Noise cancelling software is incredibly useful, especially if you work from home.
Dog won’t stop barking? Neighbour in the midst of renovations? Your kids have decided to turn the kitchen pots and pans into a drum set? No matter how much noise is going on in your home, the only sound coming through on your calls and video conferences will be your voice. Clear and professional, the app filters out the unwanted noise and makes you sound flawless in every situation.
When it comes to choosing the right noise cancelling software, it can sometimes be a trial and error process. There are many different types of software out there and each one has its own unique set of features. Sometimes you find the right software right away and sometimes you have to try a few options until you find the one that works for your needs.
In this article, we’ll take a look at Noise Gator, a popular noise cancelling software option. We’ll discuss the pros and cons to help you decide if this software is right for you. We’ll also offer an alternative option if Noise Gator doesn’t suit your needs.
What is Noise Gator & How Does it Work?
NoiseGator is a lightweight application that blocks out unwanted noise during audio and video calls and recordings. It’s a Java based application, requiring Java 7 or higher for Windows and Java 6 or higher for Mac.
The application itself routes the audio through an audio input to an audio output, creating a “gate” for the sound. Think of it working like a real gate. Like any real gate, it has two modes: open and closed.
This “gate” filters out any sound under a certain decibel level. The audio is analyzed in real time and if the average level is higher than the threshold, the gate is “open” and the audio can bypass as normal. If the average level goes below the threshold, the gate closes and the audio is cut. The software does this in real time, filtering the audio for you while you are on a work conference call, recording a podcast or making a video.
The software allows you to tweak the settings, determining the decibel threshold at which sound is allowed through the gate. This makes it very useful in music production, to prevent reverb or to isolate certain instruments.
The final result is a clean, isolated sound signal that is free of any unwanted noise.
How to Set Up NoiseGator
One of the downsides of using NoiseGator is that you’ll have to install an additional virtual audio interface, as it doesn’t work simply on its own. Since NoiseGator only takes an audio input and applies a software gate to it, there’s no way to tell Skype or any other software to use that newly filtered audio.
So, you’ll need to install virtual drivers such as SoundFlower for Mac or VBAudio for PC. Also, VBAudio might require Java Runtime Environment, so if you don’t have that already you’ll need to install it too. They are relatively easy to install, but this is still an extra step that is required to make this software work.
The first step is to install NoiseGator. Once you have installed the software, follow along with these steps:
- Run the NoiseGator software. The software doesn’t create a shortcut in the Start Menu automatically, so you’ll have to run the exe file.
- Select “Cable Input (VB Audio Virtual Cable) on the “Output” dropdown menu. This is the virtual cable software. If you’re not able to see it in the drop-down menu, check to make sure it has been installed properly and try restarting your computer.
- Then, right-click on the speaker icon in the Taskbar and click on “Playback Devices.” “Cable Input” should be selected. Right click on it to make sure that it is not disabled and click “Enable” if necessary.
- After you’ve selected the virtual audio cable software, you can then begin to adjust the settings within NoiseGator. Adjust the “Threshold” levels depending on the loudness of the noise around you that you want to filter out.
Once you’re done configuring the software, you’ll need to also separately set it up with any other program you want to use it with.
For example, in Skype you’ll open the menu, click on “Call” and then “Audio Settings.” Under “Audio Settings” you’ll see “Microphone.” Click on the drop-down menu and select “Cable Output” and then save the settings.
Whenever you want to use NoiseGator in Skype, you’ll have to start NoiseGator first and click on the “Activate” button.
Disadvantages of Using NoiseGator
As mentioned above, the complexity of setting up NoiseGator is one of the disadvantages to using it. You don’t just have to install NoiseGator, you have to also install the other virtual driver and configure them together. Whenever you use NoiseGator with another software, such as Skype, you’ll need to start NoiseGator first before opening up Skype.
Another tricky part of using this software is that you may need to play around with the settings. It can take a bit of adjustment to find a setting that will block out background noise yet still keep your voice very clear.
If you’re a little bit unsure about adjusting the settings, this could make the app difficult to use. For example, if you set the threshold too high, you’ll have to speak quite loud in order to make your voice heard. If you don’t like to mess around with settings, you might be looking for an option that is a little more user-friendly and will automatically adjust to your voice instead.
Looking for a NoiseGator Alternative?
Maybe you’ve tried NoiseGator and realized it’s not the right noise cancelling app for you?
There is other software out there that performs the same function as NoiseGator, but in a slightly different way. A great example of this is the noise cancelling app Krisp.
Krisp has a free version, which allows you to listen and speak without noise for 120 minutes weekly. If you need more time, paid plans start at only a few dollars per month.
Krisp: Features & How It Works
Krisp is a noise cancelling software that uses AI to recognise your voice and filter out any other unnecessary noise.
It functions differently than the “noise gate” that NoiseGator creates. Instead, the Krisp app is based on Deep Neural Networks. It’s powered by an AI that has listened to over 20,000 distinct noises and 10,000 different voices of varying ages, genders and ethnicities.
Which Noise Is Annoying You The Most?
After listening to all of this audio data, the AI learned to distinguish the human voice from all other types of sounds. The software is quite advanced. Also, there’s no need to worry about privacy concerns because Krisp never has to store any of your audio in order to filter it. All of the processing happens on your local device.
Krisp is quite easy to use. All you have to do is download the package from the website and follow the instructions. Krisp is available for both Windows and Mac and you won’t have to download any other software in order to make it work.
Once you have it installed, the app itself has a very simple interface. You don’t have to tweak or adjust anything, because the AI filters the sound automatically. You’ll only need to adjust two options: one to select the Speaker and the other to choose the mic source. All you have to do to activate the Noise Suppression System is to simply flip the switch at the beginning of your call.
Popular Uses for the Krisp App
Krisp works extremely well for those who work from home, which is quite a few of us these days due to the pandemic. It’s well-suited to blocking out disruptive background noises including chattering children and noisy neighbors.
Krisp also works well for taking calls out in public, such as at a busy bus station or coffee shop. The AI is trained to understand the difference between your voice and other noises in your environment, so you don’t have to worry about volume levels or thresholds. It effectively cuts out the background noise, allowing your voice to ring through loud and clear.
Krisp integrates seamlessly with over 600 apps, including voice messaging, streaming and conferencing apps. Basically, any program or app with a microphone and speaker controls in its audio settings will work with Krisp. It also works well with recording apps, making it a great option for podcasters.
Find the right noise cancelling app for you
There are many different options when it comes to choosing a noise cancelling app. If you’ve tried NoiseGator but it didn’t work for you, consider trying Krisp as an alternative. It might be a better option, especially if you’re looking for something that is easy to install and set up, integrates well with other apps and is powered by a sophisticated, effective AI.