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I am making some video tutorials on some programming topics. An outside honking noise is interfering with the recordings. The windows and doors are packed, but even then the problem persists.

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  • Depending on who you're recording for, your fellow authors can be a great resource. If it's Pluralsight, for example, there is a TON of useful info awaiting you. – Kate Gregory Feb 3 '16 at 23:13
  • Maybe a directional mic would work? – muncherelli Feb 25 '16 at 22:13
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When recording, as soon as you hear a honk or another noise, stop and go back to the beginning of the sentence you were saying. After your done, go back through your recording in a programme like Audition or Audacity and remove all the half-sentences that were interrupted by a honk, so only complete sentences remain.

  • I tried audacity but my voice tones changes and its horrible. – Parth Joshi Feb 13 '16 at 4:43
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This is an issue for me too. You need a multi-pronged technique:

  • Choose the quietest room. If street noise is an issue, which room is furthest from the street? Many people have offices and desks, but record in a child's room while that child is at school.
  • Arrange yourself facing into a corner (for echo reasons) and surround yourself with soft stuff as much as possible. A bedroom is quieter than the basement. Buy thick muffly curtains as an investment in what you're doing. Putting them over windows keeps out noise and soaks up noise that gets into the room. You can also buy canvas covered foam panels that look like art but soak up noise.
  • Choose the time to record. Less traffic at night? Airplanes stop landing at midnight? Neighbours mow the lawn every Sunday? Take all that into account
  • As Wouter says, if there's a noise, do that sentence over. That's how I handle ringing phones, footsteps overhead, and toilet flushes by people who forgot I was recording. Just take a breath, wait for quiet, and do the sentence again from the beginning. Then edit away the first try and the noise.
  • Use a product that does some sort of noise reduction. For background irritations like rain or wind this can really help
  • Know when to switch tasks for the day. After the tenth time you try to cheerfully say the same two lines but that dog next door barks or a car horn sounds, let it go. Work on writing the material for the next few things so that when you get a quiet time, you can record a bunch at once.
  • If none of that works and moving isn't an option, you can make a recording booth or even arrange to go to a studio for a day and do it all at once. But that's getting out of life hack territory.
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There are a few possible solutions.

  1. Script the dialogue, and record the audio as an overdub during a time frame when there's no traffic outside.

If this is not possible ...

  1. Re-record the audio, repeating every sentence that is interrupted by honking, and then cut-n-paste the good takes together in an audio editor.

  2. Record the audio somewhere else.

  3. Move. ;-)

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After you remove as much external noise as possible from the room, consider your microphone selection. You want one that rejects off-axis sounds, such as a cardioid. Keep the back of the microphone pointed towards the strongest noise source. This Shure article gives a nice refresher on microphone types. http://blog.shure.com/multi-pattern-microphones-what-where-and-how/

Check your gain settings and stay close to the microphone to keep the signal to noise ratio good.

Apply a gate to your audio so that it's muted when you're not talking.

If your audio is too sensitive, and you're noticing every defect, mix some room or white noise in at a low level to soften up your audio.

  • I tweaked with gain settings. There is less echo now and less noise. But as you can imagine, India is full of traffic noises. Getting a clean noiseless environment is only between 12 am to 6 am. Will have to sacrifice my sleep then. Was looking forward if there is some other tweak i can work on. I think FOAM is a good option. – Parth Joshi Feb 13 '16 at 4:47

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