Hard sound noise reduction advice needed

Gary James wrote on 8/18/2013, 5:10 PM
I'm preparing a tutorial video and I've decided the best approach is to record my scripted audio track first, then later, while playing back the audio track, I'll perform the video capture in sync with the audio.

The problem is my audio recording contains huge spikes every time I pronounce a word starting with "T", and "P", I've run the audio track through Sound Forge 10, using the Wave hammer and Noise Reduction plugins to limit the spikes, but the sound quality on these sounds has a distorted edge to them. The odd thing is, everything else in the recording is perfectly clear.

Is there an answer to this problem? Or do I have to go with what I have?


musicvid10 wrote on 8/18/2013, 5:24 PM
Izotope RX will nail the spikes, but at a $price$
When recording v/o, aim the airflow above and over the capsule, not into it.
That's likely the cause of your plosives.
Derm wrote on 8/18/2013, 6:50 PM
Are you using a pop shield?
Gary James wrote on 8/18/2013, 9:34 PM
No I'm not. I'm using a Buddy Desktop Mini 7G USB mic. I've never used a pop shield before so I'm unfamiliar with them, and how effective they may be.
Gary James wrote on 8/18/2013, 10:00 PM
It sounds like the only solution to my problem is to redo the recording. Fortunately I'd only recorded about 1/4th of the overall training video when I decided to review what I'd done.

Looks like I should spend some time adjusting my Mic setup, and order myself a pop shield.
rraud wrote on 8/18/2013, 11:37 PM
Attempting to fix poorly recorded audio is just polishing a turd.. Expensive restoration software may help, but not nearly as good as re-recording... if possible... with proper a proper microphone and accessories.
CJB wrote on 8/19/2013, 3:04 PM
If you are getting plosives then try placing the mic off axis from your mouth. Experiment with your setup prior to your actual recording to make sure you are not overloading signal during plosives and controlling your sibilence.
mudsmith wrote on 8/19/2013, 4:01 PM
A little more nuanced explanation:

"Plosives" (big spikes, usually bassy, from b's, p's, etc.) are not, strictly speaking, "noise" and will never respond to noise reduction in the way that constant background noise will.

After the fact, they are one of the most difficult things to remove, BUT there is an alternative course of action for doing surgery on each instance: muting the initial attack of the onset of the plosive can help, along with adding a hi-pass filter that only hangs out for the duration of the plosive itself.....I actually managed to do this on my automated console, so it is certainly doable (at least some of the time) within DAW software.

"Esses" (extreme sibilance), which may be what you are getting on the "T's", but are more likely on "S's", are another thing entirely, and can often be eliminated afterwards by employing a "de-esser", which is a compressor utilizing a sidechain eq tuned to the frequency of the sibilance (about 6 to 7khz). Plug-in dessers abound.

Beyond that, I agree fully with the comments of others that recommend using pop filters on the mic and/ or placing the mic to the side and above the mouth to avoid plosives.

Since the plosives are also hotter than the average signal, you may have also distorted the tape/file, which makes them even more difficult to remove.
Gary James wrote on 8/20/2013, 9:36 AM
I'm not very familiar with the native Audio Plug-In support in Vegas. Do you know if Vegas has a "De-esser" in its library of audio plug-ins?
wwaag wrote on 8/20/2013, 10:56 AM
See this thread.


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kodack10 wrote on 8/21/2013, 1:48 AM
If you can't use a pop shield record your vocals off axis. IE move the mic to the side of your mouth pointed at your mouth like a 45 degree off axis, so your plosives miss the diaphram but are still picked up well.
Andy_L wrote on 8/21/2013, 10:26 AM
You, as the vocal actor, can also do a lot to reduce this issue. Practice saying these letters without making big puffs of air. You can actually mute the puff quite a bit once you get used to the concept. And if you need to emphasize a word beginning with a problem letter, you can lean away a bit from your mic, as well as shift your angle, to further help the system cope.

That plus a pop guard should result in no problems.
Dan Sherman wrote on 8/22/2013, 7:03 AM
Re record and this time stay about 9 inches away from the mic.
Place mic above your mouth pointing down at about a 45 degree angle to the sound source, or talk across the mic.
I'm assuming this mic is somewhat omnidirectional.
The idea is not to crowd the mic.
If you're reading, and you are constantly worried about popping Ps you will be distracted from communicating the information.
And if you are monitoring your voice with headphones, use that sound only as a reference.
I record without cans when I can, but that is not always possible.
The other option to is to farm out the work to a professional.
Great narration is not nearly as easy as it may appear.
And sound is 70 per cent of what your viewer will "see".
Very important.
Guy S. wrote on 8/22/2013, 10:19 AM
I used a pop shield for years and always found it a hassle. I recently switched to a fuzzy windjammer and it's been just as effective for me and MUCH easier to use.

Mic positioning can affect popping, sibilance, and tonal quality. You've received some excellent suggestions here, try them and see which one works best for you.

Mic Fuzzy
Gary James wrote on 8/23/2013, 9:29 AM
I'd like to thank everyone who contributed suggestions on ways to reduce the Plosive and Sibilance issues I was experiencing. I purchased a dual screen Pop Shield from Amazon for just $10, and it worked miracles in completely eliminating my Plosive problem. With a combination of techniques suggested here, I was able to greatly reduce my Sibilance problems. Angling the microphone combined with talking over the mic, and a post recording treatment through a Sibilance filter really helped. There still is a touch of Sibilance at places, but this is down dramatically from the massive clipped peaks it had been before.

The technique of recording my training video audio using Sound Forge Pro v10, editing the recording, and later playing it back while performing a screen recording using Camtasia Recorder v8.1 worked perfectly. All that was left was to punch-up the video in Camtasia Studio v8.1, and upload it to .

This training video shows how to use my free Timeline Tools Vegas Extension to layout multiple Events in the Vegas Timeline to create Slideshow projects that contain hundreds of images.
Dan Sherman wrote on 8/27/2013, 7:29 PM
I takes years to become even a good announcer/voice actor/narrator.
Why not monitor a local radio station, pick someone who fits the bill.
Then call him/her.
You may be surprised at the cost.
Then your project will have some polish and stand out.
You might even have it recorded at the station which will have high quality mics and recording equipment.
My two cents.
Give it a shot!
Gary James wrote on 8/28/2013, 8:30 AM
Dan, your suggestions make sense, and may even be true in my local area.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a public speaker. But this project was done on a shoestring budget to provide support for a free piece of software. So even reasonably priced "speaking" talent was out of my price range.

Given that I had to work with what I had, I was looking for input from some of the best minds around in the audio recording field. And believe me, I learned a lot. I'd like to again thank everyone for the tips on audio recording techniques.

Gary ...

Laurence wrote on 8/28/2013, 10:07 AM
There are several online services where for a fee you can send in a script and have a high quality file emailed back you you. You can even step through a catalog of voices online to find the type of voice you are looking for. The one I use is http://tvandradiovoices.com. Unlike larger competing services, he will send you a lossless flac version rather than the mp3 format other services tend to want to use.
Gary James wrote on 8/28/2013, 11:07 AM
Laurence, can you give me a rough idea what their fees are, and how they are calculated? I looked for a price list, but couldn't find anything.