Help With Voice Quality Post-Processing (AT2020)

Hi, I’m using an AT2020 microphone with Audacity 2.1.3 on Windows 10. The mic’s about 7 inches from my mouth, with a pop filter and floor mic stand.

I’m desperate to remove or lessen the mouth clicks I get. I’ve tried moving the mic in different positions, water, apples, brushing teeth beforehand, sitting closer or further away, nothing seems to work. I get a little success with Audacity’s noise reduction and Paul L’s declicker, but I’m probably not using them as well as I could with the settings. Reading threads like and it seems like my clicking is so much worse than any I’ve seen even with similar microphones. Maybe it’s just the way I talk. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


AT2020 or AT2020USB?

I don’t hear any mouth clicks.

How are you listening? I hear some pretty stiff background noise that I can’t easily get rid of. That’s concerning because if you’re trying to read for audiobooks or anything high quality, heavy noise reduction is not welcome. Background noise can make vocal processing difficult.

It sounds like you’re recording in a laundromat. Is that your computer fan noise?


Nah, it’s my AC. Here’s with it off. You can hear the “click” when I say “thanks” at the end.

The mouth-clicks can be removed using this DeClicker plugin
suggested settings to remove mouth clicks.png

The only control to experiment-with is “sensitivity threshold” : use the highest value which removes the clicks.

[ DeClicking is slow: with those settings it will take approximately the same time as playback-time to process the audio].

Did that help?


That’s amazing. Your settings basically fix’d it.

Thanks very much!

Would either of you recommend using any other post-processing on my stuff? A compressor or something?

When I get home. I’m going to send you through the AudioBook Mastering suite. With the noise and clicks gone, I expect it to pass.


The DeClicker hasn’t got them all: the settings above are a trade-off between speed & accuracy.
Sometimes fixing the clicks manually (individually) is the only cure …[b]“spectral+edit”+tool[/b]

OK. Tell you what. Make one of these:

… apply one pass of the clip and pop removal of your choice and post it here on the forum. Don’t do anything else.

If you do mono (one blue wave) you can take it out to 20 seconds. The two-seconds of room tone is important. Don’t move and try not to breath.


OK. Tell you what. Make one of these:

This is unedited except for the declicker and settings Trebor posted.

The fan-noise goes across most of the sound spectrum : rather than just a few discrete frequencies.
So removing it, (with noise reduction), inevitably damages the voice …

The ideal solution would be get away-from / rid-of the fan.

[ Audacity does not come with a Noise gate , you can get one here ].

That sounds great. Could you walk me through what steps you took to get it sounding like that? Unfortunately the fan is from my computer so I can’t really escape it.

The “Noise Profile” is the “2 seconds of silence” bit at the end where you weren’t speaking.
suggested noise-reduction settings.png
Then use the noise-gate to reduce the noise between words & phrases …
suggested noise gate settings.png
NB: that’s reduce (by 10dB) rather than eliminate it, as dead-silence between words is distracting.

How’s this?

Is there anything else you guys would recommend or do you think I’m set?

It sounds perfectly pleasant to me except for the laundromat in the background. Straight Audiobook corrections fail noise and it’s not easy to get rid of it even after I started to throw heavy corrections at it.

You know when you’re in trouble when the corrections start needing corrections. Heavy noise reduction will pass ACX, but just barely. I applied a Notch Filter to get rid of the one single electric motor tone (120Hz—you’re in the US, right?) and that threw off the ACX Peak reading. And round and round…

I’m posting the work I got after simple ACX corrections but before Noise Reduction. Turn the volume up on the last two seconds. I’m not kidding. I have a laundromat that sounds exactly like that.

This is the tool collection I’m following.


“Can’t make it through 20 seconds…”

That’s practice. No, it’s not that easy.


Side note: I would have no trouble listening to a story in that voice. We just have to lick the noise.

When the yellow light comes on, put the fabric softener in.


It seems a bit quiet. I would use RMS normalize to ~21dB…
Suggested 'RMS Normalize' settings  (it's a plugin).png
then Audacity’s native limiter, which will to reduce the volume of any loud bits …
suggested limiter settengs (to be applied after RMS normalize 21dB).png
Then the (optional) final step is DeEssing to reduce excessive sibilance …
suggested DeEsser settings (another plugin) this is the final step.png
Once you’ve perfected the settings on the various effects you can Chain them togther to automate the processing.

I would use RMS normalize to ~21dB…

RMS Normalize in the correction suite is -20dB which is even louder yet.

In my opinion we should wait for polished fine tuning until the noise is licked. Stiff Noise Reduction can cause response and essing problems.


I bet I can predict the past.
Can you tell if your computer is on just by listening?

These don’t make a lot of noise. The ACX guy whose name I don’t remember is using a formal sound room on the bottom. I’m on top. Furniture moving pads are fine with me.

You can tell when these things are running, but you have to smash your ear up against the lid hinge.