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Best Practices for removing breath sounds in a natural sounding way from voice overs?

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Re: Best Practices for removing breath sounds in a natural sounding way from voice overs?

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Jan 28, 2021 11:10 am

I've started a new thread https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=76327 on the 32-bit/64-bit aspects so we don't wander too far away from the topic here ! :lol:
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Re: Best Practices for removing breath sounds in a natural sounding way from voice overs?

Postby Tim Gillett » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:38 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Breathing is a natural part of human speech, and removing it completely results in a sound quality that is both very unnatural, and gives the impression of bad editing!

I agree, and breath is often a way of expressing and communicating various emotions and reactions. Editing speech down to just the words spoken seems like a risky business to me.

This show reel of audiobook narrations is interesting. In the sample narrations some breath gets through but there seem essentially silences between the spoken words, while by contrast the voice introducing each narration has natural breath preserved.

https://youtu.be/dsiZhXVRvJc

My impression is that in audiobook production there seems a tendency to smash flat any hint of background noise, even when it can be part of the narrators' performance.
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Re: Best Practices for removing breath sounds in a natural sounding way from voice overs?

Postby MarkyC » Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:45 pm

Thanks for this thread guys. I wont add to the audio comments as people who know more have already spoken. Just some observations.

With things being what they are the use of videos with a decent vocal is such a valuable tool in business. My work has changed quite a bit recently because I have a decent microphone, access to a duvet and vaguely understand mic technique (through trial and error).

Whilst trying to train others is a great concept, I found that in my organisation, people just don’t get the importance of a decent vocal until they hear it played back against something of quality. Many think a decent sound just magically happens and blame their tools rather than making small changes that really help.

Most people say “I hate the sound of my voice” when what they really mean is “I hate the way my voice sounds when recorded badly”. They will spend ages putting a software demo together and then fail miserably when it comes to the audio.

Unfortunately what that has meant is that I have become the go to voice over guy (actually something I enjoy so no big deal). The workflow we have developed is that they do the video recording and talk over it. I play that back with Word Dictate on. I then take that Word Doc and make it a script. Import their file into Cubase, split out the audio, redub their part, export audio. Then take the original video and new audio file and import that into Camtasia, add any corporate titles (same intro to everything makes it more cohesive) and render.

It does take time but the payback is worth it.

By the way thanks for the heads up on, just purchased iZotope it. :thumbup:
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Re: Best Practices for removing breath sounds in a natural sounding way from voice overs?

Postby merlyn » Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:08 pm

A constant and unrelenting stream of words is a popular style with the kids, as exemplified by e.g. Philip DeFranco, whose videos are kind of like the Nine O'Clock News for the internet generation :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNW_ZT1oVBY

If he took a breath the yoofs might click on something else.
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Re: Best Practices for removing breath sounds in a natural sounding way from voice overs?

Postby CS70 » Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:09 pm

MarkyC wrote:Whilst trying to train others is a great concept, I found that in my organisation, people just don’t get the importance of a decent vocal until they hear it played back against something of quality.

Then I would just do that. :)

Engineering types are very sensitive to anything regarding their chosen skills, but also tend to disregard completely stuff they think it's simple or not worth of their attention. So make it about their ability to produce a complete quality product. You say these people are smart. It's the stupid ones which are harder to convince, so you should have a good starting point.
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Re: Best Practices for removing breath sounds in a natural sounding way from voice overs?

Postby MarkyC » Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:47 pm

Yep - I think you are rite they do see it as simple and get quite perplexed when they get the better polished result so they just give up.

I'll try again on some of the easier to influence one :headbang:
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