This is a sample chapter from my e-Book, Field Recording: from Research to Wrap. Read more about the book.
Capturing recordings with excessive noise is one of the most confusing and frustrating problems new field recordists face when recording sound effects.
Noise is a thick, rushing, steam-like sound that overlaps sound recordings. At higher frequencies it adopts a thin, nasal aspect, known as hiss.
Not all noise sounds the same. Some noise is steady and smooth and somewhat tolerable, or at least unnoticeable. Other forms of noise sputter coarsely.
When noise appears in recordings, it invades sound effects thoroughly, even at low levels. And this is why it is noise becomes an irritating problem: once it arrives, it's difficult to remove.
Where does this noise come from? How can it be minimized? Can it be eliminated? How much is acceptable? How can you record with clean gain?
I'll answer each of these questions.
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