Any way to make this sound better?

I’m working on editing a repair video. I usually have a fan running in my shop while recording and use the Gain/Volume filter at -10 or -15 to mostly remove the fan noise while editing. The good news is that I record my voiceovers separately but I would still like the sounds of the tools breaking bolts free and the sound of metal-to-metal contact to come through.

However, the fan is much more prominent in my current project which has led me to testing other audio filters. Let me be clear, this is not wind noise across the microphone, it’s just the sound of the floor fan running. I also realize that it would be much better to reduce the fan noise at the time of recording and I’ve purchased a directional mic for future videos. Anyway, the following combination of audio filters has produced the best results so far but the sound of the tools is muffled and a bit weird. I totally understand if this is as good as it’s gonna get but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask if there were better settings for these filters or better filters for my situation.

1.) Gain/Volume [Level=-5] (reduces the overall audio slightly)
2.) Noise Gate [Threshold=-16, Attack=0, Hold=2, Decay=2, Range=-20] (allows the louder tool sounds through but blocks the fan noise)
3.) Low Pass [Cutoff Frequency=500] (reduces the fan noise when the Noise Gate opens to allow the louder tool sounds through)

Thanks for your time.


Yes, it’s always best to have as little noise as possible in the original audio, but sometimes some noise is unavoidable. And sometimes an audio editor is a better tool for this sort of job than a video editor.

One option to consider, if it’s feasible for you, would be to extract the audio and then use the noise reduction feature of an audio program such as Audacity (another free open source cross-platform program). Audacity’s noise reduction works by you selecting a section that only contains the noise and letting it analyze that noise, so that it knows what your noise sounds like, then applying that noise reduction to the whole clip. To put it simply, things in the clip that sound similar to the noise get reduced, while things that don’t sound like the noise get left alone.

Once you’ve made a less noisy audio file, you could use that instead of the video’s sound. Put the video on one track and in the clip’s properties set the audio to none. Put the cleaned-up audio on an audio track, lined up with the video so that they’re in sync.

Hi notsmoothsteve,
I found the Audacity noise reduction option while doing research before posting here, I should have mentioned that. I appreciate the suggestion though because it seems like a good solution for most people. The only reason I’m trying to use Shotcut’s audio filters is because this project has 113 clips and almost every single one has the fan noise. Without some sort of batch processing it would take a long time to process all these clips with Audacity.

I was hoping someone might see my audio filter settings and either suggest more effective settings or a better combination of filters. Without using separate audio software, maybe what I have is about as good as I’m gonna get for this project.


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