Sharp 'S' in vocals

hey everyone,

My search didn’t really turn up anything on this. I record an audio podcast and I’ve had several people let me know that when I make an ‘S’ sound, they here a large sometimes painful (if they are using earbuds or headphones) spike.

does anyone know how to remove this? and keep in mind, I’m not real good at sound editing. :open_mouth:


How? Microphones, mixers, processing, connections? Part numbers, anything. It’s rough to cure this in post production, so we need to cure it during the show.

That makes sense.

I use a logitec headset to record. I was thinking of trying to find a foam mic cover like a call center headset or something.


We use a series of Labtec headsets for videoconference work, and they’re very live, bright, and sparkly. Normally, that’s a good thing, but it can overload a sound channel and cause problems. When you get an overloading sibilant you can drill teeth and strip paint with it.

Try the foam cover.

Radio Shack makes replacement foam windscreens for their 3013 tie-tack microphone…

…that might work.



This isn’t searchable for some reason. I had to find the blister pack and read the part numbers. 33-4006.

When I use one of these on a tie-tack microphone, it does muffle the sound ever so slightly. Pretty much right down your alley.


Stockings and a coathanger, (no it’s not a fetish) …

I don’t think a pop and blast filter will have any affect on high frequencies and sibilance at all. They’re designed to be completely transparent to the performance except they need to stretch a bit in response to serious low frequency energy – and thus gracefully suppress plosives and anything that moves a lot of air.

If they did anything more, then choosing one would involve the same agony that choosing a microphone does. It doesn’t happen.

I think the ads that claim sibilance suppression are so much hype and marketing fluff. How much do they attenuate high frequencies? I want numbers and graphs. A blast filter that made Tina Turner sound muffled wouldn’t last fifteen seconds.


If a pop filter doesn’t reduce sibilants neither will foam.

Alternatively here is “de-essing” software, e.g. “Spitfish” (free).

<<<If a pop filter doesn’t reduce sibilants neither will foam.>>>

Some foams might help a little. Those little tie-tack microphones become slightly less bright when I put the foam blast filter on. This I have experienced with these fingers. That’s why I pointed to them.

The ad for Electro-Voice foam covers claims total upper end transparency because of a patented foam cell structure. Them I believe. Other foams are undefined.


I would agree with that. Also, the exact positioning of the microphone can make a big difference (some headsets are more adjustable than other in this respect). Placing the microphone close to the corner of the mouth is the usual position, but it’s worth experimenting.

Sometimes just a simple lowering of the offending frequencies using the Equalizer effect is all that is needed. You can look at a recording using the Spectrum Analyzer (Analyze menu) and look for any prominent peaks above 1.5kHz, then use the Equalizer effect to pull these frequencies down. If you overdo it, the recording will become muffled.

And stay far away from overload. On the standard blue waves, that’s the “1” top and bottom. Hitting one of those will turn a normally bright microphone nuclear.