Maybe you've all discussed this before. But I'm sure I can't be the only voice talent whose had issues with weird rice crispy type noises coming out at the worst possible times. I know that certain clicks and pops associated with your jaw or teeth are unavoidable. What about the ones that seem to be from saliva, or the lack thereof, and lip smacking, etc?
I once read that eating a piece of fruit like an apple before doing a voiceover is good for this. True? And beverages like coffee are a no-no. Any other suggestions? I find myself doing quite a bit of cleanup to my audio files to eliminate these annoying little sounds before sending them off to the client or audition. Finding a way to keep the extraneous noises down to a minimum would be a great time saver.
BTW - I do use a pop/wind screen on my Rode NTG3 microphone.

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My coach has advised me to do several things. Firstly get and stay hydrated. At least 72 hours before you know that you will be recording drink 8 glasses of water daily. On the day of recording, take a hot shower and sing or hum in the shower. Don't try to blast the neighbors just sing softly. While recording sip from a bottle of room temp water after every 2 pages of copy (unless it's dense copy then it's after each page). Have something like Ricola logenzes to suck on (not while reading of course). Scott Brick uses a drop of mouth wash (like Bianca) on his tongue. I always try to have a mug of lukewarm Throat Tea handy. Swish a mouthful that around and then slowly swallow it. Of course, I'm just a beginner at this voice over thing so I may find other fixes as my career progresses. I have trouble with the avoids (dairy, salt, spicy) because I love that stuff. I have found that if I want to indulge, I have to give my mouth about 2 hours to get back to normal before trying to record anything.
Hope that helps!
You'll find what works best for you. Darla provides a number of options. You don't have to do them all, but try them until you find what works.

Warm water works very well. I gargle with mouthwash before recording and keep a bottle of warm water with me in the studio.
I edit audio for quite a few talent who have said that water is your best bet although I did have one client who swore by apple sauce. Also check out the Thayers dry mouth spray. The key to all of these suggestions is to stay hydrated. I could go on and on about ways to do this, just find a solution that's right for you.

Chris
VO Edit by Design
Darla, for being "new" to this business, you seem to be a wealth of good information. Thank you so much! I do keep a glass of water or iced tea with me when recording, but the mouthwash and warm throat tea sound like good ideas. I'm not sure about singing in the shower, though. ;-)

Frank, I'll try warm water too. Thank you. Part of my issues are with dry lips sometimes which seem to cause tiny smacking sounds when I open & close my mouth. Wonder if chap stick might help with that?

Chris, thanks for taking the time to write. Never thought of applesauce. I'll keep an eye out for that dry mouth spray.
Some of my recommendations come from years working as a Speech Language Pathologist in school and doing musical theatre on the side during the summer holidays. Someone told me to try lip balm (NOT chapstick cause it's sticky) to get rid of the lip smacking noise. Try to find one that works for you.
After going to a masters class through Such A Voice, my coach said there are a number of tricks for getting just the right amount of saliva, and although you will probably hear quite a few, the best thing is to find what works for you. Some people suggest granny smith apples and room temperature water, while others suggest mouthwash, cough drops or some sort of hard candy. The best thing that she recommended to me was, experiment, find out what works for you.
Here's the best thing I've found. Go to the drugstore (you can sometimes find it at a grocery store too) and buy a bottle of

OASIS MOUTHWASH

It is made specifically for dry mouth problems - which is what you're experiencing. It was originally designed for people who experience dry mouth because of medications. But it works amazingly well for our purposes! Nice tasting too. It has humectants that coat the throat and mouth lightly. It lasts for quite a long time too. It also comes in spray form so you can carry it with you.

I love the stuff - give it a try!

Hugs,

Penny
I also suffer from this malady - big time! I like the idea of the Oasis Mouthwash spray. I'm going to check into that, but I agree with what everyone else is saying - do whatever works for you. I also heard somewhere that a few drops of olive oil might help (can't help feeling like tin man on the Wizard of Oz with that one - but if it works, what the hey!).

Scott
Walt, try this . . . www.tungbrush.com. Order the Brush and the Gel, it used to be sold at Rite Aid. You may still be able to purchase the brush there, then just order the gel online. Used together they eliminate the plaque that coats the tongue which holds onto the salvia and causes stickiness in the mouth. Also, use a light lip balm while recording and drink lots of water.
It is the best remedy because it gets rid of the root cause of the problem!
Be well, Channe
I have one of these (several actually) and never thought of using it for this purpose. Probably because whenever I use it my throat feels exceptionally dry afterward. But, if it works to help you eliminate the mouth noises...I would say go for it!
I am still experimenting with various remedies like apples, honey/lemon tea combos, etc. and there are some really interesting ideas in this thread that I haven't thought of!

But I have discovered at least one technique I thought I'd share for eliminating those clicky sounds--which for me often occur at the end of a word. Here's what I have to do (without disturbing the emotional content of a read--which can be tough!): at the end of an offending word--especially if it's the last word of a line--I "freeze" my mouth in whatever position it naturally forms. A lot of times, this means 'mouth wide open', or sometimes it means 'mouth shut longer than normal' (for words ending with "m" for example).

I've found this to be a tremendous help, since most of my extra clicky sounds are technically happening after I am done speaking the word and am subconsciously returning my mouth to its default position. Unlearning this very natural mouth move (returning to default position) feels very unnatural to me--but it works!

-Tom
Thanks to all of you who've taken the time to comment on this common issue we all face to some degree.

It seems the underlying solution here is to try several of these techniques and find the one that works best for you. Avoid being dehydrated and maybe find a product which helps relieve dry mouth and lips. Channe, I'll keep an eye out for the tungbrush too. Thanks for that tip!

Penny, we've got lots of drug stores in the area, so I'll be sure to look for Oasis as well. Thank you.

Got a couple of spots to voice later today, so I'll get started trying out some of this great advice. Thank you!

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