Airplane Background Noise Reduction Testing

Since Sonnox just introduced a new version of their restore plug-ins it seemed like a fun opportunity to play around with them on the airline background sound I recorded over the weekend. Here is the original file.


Initially the Sonnox software wasn’t giving me the results I wanted so I fired up RX4 and did a bunch of tests with it, then went back and spent some time getting to know the Sonnox stuff better. I ran the DeBuzzer module on a lark to see what it would do with broadband noise and it surprised me by finding some interesting noise to remove.


The DeNoise module allowed me to do some pretty interesting tweaking and I ended up with the following audio after using the two modules together (I didn’t use the DeClicker for this test). Not great and a little swishy, but the software shows some promise as a set of noise reduction tools if I can allocate more time to learning them.


Here are some of the passes from RX4. The first is one pass of the Dialogue Denoiser in auto.


Next is one pass of the Dialogue Denoiser with manual slider adjustments.


Third is one pass of the regular Denoiser after learning the background noise.


Finally is the learned background noise played against the original audio but phase reversed so cancellation can be adjusted as desired with the mixer (both are set the same for this sample).


All of this was done fairly quickly with the aim of making out more of the flight attendant’s speech. More time and more tweaking would improve the results, but they aren’t too horrible for just a little bit of invested time. The Sonnox pass and the final pass where the noise is extracted then canceled by reversing phase are probably my favorites of the bunch, but they received a lot more attention and time than the RX4 passes.

About Jay

Jay Yeary is an audio, media, and broadcast engineer. Click here to find out more.

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