Noise Reduction Filters

Final Cut Pro has three noise reduction filters for use in specific situations:

Hum Remover

The Hum Remover lets you get rid of “cycle hum” that may have been introduced into your audio recording by power lines crossing your cables or by a shorted ground wire in your setup. Hum from power sources generally sounds like a low buzzing and has a frequency that corresponds to the electrical power in your country (for example, countries in North America use 60 Hz AC power, whereas most countries in Europe use 50 Hz power).

Figure. Filters tab showing the Hum Remover filter controls.
  • Frequency: This slider lets you select the frequency of hum that this filter will attempt to remove. Different countries use different power frequencies, so you need to specify exactly what frequency to tune out. In general, most alternating current (AC) operates at either 50 or 60 Hz.
  • Q: This slider adjusts the filter resonance around the value of the Frequency slider. Higher Q values result in a narrower but stronger resonance, which limits the frequencies affected by the filter. If the important elements of your recording overlap into the frequencies that are being filtered out, you might want to narrow the range of frequencies affected.
  • Gain: This slider lets you set how much of the signal you’re attenuating. By default, it’s set to the maximum value of –60 dB.
  • Harmonics: These options allow you to attenuate additional frequencies that may be introduced into your signal as a result of the primary cycle hum. These frequencies are automatically derived by the filter, and you can specify up to five.

Vocal DeEsser

The Vocal DeEsser allows you to attenuate the “ess” sounds produced by an actor with a “sibilant” voice (that is, someone whose “ess” sounds are very pronounced), or by a microphone that accentuates high frequencies. This filter is essentially a specialized EQ filter that reduces, but does not eliminate, these high-frequency “ess” sound components.

Vocal DePopper

The Vocal DePopper lets you attenuate the harsh “P” sounds that result from puffs of breath bursting into the microphone. Proper miking should prevent this in the first place, and if you have just one or two pops, you can use keyframes to reduce the level of the frames with the pop. (See Example: Setting Subframe Audio Keyframes to Eliminate Clicks.)

Still, if you have a clip with a lot of pops, this filter may reduce these to an acceptable level.