Q: Can I use a low-pass filter to remove noise from my recording?

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Record-Producer.com.

Friday August 1, 2014
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A question from an Audio Masterclass student...

I have a problem with acoustic noise in my recordings. I can hear most of the noise at high frequencies. Is it an acceptable solution to use a low-pass filter to filter it out?

The correct way to handle acoustic noise is to eliminate it at the source or insulate against it. A recording studio that charges $2000 a day is expected to have a quiet noise background.

Unfortunately it can cost a lot of money to protect against acoustic noise adequately and for many people a certain amount of noise is inevitable. (Note that noise from a computer is a common problem that we hear in students' work, which can be solved by not having the computer in the same room as the microphone.)

If there are still acoustic noise problems, then the following actions can be taken, but each creates a further problem...

Anything you do to reduce the noise level other than eliminating it at the source or insulating against it will affect the signal. You will have to decide for yourself the best compromise between audible noise and degradation of the signal.

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