Best compression settings to reduce breathing sound

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I like the overall result when applying the audio compressor. But all the presets make my breathing too loud. 
I played with the parameters but didn't get a good result. How do I set the compressor so that my breathing isn't too loud?
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ragdoll

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Posted 3 months ago

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Joe Morgan

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The best thing you can do is make adjustments so you don't capture your breath sounds. Move the mic further from your mouth,etc.

With a selective noise filter, you can select a portion of your breathing sounds.And the program will do its best to remove just your breath sounds.With adjustments to try and achieve the best results.

I'm sure the Free program Audacity has such a filter.

I use Adobe addition myself.

With Camtasia? You play with settings till you get the best result possible.There is no common setting as everyone's audio recordings differ. Its  likely you will be unsuccessful. If you are, remember that setting, you'll need it down the road.

Regards,Joe
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paulwilliamengle

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Something like Waves DeBreath plugin for ~$40 may give you some more refined control over silencing breaths in your narration, but it would require using a standalone audio application. 


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Ed Covney

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What kind of microphone do you use? I have a small boom mic off the left ear piece of a headset. When I placed the mic where I thought it should be - 3 or 4 inches straight forward from my mouth, it picked up inhales and exhales really well. Then I put it under my chin, BINGO, it stopped picking up breathing sounds.
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dmey503

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^^^
Breathing and other sounds are not something you'll want to remove in post. It's like trying to remove a tumor--it's very hard not to damage the surrounding tissue. If you really want clean sound then it's what you do during production that matters most. 

Here are a few audio tips:
  • Record narration separate from your video so you can time your breathing. 
  • Record in Audacity or Audition so you can work with uncompressed files instead of m4a files.
  • Record your lines in chunks and don't leave big gaps of white noise on your timeline. 
  • A lot of mics also have a built-in attenuator/pad switch that lets you step down the output signal (usually by 10 db). If you're getting a lot of feedback or picking up a lot of breathing/ambient noises, make sure it's set on -10 db. I almost always have mine set on -10 db. 
  • Use a voice artist if possible. I have two I work with and both come from radio. The difference between them narrating and me narrating is night and day haha
  • Invest in a pop filter, shock mount, and some acoustic sound panels. 
  • I once built a DIY recording booth that was a large box that I lined with egg carton foam using spray adhesive. It cost about $30 to build and there was an insane improvement to sound quality. 

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paulwilliamengle

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I definitely agree that mic placement can completely affect your sense - for good or ill. 

"Breathing and other sounds are not something you'll want to remove in post. It's like trying to remove a tumor--it's very hard not to damage the surrounding tissue. If you really want clean sound then it's what you do during production that matters most. "

I think it depends on what space - if any - exists between the words and the breath. Also, i fyou're using Camtasia to edit audio, versus a dedicated audio application like Audacity, Audition or Reaper, then I agree with the above: your ability to zoom in enough to silence or cut the breath sound will be limited. 

But as I use Reaper, I usually don't have an issue with removing breath sounds. 

I've responded to a few of the audio tips below in italics:
  • Record narration separate from your video so you can time your breathing. Agreed, but this is my preference for creating video in general. It also allows me to construct the two elements together for a tighter product overall. 
  • Record in Audacity or Audition so you can work with uncompressed files instead of m4a files. Again, I agree with this because I think the aforementioned programs are just better for working with audio in general. 
  • A lot of mics also have a built-in attenuator/pad switch that lets you step down the output signal (usually by 10 db). If you're getting a lot of feedback or picking up a lot of breathing/ambient noises, make sure it's set on -10 db. I almost always have mine set on -10 db. I would be careful with this ; a 10 db attenuation may make a stark differnece on a relatively quiet source like the human voice. 
  • Invest in a pop filter, shock mount, and some acoustic sound panels. No arguments here.  
  • I once built a DIY recording booth that was a large box that I lined with egg carton foam using spray adhesive. It cost about $30 to build and there was an insane improvement to sound quality.  No arguments here. 

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ragdoll

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Thank you for all the replies. I'll try to lower my mic next time
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paulwilliamengle

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So this is a lot of advice, and if you have a second to spare, try recording a paragraph or a page (i.e., not your full narration) with some of the suggestions above and play it back for analysis. 

If it's making a positive difference, then you've got your solution. 

If it's not making a difference or introducing new problems into your recording chain, you can stop and assess from there. 

There are absolutely best practices people in front of a microphone have discovered - but there's no one linear, true path towards great sound. 

Some of this will be experimentation and finding what works best for you. 

I wish you the best of luck on this exciting journey.
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dmey503

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One other useful tip: Know where the fans are on your computer or projector, and where air vents are located on the ceiling. Like anyone who does enough film and audio work, you learn how to MacGuyver solutions on the fly. I once had surprisingly good results by building a little fort around my mic with conference room chairs and hanging movers blankets over the side. It wasn't perfect but again, tiny efforts will make a huge difference.

And that's why, to this day, I keep a roll of duct tape and a couple movers blankets with my audio equipment lol 
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paulwilliamengle

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I’m reminded of anecdotes from NPR reporters and The Daily contributors making blanket forts in their hotel room because they had to contribute usable audio in a pinch.