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rockinrob86

Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« on: December 18, 2015, 01:57:25 PM »
I record myself, and build my own gear which results in sometimes getting frustrated while trying to wear 10 hats at once.

I might just be being over critical.

I've always felt my vocals were a bit sibilant on sss and CH sounds, with little change from my point of view depending on the mic (including SM7b, U47fetish mics, etc)

Last night I was doing a little testing/jamming on acoustic guitar while singing using a new mic, and would like some opinions.  This quick recording has a little EQ (cut)  on it, but nothing too major.  I play a bit of a Springsteen song, and then a Neil Young tune, and I think the NY song sounds better, leading me to believe there is maybe something I changed from a technique perspective...

wav file (100mb) https://www.dropbox.com/s/dn8z3hnzuhdszwg/T11aC414%20mic%20check.wav?dl=0

360mp3 (10mb) https://www.dropbox.com/s/opyhkw6vncdi6q5/T11aC414%20mic%20check.mp3?dl=0


So for the more experienced people out there, does this sound sibilant to you?  Would you use more EQ?  Does this seem more like a performance issue?  I can reveal the mics/signal chain used, but I don't want to color the impressions...
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 02:31:56 PM by rockinrob86 »


JohnRoberts

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2015, 02:36:20 PM »
I didn't listen to your files but for general information the combination of close micing and compression tends to over emphasize low level HF sounds that would naturally dissipate using less-close micing and less compression.

Investigate de-essing that can be applied full range using a typical compression gain reduction circuit, but just isolate the HF information in the side chain and use fast attack/fast release time constants.

I have overlaid de-essing into conventional compressors using dual side-chain circuitry feeding a common gain reduction element.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

midwayfair

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2015, 03:21:52 PM »
I don't think the sibilance is distracting in those at all. I wouldn't bat an eye if I heard it. Maybe if you compressed them harder it would become a problem, or if you hyped the EQ. That said, if I focus on it, I could see how it might seem a little out of balance with the lower frequencies in your voice. My vocals can also get very sibillant when I'm not careful. One thing that helps, which not everyone is aware of (not even my former bandmate, and she's a vocal teacher): Make sure you are well-hydrated. This includes drinking water throughout the day in general, and small amounts between takes. When your mouth gets dry, sibilance gets worse. Eating something tart can help too.
I'm Jon. Myself's music and things I make: jonpattonmusic.com. My band: www.midwayfair.org. [Disclaimer: PCBs of guitar pedals I've designed are sold by Madbean, 1776 Effects, and JMK PCBs.]

miszt

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2015, 12:40:08 PM »
Dessing is what you want, EQ isn't the best way to deal with sibilance (cant listen here atm, just browsing)

use either a desser compressor, or a narrow band filter on the side chain of a compressor, start at 5khz and tweek till it catches the sibilance

my preferred method these days tho, is Adobe Audition CC, very accurate tools for cleaning up audio, takes a little more effort to learn, and depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, you may end up manually editing each word lol but sometimes that's not necessary and a dessing compressor does the job

kyaal

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2015, 10:24:55 AM »
I record myself, and build my own gear which results in sometimes getting frustrated while trying to wear 10 hats at once.

I might just be being over critical.

I've always felt my vocals were a bit sibilant on sss and CH sounds, with little change from my point of view depending on the mic (including SM7b, U47fetish mics, etc)

Last night I was doing a little testing/jamming on acoustic guitar while singing using a new mic, and would like some opinions.  This quick recording has a little EQ (cut)  on it, but nothing too major.  I play a bit of a Springsteen song, and then a Neil Young tune, and I think the NY song sounds better, leading me to believe there is maybe something I changed from a technique perspective...

wav file (100mb) https://www.dropbox.com/s/dn8z3hnzuhdszwg/T11aC414%20mic%20check.wav?dl=0

360mp3 (10mb) https://www.dropbox.com/s/opyhkw6vncdi6q5/T11aC414%20mic%20check.mp3?dl=0


So for the more experienced people out there, does this sound sibilant to you?  Would you use more EQ?  Does this seem more like a performance issue?  I can reveal the mics/signal chain used, but I don't want to color the impressions...

Indeed, I would agree that the Neil Young song sounds better. The major cause to this is due to it's more soft nature. Also it's less sibilant as you sing the ess pretty soft, compared to the first song.

In the first song the guitar appear a bit "boomy"  in the lower mids (or hi bass). I don't think the esses are a huge problem in the first song, but you could always experiment with a de-esser and see if this sounds better. If you try a  different micing (or EQ) for the guitar, and get a better overall balance then I believe the vocals will blend pretty well. If I were to process the guitar in the first song I would probably give it some more treble, and reduce some of the lowest mids.

Best,
Karl

rockinrob86

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2015, 03:28:03 PM »
Thanks for the tips everyone...

Kyall, someone on a different forum also mentioned the guitar was probably the real problem.  It is a martin HD-28, and it has always had that big boomy sound on recordings, despite what I have tried.  It doesn't sound as boomy in the room as it does on recordings.

I was using a modified Apex 460/T11A mic for the vocals (basically a c12 ish tube mic, with a 12ay7 tube and a K67 capsule, but with a capacitor like the elam 251 circuit uses to reverse some of the high lift in the capsule).

The guitar was recorded with a c414eb p48, and both mics were set to figure 8.


kyaal

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2015, 06:01:35 PM »
Thanks for the tips everyone...

Kyall, someone on a different forum also mentioned the guitar was probably the real problem.  It is a martin HD-28, and it has always had that big boomy sound on recordings, despite what I have tried.  It doesn't sound as boomy in the room as it does on recordings.

Why not try and move the mic to the height of your ears, maybe the mic will perceive the sound in the room similar to your ears?

Most likely your mic has been too close to the guitar, try some different distances and directions, I'm sure it will turn out great!


fazer

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2016, 01:49:30 PM »
I love clip gain in protools for dealing with the sss sound on a vocal.   You just select and lower to where you want to hear it.   For voiceover and dialog in post, its very powerful as well.  Standard practice at Starz.  Dessers can do as much damage  as good when over used.     

I also find the mic choice to be most important for the voice.   Sometimes a dynamic or ribbon work wonders.   A ribbon on female voice can eliminate the problems your having with a condenser.

evilcat

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2016, 08:25:55 AM »
I don't know about your vocal mic placement but when I have this kind of problem I put the mic off-axis of the mouth:
-higher and you'll get more mids from the nose
-lower and you'll get more lows from the throat
Which solution will depend on the playback.
Otherwise setting the mic further like JR suggests could be a good idea for general purpose, but maybe not in your case as you sing and play the guitar at the same time...
One last thing, for de-essing you should try the Massey plugin which is the more transparent IMO.
If I have enough time to do it, the clip gain tip suggest by fazer is my preferred method.

Best,

Ben

Whoops

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2016, 03:15:55 PM »
I was using a modified Apex 460/T11A mic for the vocals (basically a c12 ish tube mic, with a 12ay7 tube and a K67 capsule, but with a capacitor like the elam 251 circuit uses to reverse some of the high lift in the capsule).


1) try using the pencil trick, it works



2) use this De-Esser  plugin

http://www.masseyplugins.com/plugins/deesser



rockinrob86

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2016, 11:43:41 AM »
I should add some new recordings, but I have found several things I was doing that I adjusted for better results...


Guitar sound - I think it was the room.  This is a bit aggravating, and I wish I knew how to learn the why of this, but here it goes:

The room is a rectangle, with a smaller corner offset, so it is essentially an "L" shape.  the rough dimensions are something like 20 feet by 16 feet, and then the leg of the L room is probably 12 feet by 6 feet ceiling is 10 feet.

I have multiple baffles and many instruments throughout the room, and it is "Treated" with a large heavy foam mattress against one of the brick walls, along with the baffles throughout the room. 

The best place in the room for having enough area to set up mic stands, etc ends up being roughly in the middle of the larger room.  No matter where I place baffles or direction I turn, acoustic guitars sound boomy.  If I go into the "L" part, it sounds awesome.  Every mic, a variety of positions.  Never boomy, but, this space is very small.  I could not fit two acoustic guitarist singing and playing live together over here...

That portion of the room has a large Vinyl LP storage shelf (6 feet tall, 3 feet wide) in the corner, a CD/DVD rack, about 10 guitar cases, and a couple tool boxes.  I set up directly in front of my 2x15 bass cab, with a baffle behind the chair.






Vocals - I'll try the pencil trick.  I got the UAD de-esser.  I already place the mic off axis.  Some of it is maybe over zealousness...
I've been putting the mic in figure 8 about a foot away.  You can see in the picture there some experimenting - I liked the results of the ribbon + LDC.


DerEber

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2016, 02:13:23 PM »
For the electric guitar try to stand the amp up until it has the full room to blow and get an open space. Place it with the back as close to the wall as possible.

If your room is too boomy in general,
cut 1 of the mattress in to 1x1,5 meter and glue a 1-2mm steel plate on it. mount it on the wall in a way that it can freely vibrate.
You would need at least 3 paneles like this. Don't mount it in your drum area if you like the boom there.
The recording is not too far off. Feel free to post more audio. :)

rockinrob86

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2016, 02:31:23 PM »
electric guitar I have no issues, and tracking live Bass and drums sound great.   Problem is just acoustic guitar related

Which I think is relating to the DB levels in the room - At higher levels my room works well, but the lower levels of the Acoustic guitar result in the boomy thing

Although, I never really use any distance mics on electric guitars, usually just a beyer M69 on the cone and maybe a ribbon 2 feet away or so...

The mattress annihilates flutter echoes I was having, and also greatly reduces electric guitar problems with the back wall.  It used to HURT to be in the room even with a small guitar amp!  I think the room is stuffed full of so much stuff (wurlitzer, hammond, my wooden baffles) that it breaks up most standing waves.  It is pretty awesome how loud you can turn up the bass amp and how little bleed I get into drum mics!

I don't have any "finished" tracks to upload to soundcloud (I give that out to more people, so I limit it to takes I'm at least happy with) - but this is a song I cut after this experimenting with the new placement in the corner.  Pretty sure it is the modified T11A tube mic on vocals and beyerdynamic MC930 on acoustic guitar with very little EQ on either, probably just some lows cut on the gtr, which I actually may have overdone a bit here.  I want to redo the pedal steel on this and maybe the drums, so that's why it isn't done.  https://www.dropbox.com/s/7od08pm7e2igwhq/CrossStitch22316.mp3?dl=0

tskguy

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2016, 09:52:25 AM »
What capsules are in your mics??  A good capsule will always do better than a Chinese one regarding ssss's .
Yes a bit of a plug but any good capsule will make a huge difference! Mine Tim's Dany's  original neumann what ever.
Just stay away from the Chinese stuff and you will be much happier.

ln76d

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2016, 12:59:42 PM »
eehhh... there should be also "not like" button...

rockinrob86

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2016, 07:57:01 PM »
I'm still chinese Tskguy, but I hope to graduate to one of your or a colleague's offerings at some point in the future. 

I've done more experimenting, and come to some conclusions -

I need to do a better job of mic selection for the song, and not just my voice.  The modified T11A sounds great and detailed, but my SM7B can give a better result for some songs, even though the T11A is a "better" mic.  The mic itself is not harsh, it is my vocal style, and I do have a bit of a spitty sibilance when I go for it to hit a note.

The pencil trick is funny looking, but it works!

ln76d

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated...
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2016, 08:21:08 PM »
The modified T11A sounds great and detailed

Naaahh, it can't be, because you have chinese capsule :D
You should even run away, when you will see  Asian people on the street!

Why not C414 on vocal?
It's a darker microphone but with all the details.
I recommend to try hypercardioid pattern also.

rockinrob86

Re: Possible Sibilance issue, tips appreciated... New
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2016, 09:32:20 PM »
I should throw the c414 back up and test it out. 

When I've tried that before, it wasn't as detailed and a bit veiled sounding.  It also is not very exciting!  It is kind of the vanilla mic in my locker - it always works, but I almost always have another mic that could be better, as in this case the T11A is very alive, detailed and exciting.   BUT, this is a good example as the C414 would probably round off and thicken were I need it too...

I decided earlier today that I am not a fan of that mic on my Martin, as the KM84 fet LDC mic I built (thanks Poctop!) and/or my Beyer MC930 sound so much better that the bleed from not being in figure 8 can be dealt with.  I'm excited to complete my U87 clones and see how they fare - may be the perfect mic for this guitar...  The beyer MC930 will be hard to beat for situations where I'm not singing.

I'm sure the Chinese capsules are lacking - but I am a hobbyist, and am filling out my studio on a budget.  Once I have everything in place, I can upgrade some capsules, and I plan to at least get a couple "premier" mics for these delicate things, and then move some of the chinese K47 caps to more workingman roles (I like a LDC on kick drum, for example). 

The T11A after basically completely redoing the circuit is hands down a great mic.  I LOVE it on room in omni, Bass Cab, drum overhead, elec guitars, really everything I've tried.  I'm sure a full C12 capsule would be a great mic too, and I look forward to owning one some day.

Anyways, here's an original - Martin HD28, Modified T11A on vocals, MC930 on guitar.  Eq'd, compressed, etc.
https://soundcloud.com/rockinrob86/words
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 02:54:07 PM by rockinrob86 »