Weird lip-smacking sounds (that aren't actually lips smacking)

I thought this problem was my soundcard… so I bought a new device, a USB Presonus… Same issue.

The pic is my waveform blown way up, both vertically and horizontally… so at this resolution you don’t expect to see any real movement in the waveform in any one direction, right? (It’s so zoomed in)… and yet if you look at my waveform, it comes in smoothly then immediately turns into an odd shape, and the audio I hear as a result of this sounds like lips-smacking or like, excessive throat sounds… and it keeps happening right after just about every vocal phrase ends, but not during… It’s just so odd.

It’s not the singing. I made sure of this while testing.
It’s not the mic. I swapped different mics.
It’s not the preamp, I bypassed the fancy preamp I had been using, and also used the new device’s on-board preamp.

What’s left is Cubase - Cubase Elements on Windows 10.

My older sound card was connected via a PCI card to a breakout box (It’s a very old Delta 1010 M-Audio device.) So I thought it had just finally died. Nope. The new Presonus device gives the same result - the device connected directly to USB. So, it has nothing to do with the PCI or USB channels in my computer. It’s something to do with further along the path, closer to when the file gets written to the hard drive… or something… Cubase, perhaps. I dunno.

I’m at a loss. Please help.

It could be anything but let me ask, do you have any plugins on the input channel? If not then it’s possible you have some type of intermittent or even constant electrical interference (or RF) that’s going on when you sing - but the sound of the voice hides it in it’s wave file.

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Nothing on the input channel.

The electrical interference, yeah, I don’t know. This computer is made up of perhaps a part or two that was in an old computer of mine that had like an electrical shock happen to it. Though the majority of it is mostly stuff that wasn’t subjected to that.

Hm, then I think you are going to have to load a different computer with Cubase, use the same input chain and see if the noise continues.

I did that. The verdict: It’s the mouth. Yea, you read that right. I’ve been doing this a long time, and boy was I fooled. If you do a quick search on mouth noises while recording vocals, it all comes clear. Except in this case, not only is it a relatively dry mouth, and sensitive mics where I’m singing up close, but it was the signal chain I was using with quite a bit of compression and then tape saturation on the 2-buss. which really emphasized the 8K and above region.

Wow, I’ve never really been so distracted by mouth noises before this. The good news is it has absolutely zero to do with my hardware or software. Phew…

Thanks for your help.

Filter it down so you only have to 8k+ region, and put it on YouTube as an ASMR video!

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I had to look that up. :slight_smile:
Now that’s funny.

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