7 ways to reduce background noise while recording

7 ways to reduce background noise while recording

There are a few meanings relative to noise floor. And it’s your job as an independent artist and/or producer to understand each meaning and work around them.

Imagine four walls, a ceiling, and a floor. Now imagine there’s a flood of water pouring through the front door. In effect, that water is the slight hum coming through your studio monitors. But it can also be cars rumbling by outside your window. In fact, it can be electrical noise from your gear or any disruptive sound your recording gear picks up…

  • The definition of the noise floor
  • Background noise as a noise floor
    • How to reduce background noise while recording
    • Perform closer to the mic
    • Acoustic panels & bass traps
    • Lay a rug over wooden flooring
    • Record with closed curtains
    • Plug your equipment into the same outlet
    • Check your cables

when shopping for audio interfaces and other electrical audio gear, you’ll notice figures next to metrics like THD+N and Signal to Noise Ratio. These metrics refer to the amount of signal that will leave your audio interface that isn’t the signal you’re monitoring – noise.

But the Signal to Noise ratio is a little more specific of the two. SNR represents the difference between the level of noise to the level of your signal, expressed in dB.

So in this respect noise floor is a technical difficulty that studio gear gives us to deal with. Your microphone, studio monitors, and audio interface all generate electrical noise as a byproduct.

To summarise, the noise floor is the amount of unwanted signal that a device produces. The amount will usually be so little that you won’t hear it unless you really push the gear to its limits. After all, if your audio interface produces lots of unwanted noise before you input any signal, it’s not a very good audio interface. As a result, the lower the noise floor is, the better your recording will be.

Best beginner audio interfaces for recording vocals and guitars

Pop filters break up and reduce the speed of air from your mouth before it reaches your microphone. In turn they reduce how prominence of popping plosives.

Acoustic panels & bass traps

cables may not be perfect. An easy fix may be to replace your cables if wiggling your existing cables doesn’t do the trick.

If wiggling your cables a bit doesn’t work, you may need new ones or a new audio interface!

Final thoughts

As you may have now figured, isolating your recording setup from environmental noise is a key part of getting the right recording.

Furthermore, ensuring your electrical gear isn’t causing en masse of sound problems via electrical hum is important too. If your studio monitors are outputting a little bit too much hum or potentially digital distortion, look at your power sources.

You may find that plugging your speakers into a different power output than the rest of your gear solves the problem. However, in my experience this isn’t always the case.

What is digital audio? A guide for music producers

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