3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 22, 2009 8:02 AM by the_wine_snob

    Can I reduce background restaurant noise?


      I'm editing a clip taken in a busy restaurant, and the background noise of the diners talking, chairs scraping etc. makes it hard to hear the dialogue I was recording.  Is there a way of minimising the noises I don't want?

        • 1. Re: Can I reduce background restaurant noise?
          Gazmum81 Level 1

          Sorry- should have said - I'm using PE3

          • 2. Re: Can I reduce background restaurant noise?
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            Unfortunately, there's really no way to remove wind, traffic or other background noise from a recording. That's why it's pretty common in Hollywood movies to "loop" or re-record dialogue for scenes shot on location or in high wind. Sorry.

            • 3. Re: Can I reduce background restaurant noise?
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              As Steve points out, many background noises can be impossible to filter out. This is especially true, where other human speech is involved.


              If you had pure wind, a constant mechanical hum, or similar, one could use the EQ, and some other restoration techniques, but not in cases, where the noise is full specturm, covering the frequences of human speech. If you remove those, you also remove your speech.


              Looping is one technique to restore your dialog. I'd also look at replacing your entire Audio Track with both an "ambient noise" Track (ambience SFX can be acquired from many sources, or created yourself by recording the sounds) and then basically doing "narration," with your actors in the studio, filling in the visuals, of them speaking.


              This is a good place to consider mic'ing techniques. If your camera will permit inputting a feed from a mic, or series of mics, this will really help your production. This input can range from a shotgun mic on a boom, moved between the speakers, to wireless lavaliers fed to a mixer. In commercial productions, there is an entire crew responsible for getting the audio, and these folk are both highly trained, and also supported by a truck filled with different mics, mixers, booms and miles of cabels and connectors.


              Back before digital, we had to re-shoot a long carriage ride around Jackson Square in the French Quarter in New Orleans. This was a pivitol dialog between the two main actors, and involved some dialog from the carriage driver. Though we had mic'ed the actors, and had another audio track of ambient noise, with a mic near the horse's hoves, and one for general ambience, tourists kept getting in the way and running up to talk, trying to find out what the film was about, and who the actors were. We even had crew members with signs trying to "wrangle" the crowds The script called for the entire scene to be shot in one take, for dramatic reasons. We ended up looping the dialog to three tracks (remember, the analog days) in the studio, going with the ambient tracks, and then having to use cut-aways liberly to mask a tourist's face popping into the carriage. After many goes, we just convinced the director that unless we paid for the police to shut the entire square down, and then paying "extras" for crowds, we were hosed. Everything had to be done in post. Luckily, we had an 8 track recorder to mix tracks, and were able to pull it off in "post." Still, not the shot that was desired - it just could not be pulled off.


              Shooting in a non-controlled environment is a challange, at best. One might get lucky, but it is doubtful.


              Good luck,