Installing and Using Noise Assist
Suppress background noise instantly on-location with the optional NoiseAssist plugin for 8-Series mixer-recorders. NoiseAssist is an advanced signal processing algorithm that reduces background noises such as traffic, generators, HVAC noise, and more. The plugin continuously monitors background noise to give you clean audio for the entire take.
Using NoiseAssist is easy and fast – simply adjust the amount of background noise to suppress and NoiseAssist will do the rest. Suppression happens in real time with just 1 ms of latency – no “learning” required. Up to two instances of NoiseAssist can run on any combination of isolated channels (excluding 17-32 on Scorpio), bus L, or bus R.
This algorithm is optimized specifically for high-end professional film and television dialog. It accurately distinguishes the desired speech signal from background noise using proprietary advanced multi-band frequency, level, and statistical calculations. NoiseAssist maintains the excellent frequency bandwidth of the audio channel, while effectively suppressing the background noise and reverberation.
Get NoiseAssist today for the introductory price of $600. Watch and listen to our demos below!
After a plugin is installed on a MixPre or 8-Series, it cannot be removed or transferred.
Installing and Using Noise Assist
In what applications can I use NoiseAssist?
NoiseAssist is very useful in many applications – for example, fast turnaround productions where there is no time for post, live broadcast and streaming, preview on set, feeds to video village, IFB feeds, rough guide mixes, and more. For film/tv, we recommend taking full advantage of the extremely flexible routing of the 8-Series. By sending the incoming signal to multiple channels, you can record one ISO as “raw” and the other ISO channel with NoiseAssist. If you deliver mono mixes, you can apply NoiseAssist to one of the L and R buses while leaving the other unprocessed. If you deliver a stereo mix and you don’t want to apply NoiseAssist to your main mix, patch the LR output back into a couple spare inputs and apply NoiseAssist on these channels. Make sure to remove these channels from the LR mix. Then you can route the NoiseAssist mix to any track, bus, or output.
NoiseAssist is just another tool in your toolbox and it is up to the sound mixer to use it wisely.
How much NoiseAssist suppression is good to dial into a channel?
The default amount is 6 dB, but this can be adjusted from 1 to 20 dB of suppression. Like any sort of signal processing, it is best to use as sparingly as possible to get the job done.
How long does it take for NoiseAssist to learn the background noise signature?
It takes NoiseAssist 5-10 seconds from the time you enable the plugin to learn the background noise automatically. This requires no action on your part. When a channel’s gain is changed, or if a new noise is introduced, the algorithm will automatically re-converge in about 5-10 seconds.
Is NoiseAssist just a simple low-cut / noise gate / expander / compressor, etc ?
How does NoiseAssist differ from an automixer?
NoiseAssist is vastly different from an automixer. Well-designed automixers such as Dugan or MixAssist are very effective for reducing noise build-up due to multiple open microphones – the automixer attenuates the entire audio signal for a given microphone. This per-microphone attenuation is termed “off-attenuation” – it is a simple but effective technique. This is quite different from true “Noise Reduction” or “Noise Suppression” like NoiseAssist, in which the audio signal for speech and the signal for background noise are treated independently through advanced signal processing techniques. NoiseAssist is very effective on just one microphone input, or it can be applied to the left or right mix bus.
Can NoiseAssist be used at the same time as MixAssist or Dugan Automix?
Yes, absolutely. An automixer is still the best way to cut down on excess noise build-up due to multiple microphones. It is recommended to clean up a microphone first with NoiseAssist before going into MixAssist or Dugan Automixer.
Is it better to apply NoiseAssist to an isolated microphone before going into the mix, or applying NoiseAssist to the entire mix?
NoiseAssist can be applied to the entire mix with excellent results. However, it is better to run NoiseAssist at a given microphone input, as it can then more easily discriminate between speech and background noise.
Does NoiseAssist get rid of rustling from clothes rubbing on lav mics?
No. NoiseAssist works very well for reducing background noise, but rustling noise is very loud and impulsive and would be considered a foreground sound. While NoiseAssist can sound quite miraculous for background noise, it can’t perform actual miracles.
Can I buy more than one NoiseAssist plugin?
You can only buy one NoiseAssist plugin per serial number, for a maximum of two instances of NoiseAssist.
Can I try before I buy?
We provide example WAV files for your consideration prior to purchase. All plugin purchases are final. As always, Sound Devices Support is available for all your post-purchase questions.
Where can I apply NoiseAssist?
Up to two instances of NoiseAssist can run on any combination of isolated channels (excluding 17-32 on Scorpio), bus L, or bus R.
How does NoiseAssist compare to other noise suppressors on the market?
There are several excellent noise suppressors on the market, both real-time and non-real time. All of them will sound slightly different due to the complex nature of the algorithms. We put great effort into making NoiseAssist sound as balanced and transparent as possible.
How does NoiseAssist compare to GPU-based noise suppression?
“Real-time” GPU-based noise suppressors are effective, but are more applicable for gaming due to their > 50 ms latency and > 20W of power consumption. NoiseAssist has been custom designed for professional audio with excellent sound, very low latency, and low power consumption.
Can I still use the low-cut filter while using NoiseAssist?
Yes. NoiseAssist does its own processing independent from the low-cut filters in the 8-Series. With or without NoiseAssist, it is always best practice to reduce unwanted low-frequency noise acoustically at the microphone itself via windscreens. The low-cut filter is available to use as well to roll-off unwanted rumble.
Can NoiseAssist be used with the 8-Series EQ?
Yes. Both NoiseAssist and pre-fade EQ can be used at the same time. EQ’ing a mic to get better sound will not adversely affect the operation of NoiseAssist. Great results can be had by using NoiseAssist in conjunction with EQ.
I own multiple 8-Series units. Can I transfer the license?
The NoiseAssist plugin is unique to each unit and cannot be transferred between 8-Series mixer-recorders.
I notice some comb filtering when I mix a NoiseAssist’d channel with an unprocessed channel carrying the same microphone. Why?
NoiseAssist does an amazing amount of processing in real time with just 1 ms of latency. That said, one channel with 1 ms latency (delay) will produce comb filtering when directly mixed with another non-delayed channel. Since 1 ms is roughly equivalent to 1 foot of microphone distance, the simple solution is to move the other microphone by 1 foot, or delay the other mic by 1 ms if needed.
I made purchase from my smartphone. How do I download my license?
While this plugin may be purchased from a smartphone, the plugin must be downloaded from the online store to a computer or SD card in a computer, in order for the plugin to be installed onto your 8-Series mixer-recorder. If purchased from a phone, you will need to return to the online store from a computer to get your download file. Simply go to store.sounddevices.com/your-device/, reenter your serial number, and click Look-up.
The store will:
Then, you can download the LIC file to an SD card, insert it in your MixPre, and activate it.