[Ardour-Users] clicks/peaks removal

Robert Auld auldworks at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 22 10:36:58 PDT 2013

It is of course better to not have the p-pops in the first place.  Pop filters are not expensive and made by several manufacturers.  Shure makes a good typical one.  Royer makes one that is formed out of perforated metal--I have found it to be very effective and durable.  The advantage of buying one rather than making one (I've done both) is that the ones you buy usually come with mounting hardware that makes them easy to use with typical microphone stands.  If you happen to be recording and don't have a pop filter handy, angling the microphone relative to the speaker/singer's mouth can reduce the tendency to pop.  Another improvised fix is to tape a pencil to the microphone so that it passes in front of the mike diaphragm--the pencil disrupts the airflow that causes pops while having little effect on the sound quality.  Finally, note that omni-directional microphones are much less susceptible to popping than directional microphones.  You can place an Electrovoice RE-50 (typically used by news reporters on location) an inch from a speaker's mouth with no additional windscreen and it will hardly pop at all.

Using a high-pass filter that rolls off at about 75 to 80 Hz can help keep really deep pops out of your recordings, and can be used after the fact, without affecting the voice quality too much.

It is possible to cut out many p-pops during editing.  I have used this technique in Pro Tools and in Sound Forge, and I see no reason why it should not work in Ardour.  Expand the size of the waveform on the timeline until you can see the beginning of the word with the p-pop in detail.  The pop will be visible as a large spike at the front of the word.  Select most of the spike and remove it.  Listen to the result.  If you get rid of too much of it, the result will sound odd.  If you don't remove enough of the pop, some of it will still be audible.  With a little experimentation, you should be able to get a good, plausible sounding result--there will be a "p" audible at the front of the word, but the deep "pop" will be missing.

Hope this helps.
Robert Auld  --  Audio Engineer / Sound Designer

   Tel: 212-666-2257  
Mobile: 917-570-9697

On Mar 22, 2013, at 3:59 AM, Ralf Mardorf wrote:

> On Fri, 2013-03-22 at 08:28 +0100, Federico Bruni wrote:
>> I'd like to remove some clicks (or peaks) in a voice, cause by P 
>> pronounced too close to the microphone.
>> How can I achieve that in Ardour?
>> I've googled, searched the archives and skimmed through the manual but I 
>> couldn't find any information.
>> I've tried to normalize the region. The red peaks disappeared but I 
>> still can hear the P.
>> Then I've played a bit with an highpass filter, but it's too strong.
>> Thanks in advance
> It's impossible to get rid of artefacts by a bad recording. You need
> hardware, a so called pop filter [1] and a compressor when recording
> vocals, but the compressor is less used for the p-issue, it's more
> effective against the s-issue.
> It's impossible to make the "cornered" signal as "round" as expected, so
> you'll always hear distortion.
> [1]
> http://www.google.de/search?q=pop+filter&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=rQ1MUeXBB4_CswaPzYH4Ag&sqi=2&ved=0CDAQsAQ&biw=1152&bih=726
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