Removing or Softening the Hiss in Pronouncing the Letter "S"

I’ve done some searching on the forum and can’t find what I’m looking for here. I record vocals (radio show and podcast, voice only) with the latest Audacity and an AT2020 USB mike. I am in a room where there lots of clothes and other things to absorb noise and am usually able to get a perfectly clear background and good vocal quality.

A big problem is that some of my recordings have excessive hiss when I pronounce a word with “S” in it. Is there any filter that can catch these and at least soften them some without compromising the quality of the overall recording?

I think we’ve been sending people to the SpitFish De-Esser.

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Have you listened to the performance on several different sound systems including good headphones? We had a poster who complained bitterly that his studio performance was crashing, hissing and “essing” constantly. Everybody on the forum thought the show was nicely done but a little bright.


Before trying the de-esser, try reducing the high frequencies (i.e. treble) with the Equalization effect.

An equalizer is simpler processing, more like using a more mellow-sounding microphone.

Koz, I hear the hissing when listening on an iPhone with the Apple earbuds, which I would assume a lot of people would use for podcasts?

I moved the Spitfish.dll file into the “Plugins” folder but it doesn’t come up when I start the program and look under effects?

DVDDoug, I looked at the Equalization effect but have no clue where to move all the sliders to achieve reducing of the proper high frequencies?

Sorry. I was going to answer this earlier and I got pulled away.

Effect > Equalizer: Draw Curves. The greenish line down the middle is a rubber band and you can pull it around as you want. Pull the Equalizer window wider to give you more accuracy up in the high frequencies. Drag the green line to look like the illustration.

That should take the edge from a harsh recording. You can experiment by moving the whole curve to the left a little just to hear what it does.

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