Battling mouth noise

Punching fist and sfx
epic fight scene

‘Click’, ‘smack’, ‘tick’! No, it’s not a Batman fight scene gone soft. I’m referring to those irritating audio blemishes caused by every vo’s nemesis—the dreaded mouth noise


I never really had an issue with mouth noise. My basic regime of water, vocal warm ups and Granny Smith apples has always served me well.

That was until I became pregnant.

Apparently those same hormones causing me to crave copious amounts of peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets were also to blame for the lip smackin’ ambiance popping up occasionally in my voicing sessions.

While it was nothing that couldn’t be managed in post, I always strive for a clean record—so this unwelcome audio addition was driving me nuts.

To add an extra degree of difficulty, most commercial cures like throat and nose sprays were out of the question. Even herbal teas were off limits.

Then I stumbled upon two unlikely heroes—balm and a spray bottle.

Turns out part of the problem was dry lips. My usual paw paw lip ointment was too hydrating, adding ‘lip noise’ into the mix when I tried to use it to rectify the situation.

So dry lips bad…wet lips worse.

imageI read an article by the super-talented voice actor Bobbin Beam who mentioned Burt’s Bees lip balm. What a miracle! This stuff has just the right ratio of moisturiser to lubrication with the added zest of peppermint—gifting you that ‘just slapped in the face with a cold pillow on a winter’s day’ kinda feeling.

The other part of the problem was a dry mouth.

imageI heard voice over coach Pat Fraley (who is also a mega-successful voice actor who—sidebar—loaned his voice to two of my fav childhood cartoons Rainbow Brite and TMNT) gave his students a spray bottle of purified luke-warm water to ‘spritz’ rather than ‘gulp’ during voicing sessions. Spraying the inside of your mouth and the outside of your teeth lubricates them thus removing those dry mouth clicks and clacks. Brilliant!

Even though my pregnancy days are long gone, I still keep these two secret weapons in my booth—especially for those dry winter months when the heating tends to suck up any moisture in the air causing a few smacks and clicks to surface.image

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