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Pattie Olson
Pop/Click & Meter questions
on May 25, 2008 at 12:09:09 pm

I recently built a soundbooth to improve the VO work for my video projects. I'm recording a friend reading stories for Librivox.com and these small projects are a great learning experience.

Cleaning up the audio, I hear quite a few pops/clicks of her mouth, even though she avoids dairy, sugar and dark drinks and sips throat coat tea. The most prominent noise is a pop coming from the back of her throat after saying a long E. I listened to a variety of audiobooks to see what they sound like and I can hear pops/clicks, only they aren't quite as loud. My question is, how much of the pop/clicks can be prevented by the narrators technique? If I try to remove all of them, I distort it.

I use an Alesis Firewire 12 and Adobe Audition. While recording, I notice that the LED meters on the Alesis do not match the meters in Audition. The Alesis can show the recording clipping every so often, but the clipping doesn't show up in Audition. Do I need to calibrate these two things or have I missed an adjustment somewhere?

Lastly, I ripped a few chapters from a few audiobooks to study the waveforms and found several variances. I noticed that one applied the the hard limiting(?) filter to -3, however, when I play it, the Alesis meters light up as completely clipped, even though the audio is not distorted at all. How can this be?

Thanks for all the advice you've shared in this forum...I greatly appreciate it.

Pattie


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Ty Ford
Re: Pop/Click & Meter == What To Do About Mouth Sounds +
on May 25, 2008 at 1:03:11 pm

Hello Pattie and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Voices are like finger prints. Each one is unique.I have been doing voicework and editing voicework for a long time. I teach VO. Some people have wonderful instruments, some can learn to have wonderful instruments, some people will never have wonderful instruments.

Your particular talent may not be able to control their unwanted mouth sounds. I once had a professional storyteller come in to record a CD. She had all kinds of mouth noises; some of which were the result of her false teeth. I spent at least as much time editing noises out as I did recording her.

Unwanted mouth noises are usually, lip smacks, cheek and tongue stictions, glottal opens and closures and excessive sibilance.

Lip smacks happen when you allow the lips to close against each other and then open the mouth. In some people a small click is heard as the sticky lips part. Don't close your mouth so much.

Cheek and tongue sticitions (rice crispies in the mouth) are similar, but happen inside the mouth as the various surfaces touch each other and then separate.

Glottal opens and closures happen in the back of the throat when you open or close your throat.

Excessive sibilance is due to misplacement of the tongue behind the upper front teeth during S, Z Ts, Sh, Ch and other sounds.

Lip smacks, cheek and tongue stitctions and glottal sounds are usually due to dry mouth for nerves or dehydration. They can also be just the way the person speaks.

Excessive sibilance is correctable; usually with 4-6 visits to a good speech therapist, who will help retrain your tongue placement.

Sounds like you need a bit more practice as a dialog editor. :) Editing dialog (monolog) should not result in distortion. What sort of distortion are you talking about?

Hard to say exactly about your gear problems. Some "over" LEDs fire at 1-3 dB below clipping. Others at 0dB. If you can zoom in and don't see clipped peaks, you should be OK.

Regards,

Ty Ford




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Pattie Olson
Re: Pop/Click & Meter == What To Do About Mouth Sounds +
on May 27, 2008 at 3:38:17 pm

Thanks for such an indepth response!

After researching VO talent and doing a lot of listening, I feel that this narrator is very capable. I'm two hours from Denver and I'll be sending her there for some training with a VO coach.

Being in the very dry Colorado climate, we are dealing with the sticitions, but that is managable. The glottal noise is what is stumping me. We tried various head and neck positions and mic placements, but I'm still looking for better results. (Though in my research, I have come across recordings that are much worse, I don't want to be in that catagory!) The distortions I am causing is due to my inexperience in using a pop/click filter. I'm not getting the setting correct and in the process I cause distortion. I'm starting over today, using small incriments of adjustments and keeping track of the results, hoping that I will find an area that at least reduces the glottal noise, but won't harm the narration. The pops at the end of words or in between words, though tedious to remove, I don't mind dealing with. I am wanting to reduce/eliminate the glottal sounds that are in the middle of words.

I am amazed at how sensitive my hearing has become during this process, being able to hear mouth noises that before I never paid attention to.

Thanks for your response Ty, I appreciate your time.

Pattie


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Ty Ford
Re: Pop/Click & Meter == What To Do About Mouth Sounds +
on May 27, 2008 at 3:51:20 pm

Hi Pattie,

"A pop/click filter" I'm not sure what that is. I know what a pop filter is, but it doesn't stop clicks.
Glottal opens and closures are unusual. Could be the person has been talking like that all thier lives.


Yes, the more you hear, the more thre is to hear. :)

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Pattie Olson
Re: Pop/Click & Meter == What To Do About Mouth Sounds +
on May 27, 2008 at 7:44:45 pm

I'll correct myself, I'm using a pop/click eliminator in the effects tab, noise reduction section of Audition. (I do have a pop filter for my mic.) When I've been adjusting the settings for sensitivity, thresholds, detect & reject, if I go too far, I eliminate the pops/clicks, but also distort the narration. Today I'm being more scientific about the adjustments and keeping track of what I'm doing and the results. I went through the Total Training DVDs for Audition quite a while ago, but it was geared for music. It was helpful in getting an overview of the software and what it can do, but it didn't help me for narration.

I found a thread in here that you are writing a second book. It would be great if you could have a chapter (or 2 or 3...) addressing audiobook narration issues. 1) Common problems and mistakes and how to avoid or correct them, 2) the editing sequence you follow after the narration is done, 3) how do you train your ear to sense when something sounds good and you should quit messing with adjustments. I've done alot of research this winter, but have never been able to find answers to these questions, especially 2 & 3.

Ty, thank you very much for your input.

Pattie


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Ty Ford
Re: Pop/Click & Meter == What To Do About Mouth Sounds +
on May 27, 2008 at 8:28:17 pm

Hello Pattie,

Gotcha. You need to practice editing out clicks and pops instead of using filters. You can do it a lot more quickly and without messing up the audio. Audition has that capability.

If you have serious problems all through a piece, then maybe a filter. But you should get much better results by editing out the offending parts while seeing their wave form.

Regards,

Ty Ford

PS: Thanks for the push on the book.

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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