Ableton Tutorial: Auto Remove Breath Sounds in Dialogue / Vocals

This tutorial shows how to use native Ableton Live effects to automatically remove breathing sounds in dialogue or vocal takes.

I was making a video tutorial for ask.audio the other day and when I began editing the video I noticed me inhaling in between some sentences. Once I noticed one; I noticed them all. I became obsessed. The breathing crept into my head and became my waking nightmare…. 😛

Luckily, using some clever thinking I figured out a way to use Live’s Gate effect to automatically find and eliminate those breathing sounds for me.

This is quite common practice in editing audio for film, unless the editor or director wants the breathing left in for some dramatic effect.

Check out my Auto De-Noise Dialogue / Vocals tutorial on Ask.Audio

Watch the Video Tutorial

*written tutorial below the video

Written Tutorial

First thing you need to do is import your audio file. It is best that the audio be as clean as possible. It is also a good idea for the level of the dialogue or vocal be as even as possible without deforming the character too much.

Maybe throw a compressor on the channel and bring down the threshold just a bit 😉

Next drop Ableton Live’s Gate effect onto the channel. Then, while the audio is playing, slowly bring down the Gate’s threshold until all the dialogue is passing through. You will notice that the breathing does not pass through the gate. This is the main idea.

You will want to listen all the way through to make sure all the dialogue does in fact pass through. You might want to add just a bit of attack and a bit more release to make sure things don’t sound too choppy.

Also, you may want to increase the level of the floor. This is how audible the material below the threshold remains. For example, -inf will completely cut the sounds and +0.00 dB will essentially leave the audio unaffected by the device.

live-ableton-gate-clean-dialogue-vocal

The Final Gate Settings for the Tutorial

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Author: Joshua Casper

Joshua Casper is an Artist, Musician, and Blogger.

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