If, like many people, your home now doubles as your office, you’ve probably had to deal with the issue of background noise. Everything is nice and quiet until you jump on a conference call with your new client, start a zoom call with your team, click the video button to begin recording a presentation or open up a Clubhouse room to network with peers or potential clients. Then, a fire truck goes by your house with horns blaring, the kids start arguing over who gets the last cookie, the UPS guy rings the bell or the dog grabs a squeaky toy and goes to town with it.
As we enter a week of KBIS/IBS events, where many of us are planning multiple daily meetings, along with booth tours and networking, creating a noise-free environment can be even more daunting. Blocking out a quiet hour is a lot easier than blocking out a full day of quiet for non-stop meetings, and this is particularly true if you share your home with others who are doing remote work or remote schooling, or if you have attention-needy pets (in my house, the arrival of the mail, which never comes at a predictable time, sets off a three-dog alarm!).
The good news is that new innovations in technology continue to up their game at providing solutions to these work-from-home challenges, with free or inexpensive software programs that can mute background noises or even allow you to edit them out of recorded videos, podcasts or presentations.
Here are a few worth checking out:
- Available for both Windows and Mac, Krisp offers a free version (which allows you to mute microphone or speaker noise for up to 120 minutes a week), an unlimited minutes version for $5 a month and a team version for $5 per person per month (which comes with expanded benefits like centralized operation and priority support). All versions support 80+ communication apps including Zoom, Teams, Meet, etc.
- If you’re looking for something a bit more sophisticated, Movavi offers its Movavi Video Editor Plus software, available for Windows and Mac, which removes background noise from audio or video recordings, along with a host of other features. The company offers a free seven-day trial, with several lifetime pricing programs that allow everything from video and photo editing to converting files and creating slide shows.
- Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editing program that accepts almost any audio file type and has a noise removal tool. Developed by a group of volunteers, this open-source multi-track audio editor and recorder works with Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.