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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:17 am 
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Website Slayer and Problem Solver
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:28 am
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Location: 1/2 Central CA Coast; 1/2 RVing
Machine type: AW1600
I'm trying to get a little more sophisticated in my mixing. On my current "work-in-progress" song, I noticed several excessive "ess" sounds (on words like "miss", "sure", etc.). I knew about the "compressor side-chain" de-essing method, but wondered about other methods. By googling, I came across a very good article in Sound On Sound mag @ http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may09/articles/deessing.htm.

Their alternate method is to move the "ess" sounds from the main vocal track to a secondary vocal track and then reduce the volume of the secondary track. I tried it and it works great! Very easy to do with the AW16G or AW1600 (and probably the other Yammy AWs). Just use the TRACK-VIEW-WAVE screen to find the start and end points of the "ess" sound and transfer them to the EDIT-MOVE Start/Stop/To points. I set the secondary "ess" track to about 6 dB lower volume than the main vocal and it does a very nice job of reducing the sibilance.

Obviously, this technique is easier to implement on a software DAW with the ability to draw "volume envelopes" and decrease the volume of the vocal track in the "ess" areas. I've often wished the AWs had some rudimentary, region oriented volume editing capability, but alas, they don't.

Before finding this method, I tried the "compressor side-chain" method, but didn't have a lot of luck. However, I found that this "secondary track" method appears to work very reliably.

Try it and maybe you'll like it, too. Or, maybe you already knew about it. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:48 am 
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Ranch Hand
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 1155
Machine type: AW4416
Nice tip Ralph I`ll give that a try.
I may have one also, something I read about a long time ago and used it ever since, when I`m recording vocals I set the mic up so the capsule is the same height as my forehead, and then tilt it downwards to face my mouth, it seems to take that harshness of the ess etc out, works for me anyway.
The only downside I can think of is as I get older my hair is receding, so my forehead is getting higher and the mic further away. :lol:

Good luck.
T.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:46 pm
Posts: 5125
Location: Netherlands
Favourite food: Ria's cheesecake
Machine type: AW16G
Copy the complete track to a second track. Use the EQ on the copy so you only hear higher frequencies. Then, apply a strong compression to that track and have it turn down the original with it (remember Kevin Source?). That's an automatic de-esser.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:44 am 
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The Reverend
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Machine type: AW16G
sounds interesting...

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:35 am 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:46 pm
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Location: Netherlands
Favourite food: Ria's cheesecake
Machine type: AW16G
You can also copy the track 2 or 3 times so you have 3 or 4 versions. Give them all a restricted part of the spectrum, for instance

tr1: 0 - 100 hz
tr2: 60 - 300 hz
tr3: 200 - 1000 hz
tr4: 800 - inf hz

As the freqs are not blocked from one hz to the other, but rolling off gradually, they need an overlap. For the exact number you'll have to experiment.

Then, apply heavy compression on track 4. And there's an even better de-esser than the previous as lower frequencies are not touched at all when someone pronounces the sssssss.

You can give the instrument/vocal its own color by applying customized compression on each frequency range. If there's no need for that, two copies are enough: tr1 (0 - 1000 hz), tr2 (800 - inf hz).

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