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 Post subject: SSSSSSSSibilance
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:02 pm 
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Red Wax Eater
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Have been looking through the various posts , links and books , etc.
Surprised not to have found much about this problem .

For my vocal recordings I am fairly happy with the clear tone I am getting from my set up , but I get a slight problem from sibilance . I can get rid of it in the mix by cutting a bit on the eq at high end , but then I really lose some presence from the vocals . I am not using reverb , so this is not the problem.

I have tried the "pencil" on the mike trick , but this did not seem to work. I set my pop filter around 8 inches back from the mike to ensure the vocalist is around 10" to a foot away. I have tried getting them to sing ata slight angle and various mike positions.

Any experience on mike placement helping with this pesky problem ( a can't afford a de esser) .

Am I placing the vocalist too close....?

Ray


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:25 pm 
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Good Question really, I'm struggling with the same problems. Cutting back highs via EQ hurts the overall sound, sticking a pencil to the mic won't work either... off-axis bwahahahaaaaa, and pop-screens don't work against sibilance...

I'm still trying to find a workaround... while even the De-Essers I've come across didn't quite cut the mustard.

I've tried mumbling... but that kinda ruins the intention behind lyrics...

If there really is a magical answer... I'm all ears :oops: .

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:23 am 
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There is no "solution" short of a desser, and preserve the sound overall. For a desser to be effective it must be set up properly...these "male voice", "female voice" settings are not going to cut it.

There is a way on the G to make a pseudo-desser, if you're willing to fiddle with it, but it will not be the best. Have a copy of the vocal track next to the "real" track. On the copy, find the EQ point where the sib occurs and boost that small group of freq (tight Q) while pulling down all the others. On the real track select the compressor, but the key-in source is set to this adjacent copy track. Let the fiddlin' begin. The sib on the copy track will kick in the compressor. The compressor should have a fast attack and a super fast release; it's not perfect because it is not just the sib freqs that are being treated, but the hole track. However, you set it up so that it only kicks in on the sib. Once you've fiddled with it to the point it's effective, bounce the real track.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:35 am 
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Clever.

Here's my idea (don't know if it's feasable):

Copy the vocal track to a second track. Find the problem frequency the way David describes. Turn that specific frequency UP for the copy, and DOWN for the original. Then, for the copy, apply a compressor. Then, mix the two together.

That way, the volume of the other frequencies are preserved when the compressor kicks in.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:38 am 
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Damned, are you guys clever :shock: !

I shall try that soon!

Thanks!

Michel

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:10 am 
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Sing with a lisp?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:12 am 
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Not bad, Robbie...but I think I wouldn't turn up the copy sib freqs using your method...they'll be unnatural. I would kill the freqs all around it leaving the sibs where they are and apply the compressor to it. I would also make sure that the EQ's matched between the freqs left behind (the sib) on the copy track and the killed freqs on the original track. With that match, it should work and still sound "normal". A little more complicated, but it would get around the potential of the compressor effecting all freqs (though with the compressor set right in the first method, it would kick in only for the duration of the sib, which are the only freqs happening at the particular moment if it's a clean vocal track).

Thinking about it a little more...trouble with this method is you still have to be careful how you set that compressor and only have it kick in with the energy of the sib, and not kick in when natural, non-sib overtones occur in that space. Even more reason not to boost the sib freqs if they are to be blended back into the original track.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:19 am 
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Hmmm, I gotta really try those ideas... 8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:20 am 
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I'm always carefull 8)

And then I f*ck up. :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:17 pm 
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There's also a "solution" from the songwriting, arrangement and performance angles; Try to avoid ending phrases in a song with "s", "ts", etc. as much as possible. Coach your vocalist to broaden the vowel and shorten the time pronouncing the consonents.

Sleepless actually brought up a remedy we used on a demo track years ago; On a song with considerable esses and tees in the lyrical content we had the singer try to "air out" his "s"es by placing his tongue about a 1/4 inch further back against the roof of his mouth. The result was much less sibilance and a Mick Jagger-ish character. Of course, it'll depend on the song... :wink:

A song I'm working on virtually as I type has a couple of trouble lines:

Calm, clear waters, and the breeze a welcome guest
Life in heaven, comes close to this I'd guess


Guess how many takes and mics and eq settings and tricks I tried on those... :shock: The words "guest" and "guess" are long, held onto notes that I have a natural tendancy to dwell too long on the "s". My fix was to ultimately hold the vowel through the entire note, pronouncing the "s" only at the very last nano-second--NOT an easy thing without some concentration if you aren't classically trained...I also turned my head away from the mic as I pronounced the "s", which, though gave a slight trailing-off effect, kept me from spend a whole day trying to fix it electronically... :oops:

Eric


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:57 pm 
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Wow , what a response. Seems I touched a nerve with this one.
Also some of those trickssssssss. (Oops to close to the keyboard).
How clever are you guys?
Will have a play
Thks

Ray


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:58 pm 
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musicegbdf wrote:
How clever are you guys?


Clever enough to enjoy life. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:04 pm 
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of course you could press some chewing gum into that gap in your teeth...

:twisted:
:idea:
:lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:06 pm 
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You could limit yourself to instrumentals. In my case that would be a good idea. An even better idea for me would be not to record at all. :lol:

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 Post subject: The dreaded "s"
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:46 pm 
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I used to have a lot of problems with this until I backed off from the mic a couple of inches and sang across the mic face instead of directly into it.
I didnt have any processing gadgets to help. It made a big difference but im sure technology would have helped even more.

best regds
Leo


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 Post subject: Re: SSSSSSSSibilance
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:58 pm 
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Has anyone ever tried to use the multi-filter effect as a de-esser ?

If so, any advice ?

If not, could anyone recommend a decent, cheap (<$200) de-esser ? I don't plan to do anything via my computer except drum tracks & so the various plug-ins are not for me. That means a "box" & as far as I can tell they are all pretty expensive. If everyone is going to Protools, etc. does that mean that good second-hand "boxes" are available ?

Another option is a DBX286a for use as a vocal preamp/compressor/de-esser, but I already have a DMP3 pre-amp & the yammy's compressor seems ok. Anyone know anything about the DBX ?

I really want to keep the GAS under control as I dont want the clutter or expense of a lot of gear.

All advice welcome

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 Post subject: Re: SSSSSSSSibilance
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:40 pm 
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this not going to solve your wants, but I put a Waves y96k card into my 2400. The de-esser in that bundle is very effective/ controlable. Waves sells plugins too, so maybe their software de- esser is available some how. I have no experience with outboard units for this job - so you will have to wait for others to help.

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: SSSSSSSSibilance
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:49 pm 
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Sibilance can be a real nightmare - In my own personal experience though...this is not because of how bad it ACTUALLY sounds, but how obsessed one can get with trying to get rid of it!!!

My wife's voice is pretty prone to sibilance and we've tried countless things over the years to get rid of it. We were recording an album once and the producer got TOTALLY obsessed with getting rid of it. He used some snazzy expensive de-esser in the end. This seemed like a good idea at the time and solved the problem, but now we can't actually listen to any of her vocals on that record. They sound totally unnatural, processed and awful as a consequence. Far worse than the original offending sibilance!!! Plus the studio clock was ticking and the whole business cost us money!!

For our latest recording we just accepted that that was the way her voice sounded and left it as it was. More important that the take and feel is right and natural than to try and digitally tip-ex out the bad bits in our view. Hopefully the recordings sound better overall for it.

Thats just my personal experience/conclusion though...what do I know!?

Good luck with it though Ray


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 Post subject: Re: SSSSSSSSibilance
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:32 pm 
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I agree, too much is not a good thing. A suggestion of sibilant sound leaves the listener to deal with the natural aspects of a voice, without becoming aggravated and hence choosing not to listen.

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 Post subject: Re: SSSSSSSSibilance
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:03 am 
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I used the multi-filter effect to try & get rid of some Sssssssssssssssssssibilance last night.

In the half an hour that I had to experiment on a previously recorded vocal track, I was able to reduce the Ssss. However, there were side-effects (no pun intended).

There is potential & more tweaking is in order. I suspect that once you find settings that work for a particular voice, you are in business.

Or, as suggested earlier, learn to live with it.

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