Audio is often described as being either clean or dirty. Clean audio means it is free from any distracting sounds or frequencies. By contrast, dirty audio does have distracting sounds or harsh frequencies.
To record clean audio, make sure that you are recording your audio in a suitable environment away from any background noise such as conversations, air conditioning units, and traffic noise. Also make sure that your minimising reverb from harsh surfaces by using sound blankets, and protect the microphone capsule from plosives by using wind covers.
Common causes of dirty audio:
- Busy environments
- Air conditioning units and heaters
- Fridges and other white goods
- Traffic noise
- Reverb from harsh surfaces
- Plosives from unprotected microphone capsules
- Electrical phasing from crossed audio cables and electrical cables
Most causes for dirty audio can be fixed on set. In some instances, dirty audio can be minimised in post-production using tools such as de-noisers and EQ. However, these tools will never be able to fix a recording as well as it could have been recorded on set.
It is best practice to ensure you are recording clean audio on set, so you have the best possible recording for your project.