Editing mouth noise and breaths- help for a beginner

I am new to audiobook production, and feel like the learning curve is VERY steep. I have dived headfirst and am trying to get my first book produced. I’m mostly using the punch and roll method, and am very happy with those results, however I’m finding I need to remove a lot of breaths, and occasionally some mouth noise, although I’m much better at avoiding that than BREATHING.
I am using the punch copy/paste plugin and I’ve found its easy to use however I can hear the transition when it goes to my room tone, and back to the original recording. Its not the actual room tone that I’m hearing, but almost a click at the transition points. Is there a way to eliminate this? Pretend you are talking to someone who barely knows how to use audacity (because you are).
Thanks!
I am using Mac OSX and a Rode NT-1 microphone with the Rode AI-1 pre-amp.

Some amount of breathing is normal, and very common in commercial audiobooks.
If you think your breath sounds are excessive, please post a short sample so we can hear how bad the problem is (if bad at all).
See: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-post-an-audio-sample/29851/1

That suggests that your room tone is not constant. The room tone must be constant and low level before any processing.

You may be trying to repair mouth noises too precisely, and leaving a little noise at the ends of the repair. Try allowing a little more space around the noises that you are trying to correct. Note that if the recording is too “perfect” (no breathing and no indication that you are human), the result will be rather unsettling to listen to. No-one wants to listen to a robot for long. The recording should sound natural.

I can hear the transition when it goes to my room tone, and back to the original recording.

That’s not normal. Can you identify the noise? Is this your refrigerator going on and off? Is it traffic noises?

If you don’t change the studio between the takes, then the background noise should be constant.

Do you have Skype running in the background while you record? That can be a problem. Skype audio processing hangs around and can affect other sound systems. It’s very like Skype to change microphone volume according to conditions.

Some noises are fixable but a lot of them are deadly.

I don’t know anyone that has ever been rejected because of normal breathing sounds. Maybe mouth and tongue ticking yes, those can be pretty annoying. “Normal” is the word here. There was a posting from a clinical asthmatic trying to read for audiobooks. That probably didn’t go well.

There are automated techniques for dealing with ticking. Others will post.

There is also a brute force technique. Make the microphone less crisp.

This is a custom equalization curve, BetsyAndTracy.xml from a show with the same problem. Install it in the Audacity Equalizer and try it. Listen. Try it twice and listen to that.


BetsyAndTracy.XML (454 Bytes)
https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/equalization.html

Koz

ACX expects all your chapters to match, so no fair treating some chapters different from others. Yet another reason to find your noises.

The NT1 is a side-fire microphone. You should be talking into the grill just above the company name, not the end like a rock band microphone. If you got a long enough XLR cable…

…you can take your microphone around the room, point it here and there and listen for noises, like that guy at the beach trying to find jewelry in the sand. I found a bad bass cabinet in my recording room like that. It didn’t go off when I turned it off. mmmmmmmmmm.

Koz

I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t get a notification that someone had responded! Thank you all for your responses. I am recording 30 seconds of clean room tone before recording any narration each time I record a chapter. I only use that room tone to cover breath noises. There are no other noises, my room tone is clear the noise is almost imperceptible, and seems to have disappeared once I ran the mastering at the end (using the ACX recommended process which I put into a macro for efficiency.
I think I am OVER editing, after doing more research. I want to paste 2 examples- one of a raw recording and one that I have edited…but Im not actually sure how to do that.
What I have been doing is reducing the breathing noises with noise gate- but just by highlighting them one at a time, not running the noise gate on the entire chapter, as I found this made too many issues

You may be trying to repair mouth noises too precisely, and leaving a little noise at the ends of the repair. Try allowing a little more space around the noises that you are trying to correct. Note that if the recording is too “perfect” (no breathing and no indication that you are human), the result will be rather unsettling to listen to. No-one wants to listen to a robot for long. The recording should sound natural.

I am including a clip with a breath that I feel like is one that I would edit out. I think I’m so scared to breathe that I’m holding my breath unnaturally long and then almost gulping. I’m a singer, and therefore can hold my breath a LOOONG time, but this isn’t a good technique for Narration obviously. I need to work on that.

This is a completely un-edited clip, just to see if I’m “over-editing”my breaths. Would YOU take this one out?
I also feel like I have a lot of mouth noise- and I am going to work on that with lipgloss- and drinking more, etc.
I’m also including an edited clip.

  • you can distinctly here where the edit was made- it’s like a little blip or something. It wasn’t there before I edited, and it isn’t in my room tone- it happens exactly where the edit is made- and it seems to do it almost everywhere I paste clean room tone. I ended up doing all of the last chapter by selecting the quiet areas and doing a noise gate on them bringing it down quieter. It works, but it isn’t an effective fix, and it doesn’t sound as good as pasted room tone does. I can’t figure out if this is an audacity thing, or just a ME thing lol.