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I'm editing voiceover work, and the primary things that come out to me on close inspection are metallic clicking sounds.

The clicks associated with “k” and “t” sounds (and sometimes “d”s as well) seem more metallic to me than they should be, but the oddest thing is the presence of a click in an “n” sound when this comes at the end of a sentence.

This has been observed with recordings made with an Aston Origin (with their pop filter and shock mount accessories), and also with a Shure SM7b; with both, I'm recording with an SSL 2+ at 96 kHz / 24-bit. I have the iZotope's post-production suite of tools available at hand, but I am trying to determine if this can be addressed without extended manual processing.

If this is something that can be addressed by instructing my artist to modify their technique, that's a thing I'm happy to do.

FFT with undesired portion highlighted

Recording with the artifact intact: Again With Click.flac

Recording with the artifact removed: Again Without Click.flac

2 Answers 2

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I can't hear the metallic quality you mentioned but I can hear an amount of 'vocal fry'.

My feeling is that this is more about your performer than the recording technique.

Talk to them about their warm-up routine and make sure they have water available and keep sipping during the session.

If there is a particular behaviour that's causing a problem (such as the way they end sentences) then talk to them about it. Tell them what you're hearing, why it's a problem, and ask if they can think of a way to manage it a little.

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  • Water? Scotch. Good scotch. I used to make producers buy it in. It was my rider. ;) I'm hearing vocal fry too, perhaps with a hint of nasal breath over the N. It's tough to tell from one word, but the voice does sound quite peaky.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 17 at 18:54
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    @Tetsujin Whatever floats your vocal cords! ;D Jan 17 at 19:38
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Probably the simplest solution to this is to record the voice with the mic slightly further away. The clicks and pops you are hearing are vocal and throat artifacts which are only getting picked up because you have the mic so close. Also try and position the mic slightly off-axis - this will also help smooth the sound.

It's also worth remembering that these clicks are high-frequency components and are way more directional than the voice formants and harmonics that you are actually trying to capture. To avoid the clicks and pops, just move the microphone out of their way.

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    I already tried a slight bit of off-axis positioning (keeping the mic pointed at the performer's mouth, but rotating the talent to be facing ~10-15deg away from the mic), and it did indeed smooth the sound, though I was still getting these artifacts. Will try moving the mic back and see how that changes things. Jan 19 at 16:47
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    try pointing the mic at the performers chest.
    – Mark
    Jan 19 at 21:05

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