If you have ever done any recording, especially with a sensitive microphone, you might have come across the annoying sound of microphone hiss. It’s caused by the electronic noise of the microphone itself and is especially noticeable in quiet passages of audio.
While it’s not always possible to altogether remove this noise, there are a few steps you can take to minimize it. In this blog, we will tell you how to remove microphone hiss.
What is a microphone hiss?
Microphone hiss is a low-frequency noise produced by the interaction between the audio signal and the microphone. It is present even when the microphone is not capturing any sounds. In other words, it is a constant noise that can make the recorded audio sound dirty.
Most pre-packaged computers, laptops, and laptops have built-in microphones that produce hiss noise when recording. It can be avoided by using proper equipment and a few tips.
What causes microphone hiss?
Microphone hiss is caused by many factors, including diaphragm wear, power supply noise, humidity, temperature, and the input gain on the microphone. Usually, wear in the microphone’s moving parts is caused by regular use. Diaphragm wear happens in two ways. First, the microphone’s diaphragm and support structure can wear from normal use over time.
Second, humidity and temperature changes can accelerate diaphragm wear. As the diaphragm wears, its ability to convert sound waves into electrical current is reduced. The most common cause of microphone hiss is incorrect gain (or sensitivity) settings on the mic preamplifier or audio mixer.
Check the manufacturer’s instructions on microphone operation. If the microphone has a high-level noise, you should use the microphone’s attenuation pad to reduce the mic level.
How to remove microphone hiss?
Hiss is a widespread problem when recording audio, especially with mics. There are many different sources of hiss, and you should check all of them to remove them. First and foremost, you should check the recording environment, get rid of all the possible sources of hiss there and eliminate the possibility that the hiss comes from your environment.
Next, check if the hiss level is the same no matter which microphone or input your system uses. If the hiss is coming from the recording device, there might not be much you can do.
However, if the hiss is all over the record, it would be wise to check if the hiss is coming from the audio source, like VST plugins. If the hiss is encoded in the audio stream, you will have to cancel it by using a noise gate or simply turning it down.
Tips to prevent microphone hiss
- Always use a pop filter. Pop filters help prevent hiss by catching the plosive consonants that create most of the hiss in a recording.
- If you don’t have a pop filter, find a way to create a makeshift one out of a nylon stocking or similar fabric. Stretch it over a frame to hang down and place it in front of the microphone.
- Pay particular attention to how much volume you are giving your equipment. If your computer or laptop is on the floor of your recording space, there will be significant amounts of vibration getting into the microphone.
- It may be best to place your computer on a table in your recording space. Avoid recording vocals in spaces such as cars that have a lot of road noise.
- Vehicles are notorious for having sounds enter them through the air vents, making it into the recording.
Hopefully, we have helped you solve the problem of hissing in your recordings, and you will be able to go back to talking to your audience without worrying about how to remove microphone hiss. If you have any other questions or concerns about hissing in your videos, please mention us in the comment section below.
How do I remove hiss from audio?
Removing hiss from audio is a difficult task. Removing noise from a recording often requires extensive noise reduction (NR), which further deteriorates the quality of the recording. There is no way to remove the hiss from one part of a recording, as the noise is often present throughout the recording. With that said, a few things can be done to minimize audible hiss in your recordings.
Does gain cause hiss?
Well, not really. Gain is generated because the original (dry) signal is delayed. When this delay is short compared to the period of the original signal, the result is called “intermodulation distortion.” It sounds like a hissing noise in the earphones, and it will be present if the delay time is significantly greater than the period of the original signal.