Help cleaning up LP rip vocal 'S' sounds like 'SH'.

An LP I ripped and imported to Audicity has a problem on vocals taken from the inner track. The ‘S’ sound is coming out as ‘Sh’. ie: “I want to sell you something” is playing as “I want to shell you shomething”. Very annoying, ruins the track. The source LP does this too. The source LP has been properly cleaned and except for this sounds marvelous. Can anyone steer me to the correct tool or Plug-in for Audacity? Many thanks in advance.


Try Effect > Low Pass Filter… or try a de-esser plug-in like the de-esser from (Nyquist plug-in) or Lisp (VST plug-in).

See here for how to install Nyquist plug-ins: Installing Nyquist Plug-ins - Audacity Wiki .

See here for how to install VST plug-ins: How do I install VST plug-ins? .


A de-esser is probably your best bet. A low pass filter is going to soften your “T” & “S” sounds, and assuming this is music, it’s going to dull your overall sound. When it comes to audio restoration sometimes, “The cure is worse than the disease”, so you’ll probably have to experiment and make a judgement call.

This problem can be caused by mis-tracking, or sometimes the record groove is permanently damaged from previous mis-tracking. You might try increasing the stylus force by half a gram, or one gram and recording again if that cures it.

The “rumor” is that too light of a tracking force can damage the grooves as well as too much force. The experts seem to prefer running at (or near) the cartridge’s maximum, rather at the minimum.

And, make sure your anti-skating adjustment matches your stylus force setting. If the anti-skating adjustment is off, you might get that “SH” sound in one channel and not the other. If fact… if one channel seems worse than the other and the anti-skating is correct, you might go-ahead and play with with some slightly different anti-skating adjustments to see if it gets better… You might make it better for the inner grooves and worse for the outer grooves, but you’ve already got the outer grooves.

:smiley: Or my usual advice is: Just buy the CD or the MP3! :smiley: If the recording is available digitally and you want the best quality, that’s almost always the best option. Unless you like the sound of analog vinyl… But in that case you wouldn’t be trying to improve it. :wink:

That depends on the vintage of the cartridge/arm and of the record too.

A Garrard 301 with a cartridge/arm of contemporary vintage will visibly degrade a 80’s LP (particularly DMM pressings) at anything above minimum force.