De-ess effect help

I have downloaded the de-ess plugin in order to remove the sssss sound that is in my recordings.

I will try to upload one of my recordings here, so that you can hear the sssss sound.

I have tried playing around with the settings within de-ess plugin, and can’t figure out a good setting to make the sound better without having it sound muffled.

Any ideas?

Thank you so much!

It sounds overprocessed from the first second. Honky with echoes. What are you using for a microphone and how are you recording the voice? Did you use Noise Reduction? both Noise Reduction and MP3 produce sound errors that make each other worse. Wine Glass Voice.

Some effects can make it hard to use other tools and filters.

Some microphones make that essing effect because they think it make voices more crisp and professional. I don’t agree and I guess you don’t, either. When you remove it with the DeEssing tool, the voice drops down to the normal microphone sound which can be muddy and dull.

Do you have that dialog as an original capture Audacity Project or WAV before you did anything to it? The Raw capture?

If you don’t, can you read a test?

If you post that, we may be able to tell you how to make everything sound better. Don’t filter it or adjust it. We can’t take effects out of a clip and we can’t tell what you’re doing with them in there.


Thank you Koz. I will answer your questions and will post a new recording tonight.

The words don’t make a lot of difference. Read the side of the breakfast cereal box. Include a bunch of “SS” words. “Sister Suzy simulates several salacious symptoms. Kellogs Corn Flakes provides growing bodies all the nutrients…”

My other joke about this is to read the side of the milk carton. Or your promotional announcement.

If you submit mono instead of stereo, you can submit up to 20 seconds of high quality WAV before the forum cuts you off.



And do tell us what your microphone system is and connected to what.


Ok: I am using a brand new Blue Yeti microphone. I have it set up on my desk in my home office, on a little soft cloth to prevent vibration on the desk. It’s hooked up via USB cable to my Mac. My Mac is running OS X Yosemite.

The volume dial on the front of the microphone is turned almost all the way up: I’d say about 80% of maximum. The Gain on the back of the microphone is turned to about 20%. The Pattern is selected as Cardioid, which is the recommended pattern to choose when recording a single voice, as I’m doing.

Attached is a sample audio file, Sample 1. This is my husband’s voice reading sample text. I have recorded it in Audacity as a Mono, and exported it as WAV.

(Side note: Even in real life, my husband’s voice is very nasal and lispy. Perhaps this is just the way his voice is recording. So I’m also attaching a file called Adrianna 1, for comparison, which I recorded a while ago with another speaker. I had recorded it in stereo, and had applied the “normalize” effect to it before exporting it as an mp3 file. See what you think of that quality.)

I look forward to your suggestions and feedback on making the audio the best it can be.

Thank you in advance!

Nelly Grinfeld.

Please disregard the sample 1 I just attached. I had accidentally recorded it using my computer built-in mic. Instead listen to this sample 2, which I have recorded with the Blue Yeti at the settings I mentioned before.

Thank you.

Soooo close.

Much better believe it or not, much more natural. But you violated the silence portion. We need good Room Tone to set Noise Reduction.

She’s super excited to see the stage” and it sounds like you rearranged all your jacket pockets and started to take your pants off. Go listen to it again with the volume turned up a little.

That two second segment has to be holding your breath and not moving. You have to be there because your body affects the noises in the room, but your body can’t make any noises for that two seconds.

I know, right? What was the hardest part of the performance?

“Doing nothing.”

If you post enough times, the system will let you in without a forum elf certifying your post.


Adrianna-1 is interesting. It has a lot of tiny problems, but I can make it into a good clear clip with a tweak here and there. But it, too has something wrong with the end. Do you hear that little “poop” at 18.1? It would be good to have a little more silence as well.

You can post 20 seconds (a little over) of high quality, mono WAV before the forum cuts you off.

My machine does that poop thing and I’d be happy to find out why. I can’t record actual work and need to scroll through the whole performance taking those out by hand. Is that a MacBook Air, by chance?


I’m on a MacBook Pro.

Here is new recording - of my voice this time, called Sample 3 - trying to be as quiet as possible in the beginning and in the end.

So do you think the Sample 2 recording was better, but how? The main big problem my untrained ear hears is the ssss sounds throughout Sample 2. I hear the ssss sound to a lesser extent in Sample 3(my voice), and I don’t hear these ssss sounds in the Adrianna recording at all.

Is there a way to just get rid of the ssss sounds easily in the whole clip that they are present in? I tried to play around with the de-ess settings and couldn’t get it to work without sounding like I was talking into a pillow.

Also, should I always be recording in mono? I thought stereo was better, but I’m honestly not sure why.



Also, should I always be recording in mono? I thought stereo was better, but I’m honestly not sure why.

You can do whichever you want. The quality of performance does not change.

But there may be other considerations.

I record in stereo and present stereo sound files to the video editors on the third floor because I know that’s the form that will match the rest of their work. I effortlessly become one of the stereo sound files in their production.

One of my larger voice recording setups naturally produces stereo and I would have to go to extra effort to record or create mono. So I leave it stereo.

I have a different audio setup that “likes” mono, so that one I leave mono.

Recording using the laptop built-in microphone can be done either way, so I usually do that mono.

Stereo files take twice the drive storage that mono files do.

If you’re posting to ACX AudioBook, they strongly recommend submitting in mono. They also strongly recommend your whole book match.

Effects, production, filtering, and other processes are faster in mono.

If your goal is to integrate your voice into a stereo show, my personal preference is do everything in stereo including the voice. I don’t like automatic adaptation that happens in the background.

Please note that shooting the voice in actual stereo with two microphones is strongly discouraged. Any movement in the presenter’s head will give a swishing, weaving effect in the track and make production very difficult. Even in movies with seven surround tracks, etc, the dialog is almost always mono and carried in the single center track.

And there is even a variation on that. Live conferences, meetings and production screenings, work better in two microphone stereo. Anybody listening to the conference later on headphones can easily pick out different participant voices even speaking at the same time.

Aren’t you glad you asked?


So do you think the Sample 2 recording was better, but how?

The presenter was getting into the spirit of the thing and the quality was much more relaxed and natural. That and misusing some of the effects and corrections can make Essing worse. That clip appears to me slightly crisp but not sharp and piercing like the first one was. I suspect that was the design goal of the microphone. Everybody knows “crisp” is “Professional” [cringe].

I need to pull down your current clip and do the evaluation. I may have to go in anyway. I think it’s going to rain.


I got it to pass.

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 21.47.18.png
Does that sound more natural? It does here and I got rid of that wine glass voice, too, but I had to do way too much work to get it there. This clip…

Is a boosted version of your background noise. Any chance of finding out what that is and get rid of it? Computer fan? Air conditioning? Most of the clip correction had to do with killing that noise without messing up the voice quality. I think bad corrections are causing your Essing boost.