followers 2 popularity
following 0

followers  view all

rickiridgill is not in any groups

How to Fix a "P-Pop" in Your Audio Recording

Nov 8th 2012 at 8:36 PM

If you do any voice recording at all, you've probably noticed that no matter how hard you try, you "P" sounds will sometimes sound like a small explosion, sort of distorting the audio recording for a second, sounding a bit like a low-frequency "splat." It's what happens when a burst of wind hits a microphone. There are things you can do to minimize or prevent (shya!) them (like a pop filter), which is the best medicine. But when they do get recorded, you'll want to know how to fix it after-the-fact.

One of the wonderful things about audio editing in the computer age is that you get to use your eyes as well as your ears. I have edited so many P-pops (which linguists call "plosives") that I can recognize what they LOOK like on a computer screen even before I hear them. For my voice, the come out looking like a capital letter "N" in the waveform. So what can you do once the plosive is recorded to fix it?

Since the plosive problem is basically caused by a rush of air from your lips hitting a microphone capsule fast and hard, what you have is a problem of volume. The plosive was too loud compared to everything around it. Not only that, but most of the too-loud bits are in the low end...the bass frequencies. So the fix would be to turn down the volume of your voice when it is hitting the "P." In an audio editor, like Audacity (which is open source) you zoom in on the plosive and select everything right up until the voice actually becomes audible. In other words, if the word was "pot," try not to get any of the -"ah" sound in your selection. You only want the "P" sound. Then you just use a volume reduction tool to turn down JUST the "P." You may have to experiment ("undo" is the magic-bullet of computer audio editing!) with how much you turn it down, but that may be all you need to do.

If adjusting the volume doesn't get you there, you might just need to reduce the volume of PART of the plosive, the bass part. You do this using equalization (EQ), which is the same thing as volume, only you control what frequencies get turned up or down. Try reducing volume of frequencies below 100 Hz and leave everything else alone. Again, experimentation may be needed.

Please to comment

sign in

Remember Me

New to IM faceplate? join free!

Lost Password? click here