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Tutorial: Removing Pops and Clicks and Background Noise in Adobe Audition CS6

Two types of noises degrade the audio you shoot with your video: random noises like microphone clicks and pops, and consistent noises like white noise or air conditioning hum. This tutorial demonstrates how to remove both of them in Adobe Audition CS6.

Using Audition's Automatic Tools

The first thing you always want to try is Audition's automatic tools for removing those. To begin, go to Effects > Noise Reduction > Automatic Click Remover (Figure 5, below).

Adobe Audition CS6
Figure 5. Choosing Audition's Automatic Click Remover

As with any edits you make in Adobe Production Premium before rendering or saving a file, these are nondestructive edits, so try the Heavy setting first (Figure 6, below). If it's too much, you can always undo it and then try Light.

Adobe Audition CS6
Figure 6. Applying the Heavy setting

When I applied it to this clip, you can see in Figure 7 (below) that it pretty much missed all the pops and clicks that we identified in the waveform. So I'll undo that by selecting Edit > Undo Automatic Click Remover.

Adobe Audition CS6
Figure 7. Pops and clicks missed

Applying Auto Heal

The manual tool to accomplish what (in this case) Automatic Click Remover couldn't is Auto Heal, which you'll in your Favorites menu (Figure 8, below).

Adobe Audition CS6
Figure 8. Choosing Favorites > Auto Heal

To use the Auto Heal tool, you have to identify the pop or the click in the waveform. You want to zoom in pretty close and identify just the pop and the click (Figure 9, below)—and not any adjacent speech or other desired audio—because it will remove everything that you select.

Adobe Audition CS6
Figure 9. Zooming in to select only the pop or click

Once you've selected your pop or click here, go back up to Favorites and choose Auto Heal. And as you can see in Figure 10 (below), after applying Auto Heal to the selected click shown in Figure 9, the noise is gone.

Adobe Audition CS6
Figure 10. The click is gone

To continue, move over to the next pop or click, zoom in close, and apply Auto Heal again. Note that if you choose an area that's longer than four seconds, you'll get an error message, but that's not a big risk in this particular clip because all the pops and clips are so discrete. Also note that one other way to access Auto Heal (when you're applying it to one click after another) is to use the Command+R (Mac OS) or Alt+R (Windows) keyboard shortcut, which in Audition implements the most recently executed menu option.

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