There are many variables to consider when recording audio, and some rooms will naturally produce more reverb than others. Reflective surfaces, distant subjects, and a cavernous space can all work together to create a messy echo effect. In this brief walkthrough, we've shared how to remove echo in Adobe Audition, so you can clean up audio files for podcasts, movies, and musical compositions.
How to Remove Echo in Adobe Audition
1. First, load your current Audition project and select the audio file that needs echo removal. To remove some of the background noise created from your camera or a nearby appliance, select a quiet section of the waveform. Right-click on the section and choose "Capture Noise Print". This will help Audition to distinguish noise from the main audio.
2. To remove the selected noise, go to "Effects" > "Noise Reduction / Restoration" > "Noise Reduction (process)". Click "Select Entire File", and then listen back to your audio to hear if the noise has been removed. You can also go to the Advanced tab and reduce the Spectral Decay Rate to make the gating effect more pronounced. When you're pleased with the changes, click "Apply" to make them permanent.
3. Next, Choose "Effects" > "Amplitude and Compression" > "Dynamics Processing". This will load a compression-like effect that you can use to shape the overall waveform. By default, you should see a diagonal line that stretches from side of the Dynamics Processing display to the other. If you drag on this line slightly, so that it curves below the default path, it will start to affect the echo. Play around with the line's position and A/B test it with the original audio, until you achieve a pleasing result.
4. When you're happy with the Dynamics Processing, make sure that your entire waveform is selected, and then click OK to apply the effect. It will reduce your audio's amplitude (i.e. volume), so you can choose "Effects" > "Amplitude and Compression" > "Normalize" to bring the volume back up.
5. Finally, we might want to clean up some of the muddy and annoying frequencies created by the echo. Choose "Effects" > "Filter and EQ" > "Parametric Equalizer". By default, you have 7 main frequency bands to play with, as well as a dedicated low-pass and high-pass band. We only need a few bands to clean up those unwanted midrange frequencies.
Start by boosting a band (and its Q value), and then slowly move across the frequency spectrum until you hear a harsh sound. Then, reduce the band below 0dB, so that it cuts out some of that harshness.