Help! Reader with too many inhalation noises

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Pinklady77
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Post by Pinklady77 » October 4th, 2019, 9:05 pm

Hello fellow Librivoxers'

I was looking for this subject but I hadn't found anything so forgive me if this is a repeated topic.

Now that I have a few readings under my belt and I feel comfortable with what I'm doing I notice I have to edit out a lot of extra breathing noise of my own. So to be specific I have a lot of audible inhalation sounds before I start a sentence and also in mid sentence like a pause or period.

What are some of the best practices for controlling your breathing during a read?
Am I perhaps reading too fast?

Any and all suggestions are welcome!

Lola Janie
Lola

Cori
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Post by Cori » October 5th, 2019, 4:32 am

Love this topic! So, are we talking great air gulps, which happen less often, or regular breathing which is happening throughout (obviously :D )? Because, I'd very highly recommend leaving the latter alone. Listening to recordings with breathing stripped out makes many listeners (including me!) feel like they're holding their own breath. I've also found that breathing can contribute to the character (and yes, this may just all be in my own head) ... I do feel like a few of my bigger characters do breathe differently to me. It's a feature, not a problem.

Gulpy breaths, I do relate to. I fix during editing, I'm afraid. My favourite trick is to make a 'perfect breath' snippet which I can then copy and paste in between sentences. I make it by thinking about how long a gap I normally leave on average, and then finding a good quiet (but still slightly audible) breath that fits that length (or fiddle about with it until it does fit.) Then I can just paste it in over the original gap, and it sounds natural. This might sound like a hassle, but once it's set up it's very quick to do (and I'll often use the same breath for a whole book, copying and pasting to the end of the file so I can save it between editing sessions.) For mid-sentence problem breaths, I select the breath audio and just lower the volume/gain/dB on it a little. Again, I try not to make it disappear, just soften it a bit.

Finally, the professionals' answer, as I understand from reading around: fix the problem before you get to editing! Which is what you asked, but I'm a terrible answerer. Slowing down the read really does help with these breaths. Keeping the mouth open in between sentences can avoid mouth clicks and harshness (I've never got the hang of remembering this, but it seems like a great tip!) You can also practice breath control by taking a good breath, then reciting numbers slowly and clearly: 1, 2, 3 ... and over time you should find your ending number going up (no cheating by mumbling out the last few as quickly as possible ;) )
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » October 5th, 2019, 6:31 am

+1 on what Cori already said. :thumbs:

Just thought of something... You know who take reeeeeeeeally big breaths? Singers. I wonder what their take is. Of course with their voice often working at its highest, the breathe-ins aren't audible (or are they?) They probably time their breathing along with the notes they need to make...

I think the key here (like on countless other occasions) is practice. And the key to a successful practice is (a) paying attention (you already do that) and (b) repetition.

And, yes, slow down a bit, maybe. And try not to judge yourself too harshly. :)
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

lymiewithpurpose
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Post by lymiewithpurpose » October 5th, 2019, 8:56 am

I used to have the same issue. After doing some research, I found a trick that worked for me. I found that I was gasping from my chest, when instead I should be breathing from my diaphragm as singers and actors do. For one, this is a quieter way of breathing. In addition, it does slow you down slightly and makes you take a good breath. There are many exercises on the internet that could help with that.
Campbell
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Post by KevinS » October 5th, 2019, 11:21 am

lymiewithpurpose wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 8:56 am
I used to have the same issue. After doing some research, I found a trick that worked for me. I found that I was gasping from my chest, when instead I should be breathing from my diaphragm as singers and actors do. For one, this is a quieter way of breathing. In addition, it does slow you down slightly and makes you take a good breath. There are many exercises on the internet that could help with that.
Good advice!
"E agora, José?"

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » October 6th, 2019, 4:04 pm

Agreed with all above. I like to hear inhalation sounds sometimes in the reading. We hear it in regular speech, so why not in a recording? It can act as a subconscious signal to the listener that you're about to start talking again after a short pause. You may also end up sounding rushed if those breaths are taken out.

Another tip is, when you pause (between paragraphs, or whatever), use the entire pause to take a longer, slower breath, rather than waiting until the last moment and gasping a quick breath. (Not that I've heard you do this; this is just general advice that could apply to anyone.) Tovarisch and Campbell both make an excellent point about singers. They support their breath with their diaphragm. They also are very intentional with when and how they breathe. The next time you listen to a good singer, try to listen for when they inhale. It's very obvious when you listen for it. But unless you're trying, you just won't notice. It's barely below the level of consciousness. The same with a good speaker or narrator.

Last, the advice that probably gets repeated more often than any other: Relax. Enjoy the process. And try not to be your own worst critic. :)

Pinklady77
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Post by Pinklady77 » October 6th, 2019, 7:45 pm

:clap:
Thank you everyone that responded. I am definitely a little judgmental about myself. I didnt think about singers and actors point. I will look up the breathing exercises.
I do leave the mid sentence ones or any that sound natural. I found myself taking "gulping" breath and omg am I a lip-smacker! Lol I worked out the leave my mouth slightly open but I was getting dry mouth on one read. I keep water and warm tea/honey with me as I read.

I'm so glad I asked and to know I'm not alone.
You guys are awesome!
Lola

lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » October 8th, 2019, 10:04 am

Singers and woodwind players take the breathing technique to new heights. Some woodwind players can breath in as they are expelling air into the instrument - I forget the technical name for it, maybe double breathing or something. (Circular breathing?) Singers are very used to breathing in a way that allows them to sing long phrases in one breath, and even if they take a quick breath you rarely can hear it.

Speaking from the diaphragm is what actors do as well, and it's good if you do it. However, I notice a lot of young and in particular female actors seem badly trained in this area and their projection and diction are pretty bad. Microphones have a lot to answer for as narrators and actors think they can get away with mumbling.

I have no problem as I gave up breathing years ago.

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