How To Get The Hiss Out Of A Field Recording

Upon returning home from a field trip, the first order of business is unpacking, cleaning dirty gear and removing or turning off any batteries.

Wind noise a problem? Use an extremely steep high-pass filter between 80 and 160 Hz. Mic pre-amp too noisy on quiet sounds? A gradual low-pass filter will remove hiss, just make sure you don’t lose too much HF detail. (Noise reduction software like Digidesign’s DINR, Arboretum’s Ionizer or Tracer Technologies DART could be better candidates for this type of fix). I, personally, use AUDACITY – a freeware DAW – to edit my Field Recordings. Load up the file, put in a fade in / out and the attack it with the Equaliser to create a low pass filter –

low-pass filter is a filter that passes low-frequency signals and attenuates (reduces the amplitude of) signals with frequencies higher than the cutoff frequency. The actual amount of attenuation for each frequency varies depending on specific filter design. It is sometimes called a high-cut filter, or treble cut filter in audio applications. A low-pass filter is the opposite of a high-pass filter. A band-pass filter is a combination of a low-pass and a high-pass.


A very steep high-pass filter is effective at removing wind noise rumble. Wave’s Q10 equalizer (shown below) is set to cut everything below about 140Hz. The higher you make the cut off, the more wind rumble will be removed, but it will also begin sapping valuable low-frequency tone from your recording. Use your ears to find the best compromise!

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