Canon A710 hum sound issue

The Canon A710 is a great camera. You can find excellent reviews about it in several websites, but there is an annoying sound problem that is not mentioned in any of those reviews that I’ve read so far. The good news is that I found a perfect and easy fix for that problem.

  


The problem: when you shoot a movie, the recored sound comes with a continuous hum noise all the time. There is little you can do about it at the camera itself. The Mic seems to be too sensitive, that it picks up the internal camera noise, produced by several stuff, like the image stabilizer, zoom, focus, etc. Canon could locate the Mic away from the noisy parts, but somehow they didn’t.

The fix: I’ve found that Goldwave, the easy sound editor, can be used to eliminate that noise completely. This is an audio sample before the fix and after. Here is how to do it:
After copying your movies to your computer:

1- Open your movie in Goldwave (download Goldwave from here)
2- Select a part from the sound track that has only the humming noise without other accompanying voices or sounds. You can easily select the area by clicking where it starts, dragging then releasing your mouse button at its end.
3- Now copy that part to your clipboard (by pressing Ctrl+C in your keyboard), then press Ctrl+A to select the whole track as it was.
4- From the Goldwave menu, click: Effect > Filter > Noise Reduction.
5- At the bottom of the Noise Reduction window, you’ll see a ‘Presets’ drop-down menu. Select ‘Clipboard noise print’, then click ‘Ok’.

Now you should have a perfectly noise-free sound track.
PS. You can save a copy of the noisy sound part, to use with all other movies. The clipboard noise can be based on audio copied from another file or audio outside the current selection. A good idea would be to get to an indoor isolated location where its nice and quite, then shoot a few seconds of anything, only to record the camera noise alone. Then save a part of that track as a ‘Clipboard noise print’ for all your movies.
I hope this solution helps Canon A710 owners. Actually, it can help any digital camera that has a simiar sound issue. I read that many digital cameras’ makes and models have the same problem, due to their compact size, which house many mechanical and moving parts.

After fixing the audio track, you’ll need to save it as a WAV file, because Goldwave is not able to save in AVI.
The next step would be for you to replace the original noisy audio track in the movie with the noise-free track you just saved. Here is how to do it, in simle step by step instructions.

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  1. Pingback: How to use VirtualDub to replace your movie’s audio track . . . my 2 cents

  2. The noise is not the only problem. The bigest problem is audio sampling and quantization. Because of these two the upper frequencies are 6kHZ (like the telephone quality) and the 8 bit quantization is makeing a noise you can newer remove. I’ve automated the process of cleaning noise when uploading but this is not a solution.
    They will put out better models without this problem and people will buy them again and again. They have to leave something bad on the camera, never can everything be perfekt!
    S2 and S3 which have the digic II processor inside (like 710 does) does not have this isues. They have 16 bit quantization and 44kHz(20Khz) sampling!

  3. Great info. It is a pitty that such a great camera with a great zoom ideal for video records that noise. Funny that even Canon’s Tech Support denies that “feature”. I use only Virtualdub to process my AVI clips, removing the recorded noise and compressing the Video at the same time to DIVX. The results are good enough that you won’t notice the hum any more. After some analysis I found the problems mostly at 555Hz, and around 1100Hz, plus distortions due to the sampling. You can remove the 555Hz spike, but the 1100Hz area will distort any recorded voice etc.

    Here is my simple audio filter for VirtualDub version 1.6.17:
    input -> split a+b -> a) lowpass 400Hz -> gain1.4, b) highpass 620Hz -> mix a+b -> split a+b-> a) lowpass 1576, b) highpass 1576 -> gain 1.4 -> mix a+b -> resample 11025Hz -> output.

    For the audio freaks this may not be perfect, but after you save these settings you can run create simple vdub.exe command line jobs to convert your movies per mouse click or automatically when you upload your AVIs from the camera.

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