Today we’ll look at the most appealing de-breath plugins available in 2023.
Sometimes, it’s common to have some unexpected noises in your vocal or instrument track. These can vary from ambient noises the microphone may capture or something as simple as a breath sound. Of course, everyone needs to breathe even more if they’re using their lungs and vocal strings musically. So, how exactly do we get rid of this annoying disturbance?
The answer is simple. Nowadays, it’s common to find tailored software that focuses on removing noises or restoring the overall quality of your audio track. They are heavily used by sound designers and audio engineers in everyday situations, often capable of delivering excellent results that couldn’t have been imagined to exist twenty years ago. The perfect blend of algorithms, scripts, and impeccable UI design makes this come true in minutes.
Today’s list will explore two significant plugins part of a larger audio-correction software bundle. Each provides meaningful results, so it’s up to you to choose the best de-breath plugin for vocal breath removal in 2023.
1. Waves DeBreath
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A straightforward way to remove unwanted noises from your vocal track.
Waves is an industry-standard company focused on delivering awesome audio plugins that can be used as virtual instruments, studio gear, or much more. Waves DeBreath fits accordingly to the latter, showcasing its natural ability to remove any breaths and inhaling sounds in any audio file. It works differently from most noise gates and vocal processors, relying on algorithms that analyze your signal entirely.
Waves DeBreath works in two main ways, based on detection and reduction. When you first run the plugin, it will detect the entire waveform in your audio track and show you the breaths when complete. After that, you can choose and see if this detection is appropriate, only to start reducing noise. DeBreath’s algorithms are so good that you almost certainly will be satisfied with the direct detection, although you can expect to alter whatever the plugin may have set for you.
- Breath threshold
One of the threshold settings available in Waves DeBreath refers to the “Breath” aspect solely. In essence, you have a database of breath templates inside DeBreath, which serves as a template for the plugin to know how to work with your audio file. The blueish “Breath” graph displays the similarity between your track’s audio signal and the breath template so you can visualize better. The higher the value in your scale, the more likely this noise is a breath, so it’s crucial to set your threshold value accordingly and not overuse the noise removal tool.
- Energy threshold
You can think of this as an overall reading of the dynamics in your audio track. The “Energy” threshold is analog to how your track sounds; anything beneath that threshold value will be detected as a breath. Whenever this value is below its point and the “Breath” is above its threshold, DeBreath will automatically apply the noise correction in your track.
The two breath removal controls applied for fading consist of two small buttons, one for “Fade-in” and another for “Fade-out.” The former determines how quickly a breath will be faded into the voice track, and the latter does the opposite (determines how fast the whiff will be faded out of the track). Both controls range from 0.1 to 200ms, and they’re crucial for setting the perfect balance when chopping up the noises from your vocal line.
Two main controls are responsible for reducing any breath noises in your project. They consist of a fader, which controls the amount of gain reduction applied to your noises, and a meter that helps you read how much of that gain reduction is used to your vocal track.
It’s certainly not helpful to have all these tools and be unable to monitor everything appropriately. To ensure that is covered, DeBreath has a monitor selection with two options: “Voice,” which monitors the original audio after the noises have been reduced or removed entirely, and “Breath,” which focuses solely on whatever noises were removed from your track. Combining the two readings will bring you a more detailed overview of how the noise affected your audio file.
The plugin is available for macOS 10.14.6 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 10 or higher (64-bit only). It comes in VST, VST3, AAX, SoundGrid, and AU plugin formats.
As expected, Waves one more time amazes with an excellent product that achieves what it promises seamlessly. DeBreath is a convenient tool for audio engineers and professionals seeking to remove breaths or similar noises from a speech or vocal track. The user interface design is reasonably simple and intuitive, which can help you monitor and eliminate these noises more quickly than ever. The controls are straightforward and offer meaningful results from the slightest tweaks, with a considerable response that such problems require.
2. iZotope Breath Control (Part of the Bundle)
More Info & Price (Trial Available)
One of the many valuable tools inside the RX 10 bundle.
The RX bundle has a solid reputation among audio engineers and producers as one of, if not the best audio correction software ever to be created. The tools and results that may come from it are enormous, with extensive adjustments and configurations to be set to help you remove the most unthinkable noises and restore the audio clip as efficiently as possible. One of the modules inside the RX plugin is the “Breath Control,” dedicated to instantly removing the breaths from your vocals.
- Gain mode
This mode allows precise control over unwanted noises in your track when using RX Breath Control. In essence, whenever this mode is selected, Breath Control will reduce the gain absolutely, not considering the actual level of the breath noise. This mode should be used carefully, as an extreme setting may cause your track to sound too unrealistic and artificial without proper ambiance and depth.
- Gain control
This dedicated fader sets the overall gain amount on RX Breath Control. This will be applied in every single breath detected independently of the level measured.
- Target mode
Whenever selected, this mode will act somewhat opposite to the “Gain” mode: while the former reduces the gain level of the breath noises, the “Target” mode defines the status of any detected breath. Not all noises are to be removed from your track (simply because it would make your vocal line sound too unrealistic and unnatural), so leveling these essential breaths can be beneficial for maintaining a realistic performance while taming the noise’s volume simultaneously.
The other fader control present in RX Breath Control’s user design interface is related to “Sensitivity.” This configuration is responsible for defining the overall plugin’s sensitivity when detecting breaths in your track and setting how much it will analyze your harmonic soundscape.
- Output breaths only
The tiny tick box on the right side of your user interface screen shows the option for “Output breaths only.” This option allows you to monitor the audio of the detected breaths and noises, making it helpful to see whether only the breathing in your track is being selected and removed.
- Gain mode
This plugin runs on macOS 10.8.5 or higher (64-bits only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bits only). It comes in VST2, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin formats.
iZotope’s RX bundle has been renowned for years as one of the essential sound editing tools in the market. The incredible precision when detecting and analyzing your audio makes your job much easier and more precise. One of these ways is by adjusting the breaths in your vocal track, and RX Breath Control does just that. This is only one module inside the plugin, among many others, that can deal with the most diverse audio problems and works marvelously. The results are almost instantaneous, with few tweaks necessary to achieve your desired outcome. This is one of the best audio editing tools ever created, and indeed it will assist you in removing multiple or selected breath noises in your production.
Sound editing is exquisite and can become a highly complex topic in minutes. There are multiple problems that a producer can face, and unwanted noises in your track are but one of these. It’s better to ensure your captured sound is free of these noises, but sometimes they go unnoticed, and all that’s left is to remove them manually.
Thanks to our modern society, this is becoming a more straightforward fix that some dedicated software can correct in seconds. Their incredible algorithms, scripts, and overall programming make them reliable tools to be used in musical and general situations, with the same good results being achieved.
Breath noises are specific problems, but luckily two plugin bundles can assist you in editing that. The first one, from Waves, is called “Vocal Production” and includes the DeBreath, as mentioned earlier, software, which can be ideal for any producers that need the ultimate tools for any possible fix to be applied on a vocal track. This bundle is handy and offers this and some other software that can help you fix major problems without much effort. The second is entitled RX Bundle, from the iconic iZotope manufacturer. This is a more severe and concise grouping, housing every tool in a “module” division that can deal with every possible need in your entire track, not only vocals. This is often used in mastering processes by taming the level or your absolute loudness in minutes.
Independently what’s your final choice? Both products on this list sought to fix the breathing noises easily and quickly, and both succeeded. It’s up to you to test both and see which fits your workflow better.
See you next time!
Eduardo Cardoso is a musician and audio producer based in São Paulo, Brazil. He studied both music production and theory in college and has successfully launched his career as a solo artist in 2021. With over 10 years of experience with the music business, he currently acts as a session musician, music producer, audio editor, and content creator. Read more..