8 Tips To Stop Microphone From Picking Up Breathing Sounds

Getting close to your microphone usually results in something called “the proximity effect.” As you get close, most microphones amplify your voice in a rich, deep way.

Noticeable breathing noises are a distraction that should be removed if they are prominent in your recording. Some minimal breathing sounds are natural but loud breathing is not good. The best way to eliminate breathing sounds in the audio is to prevent them from being recorded in the first place.

So, how to stop your mic from picking up your breathing? The solution is in the placement of the microphone. Place the mic so that your mouth is facing slightly off-axis to the microphone, meaning that the breaths should never hit the microphone, but rather go slightly to the side, below or above the microphone. The microphone element, however, should be 1 to 3 inches away and facing your mouth to capture the best sound quality. 

It is better to have a mic about 45 degrees above or below your mouth when recording and just close enough to be in the audio pick-up range. Recording a voice at an angle and not straight on is usually better.

Be sure you are not recording the voice at too high of volume. When the mic gain (volume) is turned way up, this can introduce unwanted noise, as well as make breathing sound more prominent in the mix.

Here is a list of the best noise cancelling microphones available in the market today that don’t just stop breathing sounds but also prevent other background sounds from being recorded.


Tips To Stop Microphone From Picking Up Breathing

Other than placing your microphone correctly, here are a few other things that you can do to make sure your recording is free of any breathing sounds.

1. Use a Pop Filter

The easiest way to prevent these plosives and breathing noises from ending up in your recording is through something called a pop filter. You can find a good condenser mic and pop filter online (Amazon) to help give you the most professional sound.

This device is used to slow the air that comes from “plosives.” A plosive is a word that causes a rapid rush of air to hit the microphone. A pop filter softens the sound of a plosive, such as words that start with the letter “P” and “B.”

2. Control Your Breathing

Professional artists train in breath control so that they can deliver vocals without making breathing sounds. They do this by controlling their breath, using the mic properly, and breathing through their nose instead of using the mouth.

Try to relax and stretch your upper body before beginning recording to reduce the need for oxygen. As a result, you’ll take fewer breaths.

3. Speak Slowly

When recording, don’t rush your words. Speak slower so you have more time to inhale and exhale which will make you take softer breaths and will allow you to control them better.

4. Maintain Good Posture

Bad posture causes tension in your upper body and restricts your lung capacity. Keep your back and shoulders straight to allow better airflow into your lungs and reduce tension.

5. Don’t Make Sudden Movements

Be careful not to move the microphone or your head suddenly and hold the microphone consistently every time you use it.

6. Use a Sound Editor Program

If the unwanted breathing or other sounds are just in a few places in the recording, you can go through using a sound editor program to find and adjust those sections. When the unwanted part comes up, don’t cut it out or use complete silence. Instead, reduce the volume to eliminate the distraction and still keep the recording pace intact.

7. Use a Noise Reduction Filter

It may be possible to use a noise reduction filter to remove unwanted noises. There are noise reduction filters to remove breathing sounds, clicks and pops, and de-essers to remove the hissing sounds. A low-pass filter may help remove breathing sounds.

8. Pick a Cardioid Microphone

Use a cardioid microphone that has a tight sound pattern. This limits the recorded sound to a smaller area in front of the mic, where it can pick up sound. The cardioid sound pattern is a heart-shaped area that extends from the front of the mic.

This type of microphone is unidirectional. This means it only picks up sound from one direction in front of the mic.

Written by:
Amit Gupta
Amit Gupta

Hi, my name is Amit Gupta, and I am the owner and contributor at Radaudio. My passions include guitar, bass, and piano, as well as a range of classical instruments that I have been playing since school.

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