The Digital Journalist
Noise Removal Made Easy With Amadeus Pro
October 2007

by PF Bentley

Sometimes, using a big SUV to go to the corner grocery is overkill and a waste of gas.

That is how I feel about SoundtrackPro, the wonderful audio program which is part of Final Cut Studio 2. While it's a professional application, it's a bit much for doing simple noise reduction on audio clips within FCP.

I've been using AmadeusPro, a $40 shareware program from HairerSoft.

Amadeus Pro does a lot more than noise reduction, but for this month's column, we'll focus on that.

Here's my workflow: (And trust me, if you're reading this column and can do FCP, the following is not brain surgery!)

-Select audio clip in FCP by In and Out points

-Export to self-contained QuickTime Movie audio only

-Make sure that file is in your project folder

-Drag audio file onto the AmadeusPro application icon

-Be sure Amadeus is set to 48Khz

-Select noise to be removed and go to Effects>Denoising>Sample Noise

-Hit Apple-A to select full clip

-Go to Effects>Denoising>Surpress Noise

-Go to File>Save

-Save as a QT movie file

-Close AmadeusPro

Import audio clip to FCP Browser.

Place new audio file over current (with the bad audio) audio file in FCP.

Here are a couple of Before and After audio clips using a pretty tough situation. This clip was captured in a helicopter on two tracks. Track one was connected into the headset system on the chopper using a wireless. Track two was picking up cockpit noise. This example is not ready for final output because the subject turns away from the headset and I still need to play with the volume on the audio track in FCP.

Audio Before (

Audio After (

I raised track two to make it more natural after Amadeus took out most of the annoying high-pitched noises from the headsets. Amadeus is powerful and I wish users could control how much unwanted noise is being deleted as with SoundtrackPro. Currently, the Settings control under Denoising currently doesn't do much. (This is an upgrade hint to AmadeusPro!)

There's a 30-day full demo, so try it out and let me know if it works for you.

© PF Bentley

PF Bentley is lead Final Cut Pro instructor at the Platypus Workshops. We won't bore you here with his 12-page bio & resume.