Do you know what a “plosive” is? It’s that harsh popping, or “explosive” sound when your mouth is too close to the microphone and you pop out a harsh P, C, or T sound. Here’s what a “plosive P” sounds like (on “parked”).
It’s always best to try to avoid recording “plosives” while narrating an audiobook by properly positioning your microphone and using a pop filter, but sometimes they sneak through. Luckily, it’s actually really easy to fix your “plosives” and tone down those harsh P, C, and T sounds. Let me show you how to do it.
First, once you’re been producing audiobook files for a while, you’ll actually be able to see plosives in your files without even having to hear them (of course, you do want to listen to them before you fix them though!). Luckily, since they’re easy to spot, if you hear a plosive while you’re editing and mastering your files, it’s so easy to narrow in on the plosive and quickly fix it.
This is what a plosive looks like. The little “hook” can appear at the beginning or end of a word or phrase and is distinct once you know what to look for.
So how do you fix it? Easy!
In your audio file, highlight the tiny section of the audio file with the plosive you want to fix. You can zoom in to make sure you only highlight the little hook. Press the Play button after you highlight the section of audio and you will hear the plosive.
After highlighting the section you want to fix, select Effects > Equalization. The window below displays.
Click the “Flatten” button to get rid of any existing settings. Now, click in the window at around 9dB. A flat line will display like in the image above. Click Preview to hear how the plosive will sound equalized. Click OK and the plosive will be equalized and the harsh sounds will even out. The hook in your audio file will flatten out. Be sure to listen to the corrected section to make sure it sounds good. You can select Edit > Undo Equalization if it doesn’t sound like you want.
It’s a really good idea to click the Save/Mange Curves after setting up this window and naming it “Plosive Fix” or something easy for you to remember. Then, each time you need to fix a plosive, you only need to choose Plosive Fix from the Select Curve area like in the window above.
That’s it! Do this for any “plosive” sound in your file to easily level out those harsh consonants.
Want to learn more about audiobook production? Download my free ebook on how to narrate and produce your own audiobooks!