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Reducing White Noise in Reaper: A Step-by-Step Guide

Jan 23, 2024

There comes a time in every audio engineer or podcaster's life when they encounter the dreaded white noise. This hissing sound can be caused by a multitude of factors, from issues with the recording environment to problems with the audio hardware itself. Luckily, reducing white noise in Reaper, a popular digital audio workstation (DAW), is simple and straightforward. Just follow this step-by-step guide, and you'll be on your way to clean and clear audio in no time.

  1. Open Reaper and import the audio file containing the white noise.
  2. Apply a High-Pass Filter: To minimize low-frequency noises, first, locate the FX button on the audio track. Then, select ReaEQ from the list of available plugins. In the plugin window, enable a high-pass filter and adjust the frequency according to your needs (anywhere between 80 and 100 Hz should work well).
  3. Use Noise Reduction Plugins: Reaper offers several powerful noise reduction plugins, such as ReaFIR, ReaNoise and third-party plugins like iZotope RX Elements or Waves X-Noise. Follow these steps to apply ReaFIR:
    a. Remove all unwanted audio frequencies by adding an instance of ReaFIR to the FX list.
    b. Change the mode to Subtract.
    c. Carefully adjust the threshold and reduction sliders to remove white noise without affecting the desired audio.
  4. Use Automation: If the noise is only present in some parts of the recording, you can use automation to apply noise reduction only where it is needed. To do this, first, make sure the track is armed for automation. Then, draw a volume envelope on the affected regions and adjust it to reduce the noise.
  5. Explore Other Options: If the white noise is particularly stubborn, consider exploring other tools like audio restoration plugins, dynamic processors, or even re-recording problematic sections.

With these steps in mind, reducing white noise in Reaper should be no problem at all. Regardless of the specifics of your situation, by taking the time to experiment with different tools and techniques, you'll be able to achieve the clean and clear audio that your listeners deserve.

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