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Decent mic for female voice

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Anonymous
March 7, 2005 3:54:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another. Having
a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female voice
- nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying. By
the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to the
point that it sounds like the female has a lisp. The females involved
all record for us on their home PC's using the Studio projects mic and
a Tascam US-122 audio interface box (I'm assuming the problem is the
mic, not the Tascam). Not exactly studio quality, I understand, but
these recordings go on a phone - not for broadcast and not to be played
back on high quality audio equipment. Can anyone recommend a mic that
might specifically deal with this sibilance problem. I suppose if we
spent thousands of dollars on high end mics the problem might go away,
but we'd rather not spend the cash for recordings that end up on a
phone. The Studio projects mics are $200, and you get what you pay
for, I know. But they sure do the job on a male voice! I've tried
numerous De-essers, which seem to make the problem worse, believe it or
not. Thanks for the advice.

Bruce
Anonymous
March 7, 2005 4:17:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Scott Dorsey wrote:
> onholder <rtimedia@gmail.com> wrote:
> >My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another.
Having
> >a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
> >currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
> >chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female
voice
> >- nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying.
By
> >the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to
the
> >point that it sounds like the female has a lisp. The females
involved
> >all record for us on their home PC's using the Studio projects mic
and
> >a Tascam US-122 audio interface box (I'm assuming the problem is the
> >mic, not the Tascam). Not exactly studio quality, I understand, but
> >these recordings go on a phone - not for broadcast and not to be
played
> >back on high quality audio equipment. Can anyone recommend a mic
that
> >might specifically deal with this sibilance problem. I suppose if
we
> >spent thousands of dollars on high end mics the problem might go
away,
> >but we'd rather not spend the cash for recordings that end up on a
> >phone. The Studio projects mics are $200, and you get what you pay
> >for, I know. But they sure do the job on a male voice! I've tried
> >numerous De-essers, which seem to make the problem worse, believe it
or
> >not. Thanks for the advice.
>
> EV RE-20. Maybe the RE-27 if you want a little more sense of
presence.
> Not much more expensive than what you're using, but built like a tank
> and with good sound quality as well as the ability to sound good when
the
> talent is off-mike.
> --scott

I'll second the suggestion of using a dynamic mic. My guess is that if
the SP mic were hooked up to an input with plenty of headroom, that you
would not be getting sibilance distortion. Then again it could also be
your particular mic.

Unfortunately, most large-diaphragm condenser mics have a boosted
upper-mid response to give vocals "presence". One of the few mics that
does not have this "feature" is the Neumann TLM193. Maybe look for one
of those on ebay. They were never as popular as other Neumann mics and
may be had for only a little more than an RE20.

Karl Winkler
Lectrosonics, Inc.
http://www.lectrosonics.com
Anonymous
March 7, 2005 7:12:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

onholder <rtimedia@gmail.com> wrote:
>My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another. Having
>a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
>currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
>chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female voice
>- nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying. By
>the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to the
>point that it sounds like the female has a lisp. The females involved
>all record for us on their home PC's using the Studio projects mic and
>a Tascam US-122 audio interface box (I'm assuming the problem is the
>mic, not the Tascam). Not exactly studio quality, I understand, but
>these recordings go on a phone - not for broadcast and not to be played
>back on high quality audio equipment. Can anyone recommend a mic that
>might specifically deal with this sibilance problem. I suppose if we
>spent thousands of dollars on high end mics the problem might go away,
>but we'd rather not spend the cash for recordings that end up on a
>phone. The Studio projects mics are $200, and you get what you pay
>for, I know. But they sure do the job on a male voice! I've tried
>numerous De-essers, which seem to make the problem worse, believe it or
>not. Thanks for the advice.

EV RE-20. Maybe the RE-27 if you want a little more sense of presence.
Not much more expensive than what you're using, but built like a tank
and with good sound quality as well as the ability to sound good when the
talent is off-mike.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Related resources
Anonymous
March 7, 2005 8:27:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Doubtful it is a problem with the female voice. It's actually causing
a problem with 3 different female voices - one has been in radio for 20
years and does lots of voiceover work. Software de-essers have not
done anything but make it worse, for some reason.

Thanks for all replies!
Bruce Robertson
Anonymous
March 7, 2005 8:43:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

onholder wrote:
> Doubtful it is a problem with the female voice. It's actually
causing
> a problem with 3 different female voices - one has been in radio for
20
> years and does lots of voiceover work. Software de-essers have not
> done anything but make it worse, for some reason.
>
> Thanks for all replies!
> Bruce Robertson

I would give the sm58 a try for the simple reason that
it might be too obvious or easy to overlook.
I have had decent luck with the Senn md431 on female
vocal, but my use was singing not spoken voice.
(I am assuming they are not singing in the phone)
Moving up the food chain there's the EV re20 and re27,
with the 27 being more suited to female.
I also like hardware de-ess like the Symetrix 528,
rather than software.

rd
Anonymous
March 7, 2005 9:25:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Scott Dorsey wrote:
> onholder <rtimedia@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another. Having
>>a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
>>currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
>>chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female voice
>>- nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying. By
>>the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to the
>>point that it sounds like the female has a lisp. The females involved
>>all record for us on their home PC's using the Studio projects mic and
>>a Tascam US-122 audio interface box (I'm assuming the problem is the
>>mic, not the Tascam). Not exactly studio quality, I understand, but
>>these recordings go on a phone - not for broadcast and not to be played
>>back on high quality audio equipment. Can anyone recommend a mic that
>>might specifically deal with this sibilance problem. I suppose if we
>>spent thousands of dollars on high end mics the problem might go away,
>>but we'd rather not spend the cash for recordings that end up on a
>>phone. The Studio projects mics are $200, and you get what you pay
>>for, I know. But they sure do the job on a male voice! I've tried
>>numerous De-essers, which seem to make the problem worse, believe it or
>>not. Thanks for the advice.
>
>
> EV RE-20. Maybe the RE-27 if you want a little more sense of presence.
> Not much more expensive than what you're using, but built like a tank
> and with good sound quality as well as the ability to sound good when the
> talent is off-mike.
> --scott
>
Working the mic over the top (mic pointed towards the windpipe), to the
side, and any position that gets you closer to what you're after.
Remeber the C1 is a side address mic also. Sometimes a pop filter will
help move the vocalist off the mic or a windscreen can sometimes help.
Please, don't even think about using a compressor. It'll probably only
make the s-s-s-s-s worse. The Shure SM-7 would work also as would a
Sennheiser MD421. Both are dynamic type mics.

Scott's suggestion on the EV RE20 is an excellent one in that dynamic
type mics oftimes work much better than condensers on certain voices.

Ty Ford would be a good source also.

Wayne
Anonymous
March 7, 2005 9:41:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1110228847.287876.250750@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com> rtimedia@gmail.com writes:

> My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another. Having
> a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
> currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
> chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female voice
> - nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying.

This is a problem with the voice, not the microphone. I'd suggest
either using a de-esser or a trip to the ortodontist.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 12:38:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

onholder wrote:

> My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another. Having
> a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
> currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
> chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female voice
> - nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying. By
> the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to the
> point that it sounds like the female has a lisp. The females involved
> all record for us on their home PC's using the Studio projects mic and
> a Tascam US-122 audio interface box (I'm assuming the problem is the
> mic, not the Tascam). Not exactly studio quality, I understand, but
> these recordings go on a phone - not for broadcast and not to be played
> back on high quality audio equipment. Can anyone recommend a mic that
> might specifically deal with this sibilance problem. I suppose if we
> spent thousands of dollars on high end mics the problem might go away,
> but we'd rather not spend the cash for recordings that end up on a
> phone. The Studio projects mics are $200, and you get what you pay
> for, I know. But they sure do the job on a male voice! I've tried
> numerous De-essers, which seem to make the problem worse, believe it or
> not. Thanks for the advice.


Don't know the front end of the Tascam, but there may not be a suitable
low-pass filter before the A/D. What is your sample rate? If you're
recording at 8000 or 7200, and using a sound-blaster-like input, this
will do exactly as you describe (I was using 11025). Aliasing all over
the place from the S sounds, they sound more like a drunken Fth. A tiny
bit of this, actually, seems to make the sibilants sound a little more
natural after being clamped to a 3400-Hz bandwidth. I've learned a lot
about CTI since then.

Why on Earth do you need such fidelity for a fone?
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 1:35:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Mon, 7 Mar 2005 15:54:07 -0500, onholder wrote
(in article <1110228847.287876.250750@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>):

> My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another. Having
> a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
> currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
> chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female voice
> - nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying. By
> the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to the
> point that it sounds like the female has a lisp. The females involved
> all record for us on their home PC's using the Studio projects mic and
> a Tascam US-122 audio interface box (I'm assuming the problem is the
> mic, not the Tascam).


The women could all be overly sibilant. It's something few people think about
unless they know what being overly sibilant is.

Try an RE20.

Regards,

Ty ford







-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 1:37:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Mon, 7 Mar 2005 20:27:44 -0500, onholder wrote
(in article <1110245264.461387.230160@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>):

> Doubtful it is a problem with the female voice. It's actually causing
> a problem with 3 different female voices - one has been in radio for 20
> years and does lots of voiceover work. Software de-essers have not
> done anything but make it worse, for some reason.
>
> Thanks for all replies!
> Bruce Robertson
>

I know several overly sibilant AFTRA women who make a living doing VO.
Deessers work for them. Most V/O studios have them as a rule.

Regards.

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 9:53:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:D 0ig3i$8u$1@panix2.panix.com...
> onholder <rtimedia@gmail.com> wrote:

> >My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another. Having
> >a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
> >currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
> >chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female voice
> >- nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying. By
> >the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to the
> >point that it sounds like the female has a lisp.

> EV RE-20. Maybe the RE-27 if you want a little more sense of presence.
> Not much more expensive than what you're using, but built like a tank
> and with good sound quality as well as the ability to sound good when the
> talent is off-mike.

Most of the time I'd agree with Scott on this, but even the RE-20 has enough
of a boost in the treble that speakers with sibilance problems will have
them exaggerated by the mic. I'd go to e-bay and look for an Electro-Voice
RE-15, preferably a fairly new one. Or look for a new PL-11. Both of those
are relatively flat microphones in the mid and low treble; they roll off
precipitously at 13kHz, no harm in this situation.

Also: At what sampling rate are you recording? If I were you I'd record at
44.1kHz, then lowpass filter at, say, 10kHz, then downsample.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 12:04:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Here's another question on the same topic - how about giving the female
voices one of those cheap The Samson S com plus Compressor/Limiter,
Expander/Gate, De-Esser with Peak Limiter? They're just $120, but I
have no experience with them - not sure if they might solve the
sibilance problem we're having, or just cause more problems that we
already have!

Bruce
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 3:41:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Here is MY sublective view on sibilance


Sibilance

Sibilance is a problem that can destroy the fidelity of a production
- a singer who's every S and T is accompanied by a burst of
high-frequency noise. This isn't anybody's fault, it's all down to how
an individual's mouth works, but it seems that the better the
microphone the more sibilance is captured. This is especially true of
some condenser mics, but unfortunately some people tend to equate a
very bright vocal sound as being more refined or better produced.
What's more, adding effects such as reverb or using heavy compression
can make sibilance noticeably worse.

As sibilance is a high-frequency problem, and equalizers are designed
to emphasize high-frequency detail, it's hardly surprising that using
an enhancer tends to exaggerate sibilance even more. The best place to
tackle this problem is back at the source, and if you have a mic that's
less susceptible to the offending frequencies, try this first. Don't
worry if it's not as bright as another mic; you can use equalization to
help compensate for that. Be aware of high frequency distortion that
might sound similar to sibilance. The high frequency distortion will
most likely be coming from the mic or mic pre-amp. Changing the
position of the singer relative to the mic may help in decreasing the
sibilance, but in serious cases, you may need to resort to using a
de-esser.

If you need to de-ess, do it before you EQ and comp/limit. Any high end
equalization before the de-esser will make it work harder. Also focus
on the problem frequency range of the sibilance. If you notice a
"shzzz" sound, the problem area will be in the 3kHz-7kHz range. If
it sounds "ssss" it is in the 8kHz-12kHz range. Most de-essers have
a mode where you can listen to what is being removed from the signal
called a side-chain monitor. This will effectively let you target the
problem frequencies accurately and also indicate how much of the
sibilance you are removing. When de-essing try to avoid looking at the
reduction meter and use your ears. De-ess as much as necessary without
creating a lisp problem.

De-essing is "frequency select limiting". It uses very fast
attack and release times due to the short waves lengths common to
sibilance. Most DAWs have plug-ins that will de-ess but actual analog
multi-band compressors work best. You can vary the Q, the ratio, the
attack and release times and the amount of gain reduction. The Brook
Sirens unit is one of the best de-essers out there.

De-essing the reverb send from vocals will greatly reduce the
level and duration of sibilance in the reverb. Remember that sibilance
is just noise; there is no musical component to it. In most natural
reverb settings you will rarely hear a sibilance problem in the decay
of a sound. By de-essing the reverb send, the reverb will still produce
high frequency reverb content that might be desired when mixing
especially if there is a lot of EQ in the 12-15K range used for
creating a breathy intimate effect.

If you are adding mid-range and high-frequency to a vocal
always de-ess before you EQ. This will prevent the compressor from
creating more of a sibilance problem, keeping in mind that high
frequencies contribute a small amount to the overall lead vocal level.

For example: in a word like SPARK the S content will meter -20VU and
the PARK will meter 0VU. If I compress the signal without de-essing
before hand the S will remain at -20VU and the PARK will drop to -6VU.
What you have done is taken the original 20db difference between the S
and the PARK and now made it 14db effectively creating more of a
sibilance problem. If you were to EQ the high frequency range this will
exacerbate the problem even further. The trick is to get the PARK
sounding as compressed and EQed as you like and then with the de-esser
inserted before the compressor and the EQ, take away the amount of
sibilance you want.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 3:53:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"onholder"
>
> My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another. Having
> a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
> currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
> chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female voice
> - nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying. By
> the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to the
> point that it sounds like the female has a lisp. The females involved
> all record for us on their home PC's using the Studio projects mic and
> a Tascam US-122 audio interface box (I'm assuming the problem is the
> mic, not the Tascam).


** Very silly assumption. Sibilance distortion IS a problem with the
recording equipment - in particular it lacks sufficient high frequency
headroom. A system that was marginal would do just as you describe - work
OK with most male voices but not most female ones.



> Not exactly studio quality, I understand, but
> these recordings go on a phone - not for broadcast and not to be played
> back on high quality audio equipment. Can anyone recommend a mic that
> might specifically deal with this sibilance problem. I suppose if we
> spent thousands of dollars on high end mics the problem might go away,


** Pure wishful thinking. A mic with NO top end output is just what you
need - any response above 4 kHz is wasted on a phone anyhow.

Maybe try using a sock or felt pad to deaden the highs on the mics you
have.




................ Phil
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 3:53:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Mon, 7 Mar 2005 20:53:50 -0500, Phil Allison wrote
(in article <394etiF5ug16sU1@individual.net>):

>
> "onholder"
>>
>> My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another. Having
>> a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
>> currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
>> chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female voice
>> - nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying. By
>> the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to the
>> point that it sounds like the female has a lisp. The females involved
>> all record for us on their home PC's using the Studio projects mic and
>> a Tascam US-122 audio interface box (I'm assuming the problem is the
>> mic, not the Tascam).
>
>
> ** Very silly assumption. Sibilance distortion IS a problem with the
> recording equipment - in particular it lacks sufficient high frequency
> headroom.

That's just not true. There are many people who are overly sibilant; male
and female. I encounter more females than males with the problem. It's about
where the tip of the tongue ends up on the hard palate, behind the front
teeth. A good speech therapist can retrain the average person in 4-6 visits.

Regards,

Ty Ford


-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 3:53:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote in message news:394etiF5ug16sU1@individual.net...
>
> "onholder"
> >
> > My company records audio for telephones of one kind or another. Having
> > a bad time finding an affordable mic to record female voices. I'm
> > currently using a Studio Projects C1 condenser - one of those
> > chinese-made mics. Sounds great with a male voice. On a female voice
> > - nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are quite annoying. By
> > the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to the
> > point that it sounds like the female has a lisp. The females involved
> > all record for us on their home PC's using the Studio projects mic and
> > a Tascam US-122 audio interface box (I'm assuming the problem is the
> > mic, not the Tascam).
>
>
> ** Very silly assumption. Sibilance distortion IS a problem with the
> recording equipment

Sometimes you're so friggin' annoying that it's not even funny. Other
times you make so many off the wall 'assumptions' you're just hilarious.

Show me the word "distortion" in the OP's description.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 3:53:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <394etiF5ug16sU1@individual.net> philallison@tpg.com.au writes:

> ** Very silly assumption. Sibilance distortion IS a problem with the
> recording equipment - in particular it lacks sufficient high frequency
> headroom. A system that was marginal would do just as you describe - work
> OK with most male voices but not most female ones.

You can fix a headroom problem simply by turning down the preamp gain
or, worst case, putting an attenuator in line with the mic.

Sibilance is often emphasized by modern microphones that have a rising
high frequency response, and that might dictate a different
microphone. Dynamics are less often designed with a built-in high
frequency peak (so people think they sound different from condensers)
so that's why a dynamic is often suggested - not because it's a
dynamic mic but because they tend to be less high-end peaky.

By the way, what's sibilance distortion? Are you suggesting a headroom
problem because you think that the sibilance is distorted and that's
why it's so apparent to the original poster? You can have undistorted
sibilance that's still annoying.

> ** Pure wishful thinking. A mic with NO top end output is just what you
> need - any response above 4 kHz is wasted on a phone anyhow.

Good point. A sharp low pass filter at 4 kHz would probably pretty
much get rid of any sibilance on the recording. But I still prefer
reducing it at the source. Sometimes dental wax stuck to the back of
the teeth helps, as does teaching the vocalist to open her mouth more.
Just because she's been on radio for 20 years doesn't mean she knows
how to control her voice.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 3:53:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:znr1110248091k@trad...
>
> In article <394etiF5ug16sU1@individual.net> philallison@tpg.com.au writes:
>
>> ** Very silly assumption. Sibilance distortion IS a problem with the
>> recording equipment - in particular it lacks sufficient high frequency
>> headroom. A system that was marginal would do just as you describe -
>> work
>> OK with most male voices but not most female ones.
>
> You can fix a headroom problem simply by turning down the preamp gain
> or, worst case, putting an attenuator in line with the mic.
>
> Sibilance is often emphasized by modern microphones that have a rising
> high frequency response, and that might dictate a different
> microphone. Dynamics are less often designed with a built-in high
> frequency peak (so people think they sound different from condensers)
> so that's why a dynamic is often suggested - not because it's a
> dynamic mic but because they tend to be less high-end peaky.
>
> By the way, what's sibilance distortion? Are you suggesting a headroom
> problem because you think that the sibilance is distorted and that's
> why it's so apparent to the original poster? You can have undistorted
> sibilance that's still annoying.
>
>> ** Pure wishful thinking. A mic with NO top end output is just what
>> you
>> need - any response above 4 kHz is wasted on a phone anyhow.
>
> Good point. A sharp low pass filter at 4 kHz would probably pretty
> much get rid of any sibilance on the recording. But I still prefer
> reducing it at the source. Sometimes dental wax stuck to the back of
> the teeth helps, as does teaching the vocalist to open her mouth more.
> Just because she's been on radio for 20 years doesn't mean she knows
> how to control her voice.
>
>
Ty Ford had it right in an earlier post. Sibilance results from "where the
tongue is placed on the hard palate behind the teeth." When I had a dental
bridge put in years ago, I suddenly had a sibilance problem. I was in a bit
of a panic, because I made 100% of my living from VO work at that time. I
went to a speech therapist who explained how sibilance is created and how it
can be eliminated, photo copied a few pages of exercises, and sent me off to
correct my own problem. For a few weeks I had to consciously think about
tongue placement, then it became unconscious habit. No sibilance now.

Nowadays, I produce several corporate programs that depend on telephone
based interviews. I can assure you that a lot of sibilant energy occurs
within the POTS band pass. So far, the software based de-essers I have
available haven't been very effective. I find it interesting that the
sibilance occurs within a range of frequencies that differs by individual.
One can eliminate it by selective application of a Hi-Q filter, which I do
in the worst cases, leaving a clean "s" sound. Try it yourself. Try
filters with very low Q of 10 or less, similar to the kind of slopes one
might find in the characteristic response of mics. Now, increase the Q.
When you get to a Q of 100 or so, you begin to get useful results.
Different voices require different settings of Q and depth of attenuation.
You can learn a lot in a few minutes of experimentation.

I do not think that microphone selection is going to be very effective in
the case posed by the original poster. The relatively gentle frequency rise
or dip in a mic's response will have little effect on serious sibilance.
However, try a few and prove me wrong. On the other hand, a caring
conversation with the performer assuring him/her that sibilance can be
controlled and urging a little self-help effort will be successful more
often than not. I have had those conversations with many performers in my
studio and have often had instantaneous results that helped the session in
progress.

Steve King
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 4:28:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

We are recording plain old mono 44.1 files, which are converted to
mp3's for easier transport over the web. they begin life as wav files.
I've tried NOT converting to mp3, but that doesn't affect the sibilance
problem at all. we record at such a high sampling rate because it
ultimately gets converted down to a .ulw file (which is what many
voicemail systems use), and I figure the better the quality going in,
the better the quality coming out.

the tascam us-122 is one of those new generation usb sound card
replacements. makes my life easier when the PC's used by the female
voices give out. I can just get them another pc and plug the tascam
in, and we're back in business.

bruce
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 6:01:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Ty Ford"
Phil Allison wrote

>> "onholder"
>>>
>>> (I'm assuming the problem is the mic, not the Tascam).
>>
>>
>> ** Very silly assumption. Sibilance distortion IS a problem with the
>> recording equipment - in particular it lacks sufficient high frequency
>> headroom.
>
>
> That's just not true.


** You misread the post - keep trying Typhoid.


> There are many people who are overly sibilant;


** My post says "sibilance distortion" ie distortion in the high
frequencies with characteristic "spitting" sound produced by IM difference
products at lower frequencies.

Since it is clearly audible on a phone ( < 4 kHz BW ) - I figure this
is the OP's issue.




.............. Phil
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 6:01:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote in message...

> ** My post says "sibilance distortion" ie distortion in the high
> frequencies with characteristic "spitting" sound

Very true... but the original poster made absolutely no reference to
"distortion" in any shape, form or fashion... only a sibilance problem.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 6:25:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <9OmdnUoso8ZbKbDfRVn-uw@comcast.com> steve@45steveking57.net writes:

> Nowadays, I produce several corporate programs that depend on telephone
> based interviews. I can assure you that a lot of sibilant energy occurs
> within the POTS band pass.

I could believe that. Many de-essers tune down as low as about 2.5
khz, but most of what you read about them tells you that the energy is
likely in the 4-10 kHz region. Guess it depends on what you read, and
how your reading influences what you try and what you make up your
mind isn't the problem so you reject a potential solution.

> conversation with the performer assuring him/her that sibilance can be
> controlled and urging a little self-help effort will be successful more
> often than not. I have had those conversations with many performers in my
> studio and have often had instantaneous results that helped the session in
> progress.

The fact that you've had the speech training probalby helps those
conversations. Most of us wouldn't have much more to say than "try to
stop hissing."



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 6:45:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

onholder wrote:
> We are recording plain old mono 44.1 files, which are converted to
> mp3's for easier transport over the web. they begin life as wav files.
> I've tried NOT converting to mp3, but that doesn't affect the sibilance
> problem at all. we record at such a high sampling rate because it
> ultimately gets converted down to a .ulw file (which is what many
> voicemail systems use), and I figure the better the quality going in,
> the better the quality coming out.


So is the problem before or after conversion to mu-law ADPCM? I realize
the sibilance is there from the beginning, but at what point does it
change into the mess you describe?

If it sounds like what I think it does from your description, and if
your answer to the above question was "after" (if it's "before" then we
can just drop this), you should filter out all that treble above 4k*
just before conversion. Your figuring about better quality is
applicable to a point, but I think you're hearing compression and
sample-rate reduction artifacts that the software isn't dealing with. I
know that some software does not limit the bandwidth, and therefore
produces distortions like this; for that you have to limit the bandwidth
yourself prior to conversion. And while you're at it you can reduce the
sample rate to the target format's (7200, 8000, or 11025) instead of
44100. Having said that, any decent rate conversion will limit the
bandwidth for you anyway.

And don't worry about those conversions degrading your PCM (wav files),
because the translation to ADPCM is unspeakably worse!

MP3 handles the high freq's well enough, so that says to me that the
wide bandwith is your problem, and your microphone is totally the wrong
place to look. An SM-57 may give enough presence before you chop off
the highs to actually improve the after-conversion telephone sound,
versus a more esoteric mic.

*actually, to less than half the final sample rate. Telephony (incl
u-law) uses far lower Fs than what you're recording at. This is called
the Nyquist Limit (Fs/2) and is a universal digital law.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 7:21:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote in message
news:394etiF5ug16sU1@individual.net...
>
>
> ** Very silly assumption. Sibilance distortion IS a problem with the
> recording equipment - in particular it lacks sufficient high frequency
> headroom. A system that was marginal would do just as you describe -
> work


Nobody was complaining about the sibilance being distorted. Just that is
was there in the first place.....


geoff
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 7:21:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Geoff Wood"
> "Phil Allison"
>> ** Very silly assumption. Sibilance distortion IS a problem with the
>> recording equipment - in particular it lacks sufficient high frequency
>> headroom. A system that was marginal would do just as you describe -
>> work
>
>
> Nobody was complaining about the sibilance being distorted.


** The OP did:

" On a female voice - nasty sibilance problem -- whistling S's that are
quite annoying. By
the time it makes it on to a phone, the "s" problem is enhanced to the
point that it sounds like the female has a lisp. "

If you have "nasty" sibilance, so bad it is audible on a phone, it is being
exaggerated by distortion in the recording system.




.......... Phil
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 7:21:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <422d1a4d@clear.net.nz> geoff@nospam-paf.co.nz writes:

> Nobody was complaining about the sibilance being distorted. Just that is
> was there in the first place.....

Phil's style is to change the question to one that he can answer, and
then does so.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 7:21:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote in message....


> If you have "nasty" sibilance, so bad it is audible on a phone, it is being
> exaggerated by distortion in the recording system.



* * * * * * * * * * < Just want you to understand that I'm talking to you.>

Distortion is your "assumption".... it's somehow totally missing from the OP.
March 8, 2005 7:21:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 3/8/05 2:04 AM, in article 39514aF5trnpbU1@individual.net, "Phil Allison"
<philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote:

the embarassingly usual screed...


Really, does anyone know when Phil gets out of middle school and we can see
some sort of end to this effluviant?
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 10:23:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:

> By the way, what's sibilance distortion?

It's a type of very small Australian microclimate.

--
ha
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 10:35:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

David Morgan (MAMS) wrote:
> "Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote in message....
>
>
>
>> If you have "nasty" sibilance, so bad it is audible on a phone, it is being
>>exaggerated by distortion in the recording system.
>
>
>
>
> * * * * * * * * * * < Just want you to understand that I'm talking to you.>
>
> Distortion is your "assumption".... it's somehow totally missing from the OP.
>
>


Phil could be on to something. What exactly is sibilance? Before being
recorded, it should merely be part of the color of a particular voice.

But loaded into the audio chain, it could be the component that distorts
first, be it at the microphone diaphragm or electronics further down the
line.

Kind of like the dangling key test.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 10:36:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

David Morgan (MAMS) wrote:


> Very true... but the original poster made absolutely no reference to
> "distortion" in any shape, form or fashion... only a sibilance problem.
>

But maybe there is no sibilance problem without the distortion?
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 10:51:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote in message

>
> ** My post says "sibilance distortion" ie distortion in the high
> frequencies with characteristic "spitting" sound produced by IM
> difference products at lower frequencies.

Yes, but you are the only person talking about 'sibilance distortion'. The
rest off us are talking about sibilance.

geoff
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 10:52:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote in message
>
> If you have "nasty" sibilance, so bad it is audible on a phone, it is
> being exaggerated by distortion in the recording system.

No.


geoff
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 10:57:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote in message
>
> ** "- nasty sibilance problem - " = distortion of sibilance in a
> voice.


No.


"- nasty sibilance problem - " = nasty sibilant voice, possibly
exacerbated by a particuar microphone, and reproduced with extreme fidelity.

Of course you are now going to try and weasel your way out of your hole by
saying that you included any non-linearity of a given microphone being the
'distortion' to which you were alluding.


geoff
March 8, 2005 10:57:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Allison,
Very rarely does one come across such a vile individual such as yourself.
If I knew where you lived, I would go round and punch your mother in the
mouth for dragging up such a bilious prick.

peter

"Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> spewed allsorts
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 10:57:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Geoff Wood wrote:


> Of course you are now going to try and weasel your way out of your hole by
> saying that you included any non-linearity of a given microphone being the
> 'distortion' to which you were alluding.
>

I do see a connection. If it is not distorting (most likely right at the
microphone), then the sibilance, even if present, may not be in need of
correction by an additional device, such as a de-esser.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 11:44:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1110317313.472652.258730@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com> rtimedia@gmail.com writes:

> We are recording plain old mono 44.1 files, which are converted to
> mp3's for easier transport over the web. they begin life as wav files.
> I've tried NOT converting to mp3, but that doesn't affect the sibilance
> problem at all. we record at such a high sampling rate because it
> ultimately gets converted down to a .ulw file (which is what many
> voicemail systems use), and I figure the better the quality going in,
> the better the quality coming out.

Not necessarily. If you were to band-limit your recording to just a
little more than you actually need, you aren't passing a lot of
useless energy through "the mill." When you have a high quality audio
chain and a high quality source, there's some justification in, for
instance, recording at 96 kHz sample rate even though the final
release format will be a CD (which I'll let someone else go into), but
you should try band limiting your recording and see if it helps at
all. The US-122 has insert jacks so there's a convenient place to
patch in a parameteric equalizer.

> the tascam us-122 is one of those new generation usb sound card
> replacements. makes my life easier when the PC's used by the female
> voices give out. I can just get them another pc and plug the tascam
> in, and we're back in business.

Geez, what are they doing to those PCs?

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 11:44:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:


> Not necessarily. If you were to band-limit your recording to just a
> little more than you actually need, you aren't passing a lot of
> useless energy through "the mill." When you have a high quality audio
> chain and a high quality source, there's some justification in, for
> instance, recording at 96 kHz sample rate even though the final
> release format will be a CD (which I'll let someone else go into), but
> you should try band limiting your recording and see if it helps at
> all.

I believe it has to do with summing.

If you are mixing together a group of 44.1 files to a new 44.1 file, you
are probably exasperating some of the audible problems that at the
surface appear (to some) inaudible by themselves.
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 1:37:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"peter" <peter@bollocks.com>
>
> Allison,
> Very rarely does one come across such a vile individual such as yourself.


** Bollocks (?) - know nothing Pommy Cunts like you are the real scum of
the planet.

Coming closely after 270 million Septic Tanks, that is of course.

( But they are all about to get nuked by Sand Niggers so are understandably
nervous. )



> If I knew where you lived, I would go round and punch your mother in the
> mouth for dragging up such a bilious prick.


** You would need to do some hard work with a shovel first.

Abusing a corpse no doubt appeals to terminally brain dead poms.




................... Phil
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 4:55:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Joe Sensor" <crabcakes@emagic.net> wrote in message
news:3972msF5vca5bU1@individual.net...
> Geoff Wood wrote:
>
>
>> Of course you are now going to try and weasel your way out of your hole
>> by saying that you included any non-linearity of a given microphone being
>> the 'distortion' to which you were alluding.
>>
>
> I do see a connection. If it is not distorting (most likely right at the
> microphone), then the sibilance, even if present, may not be in need of
> correction by an additional device, such as a de-esser.

Listen to the Destiny's Child song called: "Jumpin, Jumpin'"... IMO, that
song has a LOT of sibilance in it, yet it doesn't sound unpleasant, then
listen to almost any Phil Collins hit when he was using that fairly
distorted vocal sound... less "s-presence" due to processing, but more
unpleasant, in my book. Draw your own conclusions.

Neil Henderson
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 4:55:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Neil Henderson wrote:

> Listen to the Destiny's Child song called: "Jumpin, Jumpin'"... IMO, that
> song has a LOT of sibilance in it, yet it doesn't sound unpleasant, then
> listen to almost any Phil Collins hit when he was using that fairly
> distorted vocal sound... less "s-presence" due to processing, but more
> unpleasant, in my book. Draw your own conclusions.

Maybe Phil should have tried a different microphone instead of the heavy
processing? Perhaps a ribbon microphone.
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 8:29:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi - the nasty sibilance I am referring to is much worse after
conversion to ulw, but it definitely is there before conversion. My
theory is - if I can remove the majority of the sibilance in the
original 44.1 recording, perhaps it will be reduced after conversion.
bruce
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 9:00:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi! Short time banterer, first time poster.

I'm a female voice over "talent" that literally wore her tailbone down
sitting in front of the computer doing mic research. I went back and
forth between the AT3035 and the KSM27. Went with the KSM27...got it
for $160 on the 'Bay...

Now if someone could just take me under there wing regarding ISDN. I'm
lost on that topic. In fact, doing research on Telos Zephyr was how I
found this site.

Hope that helps.

~Sarah in Chicago


--
MuseVox
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 10:15:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <3972msF5vca5bU1@individual.net> crabcakes@emagic.net writes:

> I do see a connection. If it is not distorting (most likely right at the
> microphone), then the sibilance, even if present, may not be in need of
> correction by an additional device, such as a de-esser.

The problem is that it's emphasized by the close mic placement. You
don't usually notice sibilance when you hear someone from a distance
because the high frequency energy disburses quickly. But put a mic a
couple of inches from the singer's mouth and you pick up all sorts of
stuff that's annoying.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 10:30:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

onholder wrote:

> Hi - the nasty sibilance I am referring to is much worse after
> conversion to ulw, but it definitely is there before conversion. My
> theory is - if I can remove the majority of the sibilance in the
> original 44.1 recording, perhaps it will be reduced after conversion.
> bruce


You should also remove all energy below about 200-300 Hz; there's no
point in trying to get that through the phone, either. Remove all the
stuff the phone line won't pass, so the codec (coder-decoder: the ADPCM
converter) can work on useful frequencies.

You mention PCs, you should get AWave or Cool Edit 2000 (if you can find
it). These will (IIRC) let you audition what the the results will be
after conversion to µ-Law.
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 11:57:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Joe Sensor" <crabcakes@emagic.net> wrote in message news:39726tF5s9cr7U1@individual.net...
> David Morgan (MAMS) wrote:
> > "Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote in message....
> >
> >
> >
> >> If you have "nasty" sibilance, so bad it is audible on a phone, it is being
> >>exaggerated by distortion in the recording system.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > * * * * * * * * * * < Just want you to understand that I'm talking to you.>
> >
> > Distortion is your "assumption".... it's somehow totally missing from the OP.
> >
> >
>
>
> Phil could be on to something. What exactly is sibilance? Before being
> recorded, it should merely be part of the color of a particular voice.

You are quite correct. I rarely detect any signs of potential sibilance until
after there's a record path set up and I'm listening to mics.

> But loaded into the audio chain, it could be the component that distorts
> first, be it at the microphone diaphragm or electronics further down the
> line.
>
> Kind of like the dangling key test.

Ooooo... and if it's like fingernails on a chalkboard, is that bad ?? ;-)

DM
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 11:59:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Joe Sensor" <crabcakes@emagic.net> wrote in message news:39729kF5s9cr7U2@individual.net...
> David Morgan (MAMS) wrote:
>
>
> > Very true... but the original poster made absolutely no reference to
> > "distortion" in any shape, form or fashion... only a sibilance problem.
> >
>
> But maybe there is no sibilance problem without the distortion?


OK, ok... semantics. ;-) If you'ld like me to consider sibilance a type
of distortion, I'm with that. I just never looked at it that way... but moreover
as part of the voice before becoming a combination of elements in the chain.
Granted, sometimes it definitely doesn't create the smoothest looking wave
in the world, and if it isn't handled in some manner it can be uncomfortable
to listen to.

"Am I to pay a penalty for this treason?"
-- I. M. Humbled
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 2:29:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 03:57:19 -0500, David Morgan \(MAMS\) wrote
(in article <PTyXd.90260$uc.40053@trnddc04>):

>
> "Joe Sensor" <crabcakes@emagic.net> wrote in message
> news:39726tF5s9cr7U1@individual.net...
>> David Morgan (MAMS) wrote:
>>> "Phil Allison" <philallison@tpg.com.au> wrote in message....
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> If you have "nasty" sibilance, so bad it is audible on a phone, it is
>>>> being
>>>> exaggerated by distortion in the recording system.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> * * * * * * * * * * < Just want you to understand that I'm talking to
>>> you.>
>>>
>>> Distortion is your "assumption".... it's somehow totally missing from the
>>> OP.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> Phil could be on to something. What exactly is sibilance? Before being
>> recorded, it should merely be part of the color of a particular voice.
>
> You are quite correct. I rarely detect any signs of potential sibilance
until
> after there's a record path set up and I'm listening to mics.

Nope. I record a LOT of V/O, myself and others. I hear overly sibilant
voices quite often without a mic, mostly in female voices.

To answwer the question; Sibilance is the production of high frequency energy
as the result of S, CH Z and other similar sounds.

Normal sibilance is not the problem. Excessive sibilance is the problem.

Having said that, MANY of the cheap condenser mics flooding the market have a
peaked HF response and their own distortion problems. Thes exacerbate
sibilance. In fact, the Sennheiser 412 II, with it's +5dB at 5 or 6 kHz does
also.

Regards,

Ty Ford




-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 2:31:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 8 Mar 2005 20:36:55 -0500, Joe Sensor wrote
(in article <39729kF5s9cr7U2@individual.net>):

> David Morgan (MAMS) wrote:
>
>
>> Very true... but the original poster made absolutely no reference to
>> "distortion" in any shape, form or fashion... only a sibilance problem.
>>
>
> But maybe there is no sibilance problem without the distortion?

Too much sibilance in a voice can occur without electronic distortion. The
tow are not related.

Regards,

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 4:18:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers"


> Many de-essers tune down as low as about 2.5
> khz, but most of what you read about them tells you that the energy is
> likely in the 4-10 kHz region.


** So not reproduced by a telephone with an absolute max 4 kHz bandwidth.

Sibilance is usually barely audible over a phone - so the OP must have
another problem that is shifting the sibilance energy down in frequency.
Another poster ( S O'Neill ) has mentioned aliasing in an A/D converter -
but simple distortion does much the same.




............. Phil
!