Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34

Thread: Fixing very audible breathing in a soft acoustic track

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Age
    38
    Posts
    2,459
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    Rep Power
    17488499

    Fixing very audible breathing in a soft acoustic track

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Ok, I haven't posted here in ages, so first off, hi everyone!

    I've been working on a project for a while now with my dad and my uncle, which in many ways has been a lot of fun - both were critical in getting me into music as a kid, so it's been a lot of fun to, as an adult, work on an album with them. Of course, there's a few ways where it's been LESS fun, one of them being that I have much higher standards for recording and performance quality than they do, which thankfully has mostly just resulted in a lot of studio Nazi jokes and Dickens inspired "can I have one more take, sir" good natured teasing and the like.

    Anyway... We're nearly done with the tracking, and I've been spending some time working on getting the music ready to mix. For the most part, I think I'm in good shape, but there's this one particular track that's been a struggle. We've recorded it twice now, and while I think the other two view this as "good enough," there's still some things really bugging me about it.

    The biggest is, my uncle plays guitar VERY softly, and there's some extremely audible breathing on his acoustic guitar tracks that, in some places, is louder than the performance:



    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).

    Before I bite the bullet and ask him to start brushing up on his part before the next session, though, is there anything else you'd try on this? I didn't have much luck trying to find the "problem" frequencies with a de-esser or multiband compressor, partly because the acoustic is such a full-range instrument to begin with. Are there any approaches you've tried in the past on things like this, or plugins designed for surgical removal of a particular type of noise?

    I can't really edit out the breathing and drop in parts from elsewhere, largely because I already had to splice this together to hell and back just to get a clean performance in the first place. Normally I'd deal with this by buying it in the mix and letting something else drive the song, except this is a song that really needs to hang on the fingerpicked acoustic part so changing the arrangement isn't really working (or, if it could, I haven't found one that works yet). Suggesting taking the arrangement in a radically different direction with instrumentation etc isn't an option either because my uncle is pretty hung up on his original demo, and while I'd be tempted to just throw my hands up and use the demo on the final recording, the recording quality is pretty abysmally bad even if, objectively, it's a better performance. Re-recording is probably the only real answer here, except I'm loath to do that because it took us an hour or two and probably more than a dozen takes to even get here, and since my uncle rarely plays for more than a few minutes at a time, the more time we spend on this, the less time we have to work on the material we have left before his fingertips give out.

    Really it's my own fault for not 1) forcing him to restring before we started tracking, and 2) really honing in on just how obvious his breathing was in the tracks we were recording. Lesson learned. :lol:
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a little dicier." - David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Trending
    Posts
    18,502
    Thanks
    283
    Thanked 810 Times in 706 Posts
    Rep Power
    21470742
    You can try something like this...

    DeBreath Vocal Plugin | Waves

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    730
    Thanks
    124
    Thanked 115 Times in 106 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Kudos for already knowing the answer to your plight! Now, can anybody say "Lets take it from the top boys".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ranelagh Tasmania
    Age
    68
    Posts
    7,714
    Thanks
    195
    Thanked 581 Times in 471 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474857
    a) welcome back. long time no see.

    b) in principle, i am not averse to hearing breathing on tracks . . it shows that there is a human there.

    c) the breathing is prominent, and I can see how it is an irritant for what would otherwise be a crisp guitar track, but it's almost rhythmical, and maybe you could regard as a percussive effect (like brushes).

    d) re-tracking is an option so long as you don't simply replicate the problem.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Detroit, MI
    Posts
    4,094
    Thanks
    913
    Thanked 561 Times in 522 Posts
    Rep Power
    2826414
    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    ...but it's almost rhythmical, and maybe you could regard as a percussive effect (like brushes).
    ...or add brushes. Maybe they'd cover it/blend w it
    "No healthy person waits in line with a slew of geriatrics on a Sunday morning for pancakes" - RFR https://soundcloud.com/andrushkiwt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    WALES, UK
    Age
    68
    Posts
    487
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 27 Times in 26 Posts
    Rep Power
    5254891
    Don't know if this would do it?

    REAPER | Videos

    Of course if you don't use Reaper it won't?
    I started out with nothing, & I've still got most of it left seasick steve

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Age
    33
    Posts
    5,712
    Thanks
    411
    Thanked 373 Times in 364 Posts
    Rep Power
    19301283
    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    You can try something like this...

    DeBreath Vocal Plugin | Waves
    That probably won't work since there's a lot of overlap between the breaths and the guitar track.
    It looks like that plugin is really intended for sharp breaths rather than slow ones.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    U.K.
    Age
    33
    Posts
    19,269
    Thanks
    1,175
    Thanked 984 Times in 868 Posts
    Rep Power
    1000000
    Quote Originally Posted by andrushkiwt View Post
    ...or add brushes. Maybe they'd cover it/blend w it
    Great call.

    I covered hiss with strings plenty of times.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Age
    38
    Posts
    2,459
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    Rep Power
    17488499
    Couple good suggestions here, and I'll check out the Spectral Editor vid from home tonight (writing this from work on my lunch break - I'm definitely a Reaper user). Brushes could be an interesting approach too, so maybe I'll give a shot to trying a few different drum performances and see if something masks it a little more than what I'm doing here (my dad and uncle actually would kind of like to do this with no percussion - again, demo-itis and wanting to exactly replicate the demo my uncle has been listening to for years now - but the guitar track isn't rhythmically driving enough on its own to hang an arrangement around, which they've even conceded after listening to playback with the drums muted).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mack Caster View Post
    Kudos for already knowing the answer to your plight! Now, can anybody say "Lets take it from the top boys".
    So, no arguments that there's a theoretically correct answer here, and god knows I get dogmatic enough about recording approaches and "best practices" and the like elsewhere - normally I play instrumental rock, and while I'm not THAT metal, a lot of the guys I talk recording with elsewhere here are metalheads, and I'm a staunch opponent of heavy digital editing and quantizaton and note correction and all the other stuff you hear commonly in modern metal, expecially of the home-recorded variety. And yet... I concede that at the end of the day, your job mixing and producing music is to take the tracks you're given and make them sound as good as possible, and again I'm a firm believer of getting it right while tracking rather than editing it together in the mix, yet given the player in question here, I've spent hours on this project editing performances to get them to a standard where I can live with them on playback. There's a theoretical right answer, sure, and in an ideal world, that's what you do... But, the reality is, I'm not sure I CAN get a better performance than this out of the guitarist, I don't have much faith that if I ask him to start practicing this part again, he'll put in the time necessary to get it clean, and I can only imagine how, "hey, can you record it again, but not breath so loud?" is going to go over. With my own music I have a lot more control over performance and either practicing until I can nail a part cleanly enough for the mix, or if I can't get there, then owning that and changing the part to something I CAN play. Here, I'm working with a guitarist who I don't expect will practice enough to get this up to a professional standard, is dead set on doing it exactly as he wrote it and won't change a note, and picks so quietly when he's playing something he's clearly not confident about that his breathing is overloading this track, and on another song I had to copy and paste in a section from elsewhere in the performance because his stomach rumbled at one point and it was as loud as the guitar performance.

    So, yeah, I get what you're saying, and god knows I can be preachy and condescending at times too when it comes to digital editing... But, at some point we have to accept the reality that we don't get to work with the performances we want, but the ones we're actually given. I'm trying to salvage an existing performance, and I'm wondering if there's anything else I haven't thought of that I can try. As it stands, my uncle wants to go back and re-record all of his vocal tracks now because he says he's not happy with them (and the one track I agreed to let him try, his performance was far inferior to his original, weaker and almost spoken rather than sung), and at this stage in the game where it's really this and one additional song we still have to record, I'm trying to do ANYTHING I can to not have to open that pandora's box. So, yeah, as you point out I pretty clearly know what the theoretically "right" thing to do here is, but the fact I'm looking for alternatives should speak volumes that there's a lot of other reasons why simply retracking isn't guaranteed to be an answer either and may cause more problems than it solves, so I don't really see how even you expected your answer to be helpful.



    ***

    EDIT - I guess, by way of a non-sequitor, that despite the fact I'm pretty frustrated with this one particular tune (this is the second time we've recorded it now, so it's been a LOT of work), overall this has been a really fun project for me, there's been a lot of great, fun, funny moments recording with my dad and my uncle, it's the first time I've ever personally written vocal music or sang on a recording which has been fun to get out of my comfort zone, and some of the music we've done I legitimately love. I'm just ready to be done with this particular song.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a little dicier." - David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2,773
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 311 Times in 280 Posts
    Rep Power
    5753153
    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?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Editing a track with no audible difference.
    By Zydrus in forum Newbies
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-27-2013, 09:56
  2. Fixing acoustic and noise issues
    By arrontapp27 in forum Recording Techniques
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-28-2012, 08:55
  3. Heavy breathing on vocal track
    By so.so.young in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-06-2009, 09:03
  4. MIDI track audible in WAV file?
    By drathbun in forum Cakewalk / Sonar Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-21-2006, 07:08
  5. Help Fixing an acoustic Guitar?!?!
    By Dracon in forum Guitars and Basses
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 04-11-2005, 09:31

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •