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Techniques for Reducing Mouth Noises When Recording Voiceovers

By Joe Davis. Published Jun 01, 2023.
Filed Under: Techniques

Have you ever recorded what you thought was a perfect voiceover take, only to replay it and hear intrusive sounds - a lip smack, a tongue click, or even a mouth pop? These unwanted noises, known collectively as 'mouth noises', can be a nuisance in the recording studio, potentially disrupting the flow of your work and compromising the quality of your recordings. However, these sounds are not an inevitable part of voiceover work. By understanding what causes mouth noises and implementing some straightforward techniques, you can significantly reduce their incidence. This article provides comprehensive strategies for dealing with mouth noises, helping you to produce cleaner, more professional voiceover recordings.

1. Hydration is Key

One of the primary causes of mouth noises is dryness in the oral cavity. Staying properly hydrated before and during your recording sessions can help alleviate this issue. Drink plenty of water, but avoid consuming it ice-cold, as cold water can tighten your vocal cords. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dry mouth. Also, consider using a room humidifier if you're working in a dry environment.

2. Eat Smart

What you eat before a voiceover session can significantly impact the number and types of mouth noises you produce. Dairy products, for instance, can thicken saliva, leading to unwanted noise. Foods like apples, however, can help by stimulating saliva production, which naturally lubricates the mouth and reduces noise.

3. Perfect Your Mic Technique

Working too close to the microphone can amplify mouth noises. Experiment with different distances and angles to find a position that picks up your voice optimally without overly highlighting unwanted sounds. Also, consider using a pop filter, which can help reduce the impact of plosives and some mouth noises.

4. Voice and Speech Warm-ups

Just as athletes warm up their bodies before a game, voice actors should warm up their voices before a recording session. These exercises can include tongue twisters, articulation exercises, and light humming, which can help limber up the tongue, lips, and vocal cords, making mouth noises less likely.

5. Regular Breathing Exercises

Good breath control can significantly reduce unwanted mouth noises. Regular breathing exercises, such as deep belly breathing, can help enhance your control over your breath while speaking, helping you avoid inadvertent mouth sounds.

6. Take Regular Breaks

Continual talking can dry out your mouth, leading to an increase in mouth noises. Ensure you take regular breaks during your recording sessions to rest your voice, hydrate, and refresh.

7. Slow Down

Rushing through your script increases the likelihood of mouth noises. Taking your time allows for better articulation and reduces the chances of making extraneous noises. It also provides listeners with a better experience.

8. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene can also help reduce mouth noises. Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth before a recording session to ensure your oral cavity is free from food particles that can contribute to unwanted sounds.

9. Editing Software

Despite your best efforts, some mouth noises may sneak into your recording. Good editing software can help you remove these unwanted sounds in post-production. However, it's essential not to overly rely on this method, as it's always better to capture the cleanest recording possible.

10. Seek Professional Coaching

If mouth noises persist, it might be worth investing in a voice coach. They can provide personalized feedback and suggest tailored techniques to combat mouth noises based on your unique vocal characteristics.

While mouth noises are a common challenge in voiceover work, they are not insurmountable. With these strategies, you can mitigate their impact, resulting in cleaner recordings and a smoother, more

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