such as a train wail or a cell phone ring during a 1920’s bootlegger escape scene can become an auditory nightmare for a filmmaker. Fortunately, random noises, static or even low audio recordings can be fixed within most film editing programs and some audio programs.


Fixing Low Audio

1. Final Cut is mostly a footage editing program, but it can still help in audio.

Open “Final Cut.” Go to “File”>”Import”> “File.” Import the digital footage that you would like to edit. The footage should appear within the “Media Browser.” Drag the video into the “Timeline.” The “Timeline” is split in two horizontally with the top half being video and the bottom half being audio.

2. Double click the bottom half of the “Timeline” to access the audio controls above.

3. Go to “Window”>”Audio Meters.” A thin window should appear. Keep an eye on this window. If the audio passes into the red or further, it will distort the footage audio. In the audio controls, move the “Level” marker right to make the audio louder or left to make the audio quieter.

4. With Garage Band, it is possible to add other sounds to add to ambiance.

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Open GarageBand, and drag the footage into a track. The footage track should appear at the very top. The audio for the footage should be below this. Next to the audio track is a control panel. The volume can be fixed from here by dragging the volume control left or right.

Fixing Distracting Background Noise

5. Audacity is one of the best free audio editing software.

Open “Audacity.” Although it is possible to drag in a video with audio, Audacity may take to long to render this out. It is best to just bring in the sound file of the footage. Go to “File”>”Open,” and find the footage audio file.

6. Play the audio, and listen for static or distracting sounds. Select an area where there is no dialogue and highlight it. Go to “Effect”>”Noise Removal.” Press the “Get Noise Profile” button. Go again to “Effect”>”Noise Removal.” Press the “Preview” button to hear if the background static is gone. Move the removal control towards “More” or “Less,” depending on how much removal is needed. Press the “Remove Noise” button to remove this noise. Then select the whole audio track then go to “Effects”>”Noise Removal.” Preview the track and then press “Remove Noise.”

7. Sound Booth allows anyone to edit audio with footage playing.

Drag the footage onto the “Adobe Sound Booth” icon. Highlight the noise that must be taken out. Select the “Tasks” Panel. Click on “Clean up Audio,” and then click on the “Noise” button. Click preview to listen to the highlighted area and change the noise removal settings. Press “OK.” Then click on the “Capture Noise Print.” Select the whole audio track, and click on the “Noise” button. Make sure “Use Capture Noise Print” is on, and press “OK.”

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