Best Free Noise Reduction Plugin to Use

Best Free Noise Reduction PluginHaving trouble getting rid of noise in your audio, but don’t have the cash to spare for a payware noise reduction plug-in?

You might find what you need in this selection of the best free noise reduction plug-ins available. You’d be surprised that they’re capable of what they can do, with a variety of functions that can deliver performance that is at least equal to that of their paid counterparts.

Let’s take a closer look!


Free Noise Reduction Plugins

Also check out our Top VST Plugin Roundup

ReaFIR by Cockos

ReaFIR by Cockos

Cockos is known primarily for Reaper, an excellent shareware–practically freeware–DAW that can stand toe-to-toe with the best fully-fledged DAWs costing hundreds of dollars more. The company also has a line of very capable plug-ins, one of which is the ReaFir dynamics processor.

Specs and useful features

An FFT-based plug-in, ReaFIR is a dynamics processor that pulls off some need tricks. The “FIR” in the name stands for “Finite Impulse Response”, which refers to a variety of functions revolving around FFT spectrum analysis.

Most of these functions have to do with EQing and dynamics processing, both of which are typically employed in noise reduction circuitry. But ReaFIR can do more than clean up hissy signals. It also serves as a gate, a compressor, and a dedicated EQ. It is especially capable of precise EQing and compression, so you could expect to get much more use out of it than from most any noise reduction plug-in on the market.

User impressions

Unsurprisingly, many users found ReaFIR to be more effective at removing noise than many other dedicated noise reduction plug-ins. The onboard features makes it a very capable and versatile EQ that can be used for ultra-precise sound shaping and even for mastering. In fact, many users have found it to be useful at various stages of the production and mixing processes.

Bottom-line

ReaFIR stands apart from most other noise reduction plug-ins with its wealth of pro features and flexible capabilities. Even if this were a paid plug-in, we would still recommend adding it to your arsenal of sonic enhancement tools.

Redunoise by Voxengo

Redunoise by Voxengo

Voxengo Redunoise is a high-resolution noise reduction plug-in that provides a wide range of controls for reducing and eliminating noise. A comprehensive noise reduction system that goes beyond the capabilities of your average noise-ridding plug-in, it is a versatile solution that should find many uses in your productions.

Redunoise is especially effective at dealing with noisy single tracks, although it will work on full mixes as well. Results are always musically pleasant, which is rarely the case with broadband noise reduction solutions.

Specs and useful features

High-resolution spectrum analysis is the key to the effectiveness of Redunoise. This feature precisely identifies the offending area of audio material, enabling the plug-in to eliminate it without affecting the rest of the signal.

Redunoise comes with two flavors of filtering: analog-prototype and linear-phase. Between these two, you can handle pretty much any flavor of noise, from fairly simple hisses to more complex noises that cover different bands of the audio spectrum. There is even a noise learn function for quick and easy cleanup of audio material.

User impressions

Redunoise has found plenty of avid fans among those that routinely work with outdoor recordings. Useful for reducing many types of background noise, the plug-in is also effective at separating sounds according to frequency range.

Surprisingly, some users found Redunoise to be quite an effective EQ unit. With its many controls suited for creative EQing, Redunoise is way more than just your run-of-the-mill noise reduction plug-in.

Bottom-line

Redunoise is a versatile noise reduction plug-in that has some surprising tricks up its sleeve, particularly in the realm of creative EQing. Although it is free, it definitely measures up to even some of the best payware offerings available.

Sound Recovery by Bitsonic

Sound Recovery Bitsonic

If you have ever had to struggle with restoring signals from poorly recorded or severely degraded audio, Bitsonic Sound Recovery might be exactly what you need, and for free. It’s designed specifically for repairing extremely low-quality audio.

Sound Recovery fills a gap in the audio editing world that most EQs and noise reduction systems simply cannot fill. With a unique set of features onboard, this plug-in should find value among audio restorers and even forensic professionals.

Specs and useful features

Sound Recovery essentially recreates mid-frequency content from low-frequency harmonics. By adding subtle levels of harmonic distortion, this process makes audio clearer and more understandable, even with most of the mid-frequency content missing.

Sound Recovery also has a multiband denoiser feature that makes it a very capable noise reduction solution. Effective at reducing the noise from the low-mid and mid-high frequencies, this provides a much more subtle alternative to heavy-handed EQing that often thrashes the entire audio signal.

Other features let you further restore audio with depth and precision. The “split freq” feature lets you define the most troublesome frequency range, while the dedicated “recovery” feature adds even more distortion for enhanced clarity.

User impressions

Sound Recovery is a fairly capable noise reduction plug-in. The low pass filter and the denoiser feature effectively reduce noise in a broad range of frequencies. But most users seem to use the plug-in for restoring lost audio content, which is hardly surprising given its capabilities in that area.

Bottom-line

Sound Recovery might not be your first choice if you need a comprehensive range of noise reduction features. But if your focus is on restoring the intelligibility of recorded audio, this plug-in is a must-have.

Noise Reduction by Christian Budde

Christian Budde Noise Reduction

Christian Budde Noise Reduction is a spectral noise gate designed for removing unwanted noise from a variety of audio sources. By targeting specific frequency ranges, its spectral gate effectively filters out noise with a fair degree of customizability over attack and release times.

Specs and useful features

Noise Reduction goes beyond the capabilities of most spectral noise gate plug-ins by offering a good range of customization options. The soft knee control is fully adjustable over a very wide range, so you can avoid many of the sonic anomalies that other spectral noise gates impart to audio material.

The plug-in comes with a few different options for FFT sizes, and you could even choose from many window functions.

Noise Reduction sets itself apart from other plug-ins of its kind with its continuous and consistent characteristic. The plug-in’s various features let you clean up only the offending bands of noise without introducing artifacts that are often more bothersome than hissing and crackling.

Noise elimination plug-ins generally have low CPU requirements, but Noise Reduction places especially low demands on computer resources. You could easily strap on as many instances as you need for your various tracks, and still have enough CPU power for your other plug-ins.

User impressions

Users found Noise Reduction to be effective at getting rid of noise from problematic soundboard recordings and audio transferred from tape. For many users, the ability to identify the noise from a quiet section of audio is useful for treating the rest of the material.

Bottom-line

Like all plug-ins of its kind, Noise Reduction is most effective when used sparingly at moderate settings. It won’t win any awards for precision and total control, but it will be enough to get the job done in most cases.

FFT Tools by Smart Electronix

Smart Electronix FFT Tools turns to the graphics world for inspiration in dealing with unwanted noise in audio material. Based on the image-processing technique employed in graphics programs such as Adobe’s Photoshop, it utilizes spectral-based processing along with a slew of intriguing features.

FFT Tools makes it possible to clear out the hash from specific audio frequency ranges while leaving the surrounding frequencies unscathed. The plug-in can also be used to warp sound in numerous interesting ways, many of which go beyond the capabilities of even dedicated sound-mangling plug-ins.

Specs and useful features

One of the most intriguing features of FFT Tools is “Warp”, which swaps high and low frequencies with each according to a defined frequency band. The results can be pretty wild, to say the least, although moderate settings can produce more musical results.

Noise reduction functions are mostly handled by the “Levels” feature, which gives you a good degree of control over the spectral dynamics. This feature lets you liven up dull audio or remove background noise equally well.

FFT Tools also comes with a “Kontrast” control for saturating specific bands of the frequency range. If more robotic sounds are your thing, the aptly-named “Robotizer” should find plenty of use in your productions.

User impressions

Most people seem to use FFT Tools for generating weird textures and alien-sounding sonic landscapes. Although it does a decent enough job at noise reduction, it seems better suited for creative sound design than cleaning up noisy material.

Bottom-line

FFT Tools probably won’t be the first thing that comes to mind if you need to clean up noisy audio. Although it will work as a noise reducer in a pinch, this plug-in is more useful as a tool for generating unusual sounds and textures.

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