Is this an embouchure issue?

I’m a beginner, and I’ve noticed when I try to record anything I play that there’s a little unwanted noise. I’m playing a special 20. If you listen, it’s like a tiny soft click or poof of air at the beginning of some notes (not all), or almost as if my tongue is over articulating (It’s not that though because I’m not doing any articulation). Here’s a link to me playing something. If someone could listen and give suggestions of how to reduce the sound that I’m talking about, It would be appreciated. Maybe it’s worth noting that I am fairly close to the microphone when I record – like 6 inches away. Again, any help is appreciated.


Hello @Fortheo,
so far it sounds good! A little too much surround sound, which could be due to the nature of the microphone and software.
I had this too in the beginning until I invested in a better microphone and started using other programs through my Windows 11 laptop.
As for the distance, you can only test! I don’t have a fixed measure, it depends on what I’m playing.

I know that click. For me it’s the larynx, which of course has to work when playing the harp. It is heard more when playing the harp without accompaniment.
But it’s so subtle, it wouldn’t bother me.

Regards Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:


Hi Scott @Fortheo

I agree with Astrid @AstridHandbikebee63 when she mentions the possibility that the clicking sound could be coming from the larynx – and I would add that the pharynx and nasopharynx areas contain various moist, relatively soft tissue surfaces that respond to slight changes in muscular activity such as those that occur when playing the harp; and they also get pushed around by changes in air pressure and flow direction when playing (as well as speaking or singing). These structures “slap” together or get pulled apart and can generate audible sounds such as those in your recording.

Since the nasopharyngeal area should remain moist, my suggestion for getting rid of these sounds is the same as Astrid’s: position the microphone further away from the harp. You can also try using some filtering of the signal generated by the microphone, such as reducing the higher frequencies. But the simplest and quickest is to put more space between the harp and the mike. These unwanted sounds are really not very loud and will be greatly reduced in the recording when the mike is further away.

– Slim :sunglasses:


When articulating the notes try whispering them instead and see if that makes a difference.


Thank you. I believe that you and @AstridHandbikebee63 Are correct that it’s my larynx because once you two mentioned that, I started to focus on how I feel when I’m playing and those sounds occur. I do notice a little movement in my larynx at times – a tiny shift that is similar to how the larynx would move if I were to softly voice a K or G sound, basically the larnyx movement that happens at the end of the word “sing”

Thank you again for all the advice. I’ll try to figure out a better way to position the mic.


The only thing about mic placement that I want to throw in here is “proximity effect” which is this:

THE CLOSER you are to the mic THE WARMER AND MORE LOW TONES come through.

This is a good thing for the harmonica because it can be a rather shrill instrument. I should’ve realized this a lot sooner (after all I have a degree in music production from Berklee College of Music, lol) but I recently recorded an album of healing music on harmonica and I put the mic a few feet away from me and, as you’ll be able to hear when the album comes out in a few months, the sound of the harmonica is quite thin and distant.

So being closer to the mic is better.

I was just talking with Lee Oskar’s sound engineer Brandon Busch about this subject, and the way they record Lee is he is holding a ribbon mic in his hands with the mic pretty much touching it, and then he’s also about 6" from a tube condenser mic, and then they blend the two signals in post.

I also agree with all that these sounds don’t bother me on your recording (although I’m just listening on my laptop speakers.)

Also, If the sound is bothering you, it is something you could take out fairly easily with Izotope RX software (if you’re willing to invest in it or hire a sound engineer to do it for you.) But again, the sound didn’t stick out as being annoying to me.

Sorry for my sound engineer geek-out rambles, I can’t help myself!