Anyone like to share techniques for de-breathing?

I’ve read it’s most natural sounding when going through manually, selecting and then turning down the volume. I have been finding this quite tricky. Sometimes parts I highlight and turn down create a slight but audible pop, I have to go in again sometimes even 4 times until I am sure there is no pop created. It’s challenging to know which part to select because the waves are hardly visible/invisible sometimes.

Would it be better to use the fade effect?

Is there a decent enough effect in Audacity to automatically de-breath instead of doing it manually?

Thanks ahead,


Are you reading for audiobooks?

I don’t know of any instance where ACX has turned down a submission for natural sounds such as breathing. So unless you’re asthmatic or have another other airway problem, the presentation is probably fine the way it is.

Both breathing noises and sibilance (Essing) are boosted if you use a home-style condenser microphone. ACX has a recent posting where they discourage condenser microphones because they can cause voice distortion problems.

Do you have Essing in addition to breathing noises? Are your SS sounds piercing and sharp?

So at the top. Are you reading for audiobooks? Is this your first one? Are you following anybody’s process or technique?

We publish both a mastering process and ACX Check to make sure your work conforms to submission standards.

Let us know.


I edit sermon audio for our church website and have this issue. The only way I know to edit it properly is to listen to the entire sermon and manually take out all of the distracting noises, including the breaths. I use “Silence Audio” most of the time. The pastor we have now has a bit of a speech impediment and doesn’t always pronounce his consonants at the end of the word, so sometimes when you can’t hear an “s” sound I can use “Fade Out” on the breath and it sounds more like there is an “s” there. I am probably too picky and take out too many of the breaths, because it takes a long time to do it this way, but I want it to sound as good as possible.

because it takes a long time to do it this way

There are automatic tools that can help with some vocal problems…sometimes, but if you have a performer with an actual damaged voice, then you’re stuck.


Some performers have found Noise Gate valuable. It’s a tool that waits for the volume to decrease to a set value and then either dumps it or greatly reduces the volume. Oddly, it’s most effective when it’s not needed. If the breath noises are loud enough, they never trigger the gate.

It’s difficult to adjust because if the performer backs away from the microphone just slightly, their voice may vanish completely, and it’s possible to get little heads and tails of noise at each word.


I had difficulty removing breathing from my audio, manually done it is time consuming, and Waves De Breath takes a lot of fiddling and familiarisation. So I was pleased to find the following which did prove very useful:
It isn’t perfect but I’ve had some good results with this method.