Using an audio editor, you can REALLY improve your voice over recordings. This article and video shows you how to get rid of saliva noises, which come out sounding like mouth clicks, when recording voice overs. Of course it works for any kind for any kind of vocal recording where your mouth is close to the microphone.
These saliva "clicks" - along with "p-pops," (for how to remove those, see our article How to Fix a "P-Pop" in Your Audio With Sound Editing Software) are probably the two most common problems we experience when recording vocals.
Just this past week, I was helping a voice-over actor to improve the quality of her recordings. She had just been turned down for a job because, according to the client, there were too many saliva noises in her audio. When I listened to one of her recordings, I knew exactly what the client was hearing.
I struggle with this on my own recordings, so I have experience doing everything I can to prevent that spit noise. But usually I cannot prevent it all, so some saliva noises get recorded.
Once the noises are already in the recording, the only choice (other than trying to record again...and again) is to use audio editing tools to remove the offending saliva noises. My editing tool of choice for this is equalization (or "EQ" for short). To brush up on what EQ is, see our article What is Equalization, Usually Called EQ?
It is almost always best to prevent a problem rather than have to fix it later. So here are some things you can do to keep those spit sounds out of your recordings in the first place:
You’ll see in the video below how to do this using a graphic EQ setting in Audacity’s equalization tool.
As promised, here is a video showing you how to do all of this:
There you have it! Another way to clean up your audio pretty easily, as long as you have a good idea what to do, which is what Home Brew Audio is here to do for you:).
This process CAN take awhile though, especially if you have a long recording, such as when doing a podcast or audiobook. There is a great tool out there for taking care of mouth click sounds MUCH faster. It is not free though, like the above solution. But it might well be worth the investment. That tool is actually a set of tools called iZotope RX.
There are several great tools in RX for editing vocals. But the one I use most - when I'm not just using EQ as above - is the Mouth De-Click module (only available in RX Standard or Advanced, not in RX Elements). It is capable of removing saliva noises from an entire section of audio without affecting everything else (as long as you have the right settings). That REALLY speeds things up.
CLICK HERE to find out more about iZotope RX and/or to purchase it.
Now go forth and produce better audio!