The Glottal Blog

Mouth Clicks From Hell

Let's face it the bane of a narrator/producer's life is the dreaded mouth click. Most people never hear these little clicks and clacks that are omnipresent in every day conversation because they are so subtle and quiet. They make their tiny racket in the depths of one's mouth where saliva meets teeth and tongue meet gums. Most people would never give these little acoustic anomalies the time of day...that is until they have recorded a voice 6 inches from a condenser microphone, fed the pristine vocals through an audio interface and into their expensive audio editing software whereupon re-listening to the audio in their amazing headphones the mouth clicks stand out like a cracking voice at the opera.

Step 1: Pre-Record Mouth Prep

So here's the best way to begin to combat this nightmare and it's a simple solution. Gargle and swish. Clear your mouth of any remaining food you have eaten.

Step 2: Tongue Exercise

Pretend peanut butter is stuck between cheek and gum. Move your tongue around as if cleaning it out for 15 seconds. Think of it as stretching exercises for your tongue.

Step 3: Water in the Booth

Drink water and then some water and follow that up with a glass of H2O. I always have a glass of water or a cup of decaffinated, unsweetened tea sitting next to me in the WhisperRoom.(Stay away from sugar and artificial dyes).

Read a page then take a sip. Repeat.

You will never eliminate mouth clicks completely but you can dramatically reduce them. And reducing them means less time cleaning them out of your audio and a better overall production.

So great news, man...but what if I have alllllll this audio and it is filled with mouth clicks. Can I fix the clicks??
Absolutely, but there is no easy, sure-fire, inexpensive plugin or software that will painlessly wipe away your clicks without degrading your overall audio. I remove my mouth clicks one click at a time with Adobe Audition's heal audio function. And also use the Click Removal function on small snippets of audio only. It is painstaking work but the audio remains high quality, and for goodness sake the writer has spent a massive amount of time writing their book and they've intrusted you to bring it to audible life. Do them and yourself a favor drink plenty of water and make a cup of hot, unsweetened tea your best friend.

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