This may sound like a goofy question but I've ruined a fair number of quiet field recordings with my own nose. Surely I can't be the only phonographer out there with a deviated septum.

Does anyone here have any tips for dealing with the tin whistle permanently affixed to the front of my face? I just spent an entire afternoon breathing with my mouth open catching flies and now my throat is killing me. How do you deal with this? Do I just shove some cotton balls up there, drink a lot of water and call it good?

On a perhaps more globally useful tip; How do you deal with them when they are the product of someone else's nose as well?


Breathe Right strips have helped me... along with Yoga... proper breathing techniques can help you breathe much quieter. Oh and for really quiet foley/fx I've learned to hold my breath for a minute or so. Almost all my recordings end with a large gasp after the sound is done! :) (obviously edited out).

For atmosphere's etc (really long sounds) - get as far away from the mics as you can. As far as dealing with them when there already there - Editing (just remove them), EQ and Izotope RX Spectal in that order...

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  • I will definitely try those strips. Already into Yoga, which I love. In most well-prepared sessions I will usually have things set up far away from my person, quite fond of climbing a tree and wrapping the gorillapod around a branch. When I do end up with a lot of whistling I am usually forced to just edit it out completely. EQ isn't much of an option because typically when this happens I am recording birds, which happen to live in the same range as my shnoz. – theodorejordan Jun 12 '11 at 19:14

Hi there!

I what exactly is the problem? As a pornographer, I'm sure you know that once they add that wah-wah and all the other heavy breathing... er, I mean ADR, it probably won't be noticeable anyway. Sorry, I couldn't resist ;-)

Actually, your question caught my attention because of your use of the word "phonographer". Due to the nature of the work that I do (audio-visual archiving), it actually has quite a different connotation although, to be fair, it is not a word I have heard in a very long time. Anyway, I did a bit of research and my understanding is that, in your case, it refers to someone that specialises in recording the sounds of nature.

I hope I am not stating the obvious, but perhaps you need to re-evaluate your mic selection and try to find mics that are suitable for your application, but also have good rejection properties.

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  • Haha, if only. There's a boom pole joke somewhere waiting to happen. – theodorejordan Jun 12 '11 at 19:09

So you've already tried breathing through your mouth right, but that just gave you a sore throat? Did that work to avoid the nose whistling though? If you have a free hand try touching your nose in such a way that your nostrils are no longer a perfectly shaped a wind instrument. It might be slight pressure on the side or underneath of the nose is all that is needed. Play around with it and see if see what position works.

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