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Recording voice without esses

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anytips on how to minimise esses whilst recording female voice

Im using Sony lapel mics

or should I de ess after?

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De-essing before the recording is usually done with a pop filter, may not be especially effective with a little lapel mic. You could also EQ on the way into the recorder but you don't have any way to reverse the effect later if it sucks.

Otherwise it can be done with a dedicated de-esser plug or decent EQ.

Most female sibilances are in the 7kHz zone, but may range from 5kHz to 9kHz depending on her physiology - small bodies and high voices produce higher sibilances.

If it's a de-esser, it will most likely act as a 'ducker' - choose your frequency and the de-esser will attenuate the level of that frequency when it goes above a certain threshold, and leave the signal untouched when its below threshold. This is good for controlling the esses dynamically, and leaving the rest of her vocal tone alone.

A good tight notch EQ around 7kHz with a narrow Q, reduced by at least 3dB if not more, will also work fine, but this way it reduces that frequency at all times in the signal, not just when the esses are bad, so it may colour her whole voice.

Either way, it becomes a matter of taste - ride the frequency and level until the esses are back to normal level according to your ears. If it sounds fine, it usually is fine ;)

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Just a quick tip on deessing; only fiddle with it for a little while until it sounds better, then come back to it later. I find that once I've been focusing on the 'ess' for too long its all I can hear. This even happens to me when  listening to commercial stuff, one day I'll notice the 'ess' then I can't focus on anything else in the song.

So yeah, don't get too obseessed with it. Fiddle for a bit then come back with fresh ears and see what you think.

Also, if you don't have a deesser, try this: http://www.digitalfishphones.com/main.php?item=2&subItem=5

Spitfish is a really simple deesser that sounds great. Can't recomment the digitalfishphones plugins enough, some of the best free stuff around.

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De-esser is just an expander with EQ/bandpass sweepable and fed on the VCA type side. You could build one out of an EQ and an expander with sidechain by feeding the EQ into the sidechain with some of the source into the EQ.

I've got a deadringer SNR2000 for de-essssserating. If you can find one, they're pretty cheap.

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thanks guys

ending up doing post in soundtrack

which has same deesser plug as logic (i think)

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Yeah alot of this fiddling with plugins/filters/EQ.

See what works best.

Not that I'm really an expert, haha! Only ever recorded my own voice and I can't sing very well at all.

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If you dont want any S's coming through and you dont want to spend the money on a pop filter you can make one out of a coat-hanger and a pair of stockings.

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