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. And, 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.
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 which 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.
© 2015 J. Christopher Dunn