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Thread: Fixing very audible breathing in a soft acoustic track

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewPeterson7 View Post
    I'm kind of at a loss what to do about it. I know the RIGHT thing is to just re-record the acoustic guitar on this. And, while I hate to spend any more time on this one, more likely than not that's what I'll end up doing, especially as there's a few other issues, the biggest being the fact that (despite my one-week-out email with a list of things to get ready for the session - hey, I'm embracing this studio Nazi thing - my uncle showed up with a fairly dead set of strings on his guitar, and I didn't realize until we were just about to start tracking).
    I was simply agreeing with what you said you already knew. What I have set in a bold font above, are your words and I was simply stating you were making the right decision. Some things you just can't fix using your DAW. Someone here has a tag line that goes something like this. "If it ain't happening in the room, it ain't happening on the tape". If you reverse that to say that "if it is happening in the room" then you wind up with what you are facing now. My response was not meant to degrade you, rather it was made to complement your knowledge.

    For some reason your link to your example is not showing up when I read your post, if I quote your post, it shows up. Since the breathing is so close to the level of your clean audio is, it will be impossible to remove it without damaging the audio it is embedded in using something like ReaFir. To mask it using another instrument or brushes is a very good idea. I also think it will take you hrs to do so and I hope I am wrong. Like it was mentioned above, throw it up in the mp3 mixing clinic and see what shakes out.
    Last edited by Mack Caster; 10-30-2017 at 10:27. Reason: Listened to MP3.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
    From what you wrote, you started this project because you thought it would be fun, and a nice thing to do. If at any point, it stops being fun and nice, you need to take a step back and reevaluate the project and your attitude towards it.

    I know you want it to be the best it can. You're going to have your name on it. You've got chops and you want to use them. But unless your uncle is more famous than mine, nobody's really going to hear this except friends and family anyway. Maybe you bring it here, and hopefully it doesn't get completely laughed out of the MP3 clinic. Not so much to say lighten up, but maybe just take a breath. Pick your battles.

    I would tend to embrace a quirk like this if there was no easy fix. The idea of brushes, maybe shakers. Maybe a chorus of rhythmic breathing! Like "that's what we meant to do all along."

    OTOH - Can you play the part well (or poorly) enough to just kinda sneak it in there?
    For the most part, this project has been a blast. It's just this one track that's trying my patience. :lol:

    That actually crossed my mind, just playing it myself. The problem is, I'm really more of a rock guy at heart, and am pretty lost without a pick. I have considered that, though, and I suppose it's as good an opportunity as any to just transcribe the part and see if I can pull off a better performance myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mack Caster View Post
    I was simply agreeing with what you said you already knew. What I have set in a bold font above, are your words and I was simply stating you were making the right decision. Some things you just can't fix using your DAW. Someone here has a tag line that goes something like this. "If it ain't happening in the room, it ain't happening on the tape". If you reverse that to say that "if it is happening in the room" then you wind up with what you are facing now. My response was not meant to degrade you, rather it was made to complement your knowledge.

    For some reason your link to your example is not showing up when I read your post, if I quote your post, it shows up. Since the breathing is so close to the level of your clean audio is, it will be impossible to remove it without damaging the audio it is embedded in using something like ReaFir. To mask it using another instrument or brushes is a very good idea. I also think it will take you hrs to do so and I hope I am wrong. Like it was mentioned above, throw it up in the mp3 mixing clinic and see what shakes out.
    By the way, sorry to kind of jump down your throat there - I think I'm just frustrated that I KNOW what the likely answer is going to be, ad I really wish it was something else.

    I should put some of the other stuff from this project up in MP3 clinic as I get the mixes into shape - some of it I actually think is quite good, and I'm proud to have been a part of it.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a little dicier." - David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewPeterson7 View Post
    By the way, sorry to kind of jump down your throat there - I think I'm just frustrated that I KNOW what the likely answer is going to be, ad I really wish it was something else. I should put some of the other stuff from this project up in MP3 clinic as I get the mixes into shape - some of it I actually think is quite good, and I'm proud to have been a part of it.
    No harm and no foul Brother. As @jimmys69 often says, "it's hard to see emotion in written words". Not only could I hear your frustration in my head, I could also see your desire to produce quality audio in your words. If you do need to do a take 2, maybe you can grab a pack of breath right strips for your uncle. If he's into hunting, get a poster of a 12 point buck and pin it to the ceiling above him to make him look up to keep the breathing out of the mix. (I was going to say maybe Ms February from 1968 but I don't want to come across as sexist).

    His playing was beautiful and you have a right to be proud being a part of this project. Often we will let family slide when we would have no problem telling strangers, "Yo Dude, you sound like a snorting bull and it is coming into the mix. Regardless of what it takes, even if you have to hold your breath, this aint going to work"! I charge by the hr and you are getting real close to your 2 hr minimum.

    I read an article last week concerning recording 101. It amazed me how much of the simple things I take for granite as sometimes my ego over rides my common sense. It's the simple things that cost us time and that translate into money. I had a kid call me last week telling me how he was going to run the show in my little studio and that was just the way it was going to be. I told him I had no problem as long as they were satisfied with the tracks and I would not intervene whatsoever. The first hr sounded like crap. The second hr they were asking why does it sound like crap.

    That brought us into the next 2 hr min. They got their education for mic placement from YT and being young, they knew it all! We finished within an hr and I only charged them for the first two. I have 5 grandchildren and I have learned the fastest way to get a kid to listen, is to control their money! I had no problem telling them this is where you are screwing the pooch! They aint family.


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    Cool playing and it is a pity that the breathing is in there cause it is REALLY in there... I am sure there are gazillion tricks you could use to remove "some" of the breathing but it overlaps so much with the music I have to believe after a lot of time and effort you are not going to achieve the desired end results.. The take 2 option with some extra effort on making Unk aware of the breathing issue, maybe a directional mic pointing down to the guitar... A bandana mask over Unk's mouth (ya know like the cowboy bank robber's wear) might be a more proficient way to get this laid down in the fashion you would like. I totally get the breathing heavy thing as when I get to jammin sometimes it happens...and I play the keys

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    Have you thought about using a figure 8 pattern mic where you place the null point where the players mouth is? This should reduce the breathing being picked up?

    Alan.

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    One time consuming thing you can try: if you DAW has spectral editing (particularly with some form of spot healing brush tool) it can be very useful for this sort of thing. You draw around each breath and the DAW fills the space with sound from the adjacent area. I've used it a few times for this sort of problem.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
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    :lol:

    You know, we seem to be gradually moving towards "how can you ensure this doesn't happen in the next take, so maybe it makes sense to go down that road, since barring spectral editing getting most of this out, that's probably our next course of action.

    I actually really like the idea of a bandanna, and thanks to a Red Bandanna charity 5k I do annually, I have a whole bunch of them lying around the house. :lol: I grabbed a pair of SE Electronics SE4400a's not that long ago (not the greatest example since we were working with pretty dead strings, but I believe I was using them here) that do have a couple fairly directional/figure 8 modes on them, so that's worth a shot, too. I could also try to position a music stand between the mic and my uncle's head, but depending on how much of his view of the fretboard that blocked, that might mess with his ability to play.

    Mack - man, that's funny. :lol: I hope the kids learned a thing or two from the experience, and it was good of you not to charge them for the wasted hour.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a little dicier." - David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

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  10. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiff 41 View Post
    Don't know if this would do it?

    REAPER | Videos

    Of course if you don't use Reaper it won't?
    Holy shit. This actually is pretty eerily effective. It's tedious as hell so I'll be drinking amounts I generally reserve for drum sequencing while I work on this, but this is something I wish I knew about YEARS ago.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a little dicier." - David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

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    Ok, two hours of editing later and some rebalancing of the mix, and that's absolutely nuts. The future is an amazing place. I still have to do a little bit of cleanup and it'll never be perfect, but it's already useable enough that no one who isn't listening for it will ever notice. Amazing.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a little dicier." - David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewPeterson7 View Post
    Ok, two hours of editing later and some rebalancing of the mix, and that's absolutely nuts. The future is an amazing place. I still have to do a little bit of cleanup and it'll never be perfect, but it's already useable enough that no one who isn't listening for it will ever notice. Amazing.
    Good to know!, With SOME of my takes I need lots of help for LOTS of bad habits that go/went unnoticed for years thanks to more live playing than critical recording?
    I started out with nothing, & I've still got most of it left seasick steve

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