Ssssssssssssssssibilance

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crumpart
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Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by crumpart » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:22 am

Anyone got any tips on dealing with sibilance in recording?

I tried some mic angle techniques in my I Used To Know You Better entry, coupled with de-essing in Logic, but I have the added physical restrictions of giant gaps between my top AND bottom front teeth.

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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by ujnhunter » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:27 am

Try to record only sibilance... No singing, just Sssssss into the microphone... then check what frequencies they are appearing at... and use that information to de-ess your recordings?

Edit: Different mics and different voices will pick up their own silibance in different frequencies, so if you have a different singer or different microphone, you'd need to use that information for each one.
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by crumpart » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:34 am

ujnhunter wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:27 am
Try to record only sibilance... No singing, just Sssssss into the microphone... then check what frequencies they are appearing at... and use that information to de-ess your recordings?

Edit: Different mics and different voices will pick up their own silibance in different frequencies, so if you have a different singer or different microphone, you'd need to use that information for each one.
That's an excellent idea. Thanks!
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by ken » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:37 am

I find dynamic mics help to minimize sibilance. Cheap condenser mics makes it worse. There isn't much you can do if your voice is sibilant. Just keep trying different mics and positions until you find a way to minimize it.
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by ujnhunter » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:28 am

Also not totally sibilance related... but make sure you're using a pop filter that is maybe an inch away from the microphone (this is mostly for plosives) and also try positioning your mic slightly higher than where you are singing into... i.e. above your mouth, not directly in front of your mouth... that may help too.
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by crumpart » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:43 am

ujnhunter wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:28 am
Also not totally sibilance related... but make sure you're using a pop filter that is maybe an inch away from the microphone (this is mostly for plosives) and also try positioning your mic slightly higher than where you are singing into... i.e. above your mouth, not directly in front of your mouth... that may help too.
Definitely using a pop filter. Doesn't help with the SSSSSs.
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by owl » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:12 am

If I'm having issues with sibilants/plosives, I'll try backing up off the mic a bit and/or singing at right angles to the front of the microphone, and that seems to help a lot.

There is a trick I've seen used with rubberbanding a pencil to the front of a mic, but I don't think that would work so well if you're recording with an SM57 :) (which I would think is a pretty decent mic for reducing these issues, although this guy suggests you can replace the transformer to improve it if you're into DIY. Personally, I'd try some other solutions first!)

I don't know what kind of options the Logic de-esser exposes for you to work with, but as ujnhunter suggests, you might want to play around with adjusting the parameters and/or manually EQ'ing. If you are extremely patient, you can also manually automate down the volume of the sibilants. This sounds torturous, but ultimately most tracks are only a few minutes long, so I guess it would be doable (I've never done it this way though).

I have a couple of free de-esser VSTs installed that seem pretty good, Dead Duck De-Esser and Airwindows. I used the Airwindows one on my submission for "I Used to Know You Better"... the recording sounded fine dry, I didn't want to go back and re-record, but the sibilance started to bother me after I applied some compression.

Don't overdo it or you'll give yourself a lisp!
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by crumpart » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:52 am

owl wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:12 am
If I'm having issues with sibilants/plosives, I'll try backing up off the mic a bit and/or singing at right angles to the front of the microphone, and that seems to help a lot.
Thanks for all this advice! I think I definitely did a better job with the new mic than I have previously, but because it’s something I’m aware of (and paranoid about), it’s all I can hear now. I backed off and sang over the mic this time, and that seemed to work pretty well. I’ll try singing side on next time. Or maybe write a song with no Ss, Ts or Xs...
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by jb » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:20 pm

Make sure you're using Logic's new De-esser 2. It's better than the original.

And do feel free to post a file here for folks to mess around with.

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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by ken » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:14 pm

owl wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:12 am
...if you're recording with an SM57 :) (which I would think is a pretty decent mic for reducing these issues, although this guy suggests you can replace the transformer to improve it if you're into DIY. Personally, I'd try some other solutions first!)
Not to hijack/sidetrack the conversation, but I have all of these and would be happy to talk about all my different SM57s. Also, I highly recommend the PylePro PDMIC78 which sounds a lot like my transformer removed Shure Sm57 for cheap.
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by owl » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:15 pm

ken wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:14 pm
Not to hijack/sidetrack the conversation, but I have all of these and would be happy to talk about all my different SM57s. Also, I highly recommend the PylePro PDMIC78 which sounds a lot like my transformer removed Shure Sm57 for cheap.
I'll bite... let's hear why you have all those different SM57s and if you think it makes a big difference...? (Though maybe you can start a new thread to avoid derailing this one.)
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:40 am

ken wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:14 pm
I highly recommend the PylePro PDMIC78 which sounds a lot like my transformer removed Shure Sm57 for cheap.
Have you used it on many sound sources? Vox, acoustic, amps etc.,? I actually use a small diaphragm condenser for vocals and acoustic quite a bit. This would be an easy way to get a stereo pair if they are decent enough to use regularly. I guess I want a review with a bit more depth, if you have the time.
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:27 am

As far as S's go... I've been lucky enough not to have too much trouble. With the little I do have, I typically, change mic placement and distance. Sometimes even changing the mic I use. I can't remember the last time it's been a problem, but I only record myself and I think I unconsciously changed how I sing to avoid the issues I was having in the past.

I like that sing the S and find the frequency idea.
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by ken » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:32 am

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:40 am
ken wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:14 pm
I highly recommend the PylePro PDMIC78 which sounds a lot like my transformer removed Shure Sm57 for cheap.
Have you used it on many sound sources? Vox, acoustic, amps etc.,?
I've mostly used it for guitar amps and vocals. It sounds good on both. I'm fairly sure it doesn't have a transformer, so the level is kind of low. It will probably sound better than your small diaphragm condenser for vocals. I really like the sound of my vintage Shure Unidyne for acoustic guitars if you want something that will sound natural and fit into a mix. I used it exclusively for a while, but can't remember exactly when. (This mic is also amazing on snare drums!) It looks like Shure has reissued these mics and they cost about the same as a regular SM57: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... microphone
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:39 am

Sorry, I can not help but think of this every time I encounter the word sibilance. Relax, its only 11 seconds long.
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:41 am

Great idea about the sss frequency too. And thanks, Ken, now I feel the need to get a couple of those mics. Look pretty cool though.
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:58 am

ken wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:32 am
It will probably sound better than your small diaphragm condenser for vocals.
The link you linked goes to a pyle small diaphragm condenser mic. Are you saying this one is better than mine or is the link to the wrong mic?
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Re: Ssssssssssssssssibilance

Post by ken » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:47 am

Yes, so sorry. That is the wrong link. I meant to link you to their SM57 knock off: https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Han ... 005BSOVRY/
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