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Too Many Noticeable Breaths In Your
Recordings? Relax - Here's The Cure ...

April 3, 2015

By J. Christopher Dunn

Voice Actor

Do you find yourself meticulously removing every breath in recorded audio like a chimpanzee nit-picking fellow chimps?

You may be afflicted.

It starts with difficult breathing brought on by nervousness and stress. It’s recorded as gasping for air or a huge sucking sound.

Common studio remedies include removal or the significant reduction of breath noises. This process can build to neurosis, where beginner to professional voice talent compulsively delete every obnoxious, normal and subtle breath recorded.

If this describes you, you may be suffering from Spiritus Aveho:
  • Spiritus - the Latin word for "Breath” and defined as: breath, breathing / life / spirit.
  • Aveho - the Latin word for "Remove” and defined as: to carry away / remove.

This OCD variant troubles many professional voice-talent and producers from beginner to expert. Well, take a deep breath and relax. Help is available.

With treatment and self-help strategies, you can break free of the unwanted thoughts and irrational urges and take back control of your life and your breath.

Have you ever been asked not to breathe while talking? Have you experienced a conversation where you’ve been asked to repeat what you said, but to do so without taking a breath?

Of course you haven’t. Like conversation, narration is suited well for the inclusion of breath sounds. It’s OK.


Most times, treatment is as easy as becoming familiar with your script and minimizing stress.

Taking only a few minutes to prepare the words you’ll be reading with indicators to breathe will make you sound more natural and full of life.

Also reduce stress by including deep breathing exercises as part of your daily warm-up routine. Wake in the morning feeling alive and free to breathe and keep Spiritus Aveho out of your studio!


Of course, this is not to be confused with other oral noises such as mouth clicks, lip smacks, tongue ticking or spit bubble pops.

Tummy noises may also happen during sessions, so make sure to eat ahead of recording, but avoid the foods that cause mouth clicks, ticking, smacks and pops.

Staying hydrated and getting enough sleep also helps reduce stress.

Avoid Spiritus Aveho and breathe life into your scripts. Don’t become an unnatural sounding breathless voice over zombie.
J. Christopher Dunn is a professional voice actor who lives in the Pacific Northwest close to Seattle. He voices commercials, web demos, podcasts, product demonstrations, telephony projects and documentaries. His voice is described as friendly, warm and trustworthy - the guy next door or the voice of high profile corporate presentations. He also spends time with the Penn Cove Players, a Whidbey Island, WA troupe that performs original audio dramas, as we all as recreates old time radio shows in front of a live studio audience.

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Comments (5)
Nic Redman
4/16/2015 at 4:40 AM
Ha! A nice reminder to not worry about the breaths all the time. I'm a huge advocate of having a good understanding of how the breath works in relation to the voice, so education is key if you ask me.
J. Christopher Dunn
4/3/2015 at 6:35 PM
J. - Folks still ask for guidance. You have my permission to pass the word. ;)

Lalla- You're welcome. Glad you liked it!

Jim - I like the idea about editing without breathing. Funny. Thank you AND you're welcome!

Just breathe...
J. Christopher Dunn
j. valentino
4/3/2015 at 4:19 PM
You mean professional vo talent don't know this basic stuff already? Maybe I'm missing something...
Laila Berzins
4/3/2015 at 10:10 AM
Great article! And so very true. Thanks, J. Christopher!
Jim Conlan
4/3/2015 at 10:08 AM
JCD, you've done it again. I hope lots of people see this - voice talent for the relief it will bring, and OCD engineers to get them to back off a bit. Maybe we should ask engineers to do their editing without taking a breath. Thanks again, sir.
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