Mouth noise hell

Mouth noise in your recording - it’s very frustrating.
It’s bad enough during the editing process I have to fix all the re-read areas, but I could live with that.
Mouth noises are what’s really killing me now. The first thing I noticed back when I first started is at the end of every word that ends in an ‘S’ sound (and even many that don’t), I would get a ‘tick’, loud enough to be bad. This is not sibilance. Sibilance is more of a hissing sound. This is my mouth/lips making a popping sound.
This is not toooo bad. It comes at the end of sentences and is easy to see. I also can manage it a bit by staying hydrated and other tricks and voodoo rituals that one does to manage mouth noises.
More recently I have noticed noises in my recordings that are REALLY annoying. Pops and ticks and crinkly noises…FUN. Yeah, right.
Now, definitely most, if not all, of these noises can be attributed to my mouth, cracking jaw, etc. But sometimes when I hear sharp pops and things that only show up in one single amplitude of the sine wave, I begin to suspect digital artifacts.
Changing microphones has not helped. I will test on a different computer tonight to see if I see the same issues.
In the meantime, here are a couple of samples. Digital? or voice?


Now I know I’m not crazy…


No, you may actually be crazy, but those are two examples of the digital system going on vacation briefly and not following the show. And both of those are different from gritty or overly peaked sound in the words.

If you get too close to a directional microphone and it’s a condenser type and you use very stiff noise reduction, your voice may be nearly unuseable for theatrical production.

Post a raw sample of you performing. Do Not Change Anything. Record it, Export and Post it.

We never got the goal. Are you reading a podcast? Theatrical voice work for hire? What’s the microphone? If you’ve been watching the forum, you know we live on part numbers and model descriptions.


That’s commonly known as a “drop out”. As Koz wrote, it occurs when the sound cannot get from being a sound, to being data on the hard drive, fast enough. A bottleneck somewhere is preventing the computer from writing all of the data before the next data arrives, so some of the data is dropped (lost), leaving a “hole” in the waveform where that data should have been.

The version of Audacity and the operating system are important factors in this issue. Which version of Audacity are you using, and which operating system?

Some information that is relevant specifically to macOS: FAQ:Recording - Troubleshooting - Audacity Manual

Some more general information about the issue: FAQ:Recording - Troubleshooting - Audacity Manual

and more detailed information here: Missing features - Audacity Support

Thanks! Those links have some good info on settings in Audacity and Windows that I need to look closer at.

Strangely enough, and I didn’t even want to mention this, but in my most recent recordings, I’m also getting occasional “farting”-type noises. It’s not me! I promise! It’s not my stomach either, but they sound like they could only be human noises. No way to fix them in post, either. Has to be a re-record. I’ve thought possibly it is my chair making noises I am not aware of, but man it sounds like it is 2 inches from the mic. Bizarre. I’ll try to collect some of the noises if you all want a good laugh. The first couple were funny to me too…now, not so much.

Audacity version 2.2.2.
The laptop is Windows 7 (I know, not good for audio recording, but it’s what I have right now).

btw…anyone have any suggestions on non-computer recording equipment?

To answer Koz’s earlier question about the goal…
audiobook production (which is why I posted in this section of the forums :wink: )


I get these, too. I thought these were mouth noises, but is it really possible to have a mouth noise that only appears in a millisecond instance of the single sine wave oscillation???

Raw recording attached for your listening pleasure…

I’m really starting to think I’m going to have to re-record this entire book. :open_mouth:



Here’s another example and it might be a good one.

The first part to me seems like the ‘drop-out’ issue, evidenced by the sharp popping.
The second part has more ‘crinkly’ or treble-y pops to it, which makes me think those are mouth noises, but I don’t know, maybe those are drop-outs too.
So frustrating…this recording is toast.


btw…anyone have any suggestions on non-computer recording equipment?

That is the logical alternative, isn’t it? I would give anything to be able to supply an equipment list, but I can’t.

The obvious choice is record on your phone. I’m still struggling with that. There was a recent poster who tried recording on her Android phone and it was a nightmare. She couldn’t find all the settings to keep the phone from beating her voice black and blue.

I have reverse problem. I have no trouble recording a very nice quality voice recording with iPhone Music Memo (which is designed for this sort of thing), but neither I nor the Apple store can get the work out of the phone and into my Mac to edit and process it (that’s on-going). Also there’s the side issue that they used an odd sound format. I can’t get completely upset over this because the format they used is terrific. It’s not just recognized by anybody else.

Son of a !@#$%.

Scene shifts to the Olympus WS-823 personal recorder. I’m up to three. Terrific recorder and I can do a good job recording a test audiobook recording.

It’s discontinued. If you search for it, they shunt you off to a simple, consumer recorder with no known talents.

Then, we assume after an uproar, they brought it back—at twice the price.

I agree with you. If some misguided soul gave me a recording contract, I would not be using a computer to do it.

And I’m not alone. There was that This American Life show where an audiobook reader locked herself in a hotel closet by accident. She was using a small personal recorder and just brought it in with her and a quilt.

I would be going through all the computer hygiene tricks. When was the last time you did a disk optimization? How full is the drive? How are you reading the work? Are you reading it on the screen? So that’s two different things you have running on the machine. Any more? Can you clean restart the machine? Shift-Shutdown rather than straight Shutdown or Restart.

As above, these are artifacts of the machine not being able to keep up with your work. Make the machine as clean as possible, make sure there’s tons of defragmented drive space. Only run Audacity. Print out the scrip if you have to.

Disconnect the network. Shut down BlueTooth and Wifi.

Make sure all the microphone connections are clean. Unplug and replug several times. You may need to tell Audacity to find the microphone again if you do that.

There’s nothing wrong with Win7. I used one for sound services for years at work.

You have something broken and it feels like machine overload.


There is one more evil possibility. When was the last time you did the supervisory virus check? That’s the one where you start it and go out for dinner or to bed. It takes the machine away from you for a long time and checks everything thoroughly. You can’t be using it when it does that.


hmmmm…I’m intrigued. What type of mic and connection do you have? And what recording app?

I just looked into this a bit and Voice Record Pro outputs to .wav (as well as others) and is highly rated. And looks like they have tons of ways to offload it.


What type of mic and connection do you have?

Voice Record Pro outputs to .wav

I’m suspicious of apps with “Voice” in the title. Many of them think they’re required to apply voice processing to the work. ACX is particularly sensitive to any audiobook submission that sounds like a cellphone.

I’m messing with Music Memo whose description tells me it will pass music and high quality sounds with no processing or damage. They were right. It’s a free install from the App Store.

“This could be good! [rubbing hands]”

I did get one vocal pass to work before I lost the juju (technical term). That’s what makes me crazy. Soooo close.


I did see one app that appeared like two reels of tape on the screen. It probably animated. No idea what that is, but I saw it in a News Gathering picture. There is a shift between News Gathering and Studio Recording, even if they use similar microphones.


Does your computer have a Solid State Drive? That eliminates a lot of problems cause by older spinning metal.


It has the sound processing turned off by default…and a butt load of features. I’m still messing around with it, but seems really nice.


Thought about that today. I could put an SSD in it, but you got me excited about trying this iphone thing. Today I ordered the iRig Pre HD which will allow me to connect my XLR mic (Shure SM58) to the iPhone.

I did a test with just my earphone/mic - did not notice any digital artifacts.

btw, in my research, they have a device called an “airstash”, a wireless ‘thumbdrive’ - perhaps you could get your files off that way.

With the Voice Record Pro app, one of the options was “wiFi”…I clicked it and it sets up an instant wifi server. I then go on my editing computer, type in the address it gives me in my browser and viola! there is my audio file to be downloaded…nice!


perhaps you could get your files off that way.

I’m more than half-way convinced I’m doing something wrong. I’m not that good with the iPod shortcuts and just the fact that I got it to work once tells me I just haven’t caught up with where they hid the tools.

Large companies sometimes have “vacation relief” where they bring in new people to train on jobs before the big guns go on vacation. iTunes was without question programmed by vacation relief.

The goal is to produce a simple way for many different people to do this; to replace the Yeti USB microphone that never worked right.

Today I ordered the iRig Pre HD…

How well did it work without that or the earset? The microphones in iPods and iPhones are reasonable. In the case of the iPhone you have to pick the right one, but the goal is not to see how much technology and hardware you can throw at the job.


Definitely not gonna happen with earbuds with the crappy in-line mic. I haven’t really done a soundbooth test with the built-in mic. I know there is some good stuff on the iPhone. For example, the built-in camera is like owning a $400 camera, or at least it was. But I can’t imagine the built-in mic could compete with an XLR Dynamic mic.


about iTunes…I agree with you there. It’s even ridiculously hard to manage playlists in it, the one ‘simple’ feature it should do well.

But I can’t imagine the built-in mic could compete with an XLR Dynamic mic.

The theater sucks because I’m not an announcer. But it does pass ACX Audiobook standards and my voice oddities (lip tick city) can be fixed.


You definitely have presence in your voice, which is great. I have a voice that lives somewhere down my throat and i have to make a great effort to project. A bit earlier, I tried recording with the iPhone mic. I was pleasantly surprised to see the wave form size much bigger than what I was getting with the SM58 and Behringer U-phoria, but it brought out the mouth sounds big time. I’m not sure exactly why except perhaps it has a lot more treble to the recording. My mouth noises are very similar to yours, but I’ve had recordings where I’vet had hardly any at all, probably when I’ve hydrated properly. Without proper hydration, the mouth becomes very sticky and you get a lot of those noises.

How are you fixing them? I’m individually editing mine. If you have some filter tricks, that would be great.

Oh, I also got a lot of plosives recording directly into the iPhone, but probably because I was talking directly into the mic, holding it in my hand with my quick test. I’m sure that could be fixed mounting it the way you have it mounted.

I should have my XLR adapter by Wednesday and will test. If my voice is any less crackly that way, I think it would be well worth it. I will compare it to the PC record vs. built-in mic and see what is better. If the PC recording wins, I will start taking steps to fix the drop-outs.


No matter what the microphone, the spacing rules apply. Front-on to the microphone should be about a Hawaiian Shaka…

… and if you have a blast filter about a power fist.

There is a third option that many purists aren’t fond of. Place the mic mouth-level to the side about the corner of your eye. You can get close and louder that way with much less instance of pop and mouth noises. Most of your breath blasts go straight forward.

This is about where a headset microphone would be.

Although I wouldn’t get that close.

This method has the additional advantage of not putting the microphone right in front of you blocking your script. This technique may be the only way you can get a “gentle volume” USB microphone to work. And no, this isn’t going to sound the same as microphone straight in front, but given the number of complaints of excessive crispness, harshness and sibilance, that may not be such a bad thing.