Thursday, March 31, 2011

Elimiate breathing sounds in voiceover audio with this handy filter

When you're cutting clean, well-recorded and professional VOs where the breaths are real loud and clear you can usually use the expander filter to pot out low-volume breath sounds instead of cutting them out manually.

Set the threshold at the level perhaps just above where the breaths are (they were at around -30db) you can use the ratio slider to move them down in the dynamic range so they're essentially inaudible. Then you want to set the release time a little long because otherwise you'll start to lob off the ending consonants like S and F and "Sh"

There is a reason why I qualify this as specifically applying to professionally recorded voiceovers and that is that in non-boothed or poor recordings the signal-to-noise ratio is low, or in other words there's a loud noise floor surrounding your lovely voice, and this filter will give you a different result in that case. You'll hear the noise floor coming in and out, depending on your attack/release times: no good for most uses. In professional recordings done from a sound booth, or with the microphone very close to the subject, your noise floor is reduced and this filter will be more effective.