"st" and "p" and "qu"

hi all,
I’m voice recording to my laptop without any usb audio interface . To my inexperienced ear everything is ok except some specific sounds like the “st” in the word stop, the “p” in the word stop, the “qu” in the word quarter.I’d be grateful for suggestions on how to overcome these problems.
John :slight_smile:

You have generated “sibilance” errors where the energy in “hissy” sounds is accentuated. Since you also have popping “P” sounds, I’m going to conclude you’re too close to the microphone.

I can’t actually tell from your description what you’re using for a microphone, just that you’re not using a USB sound device. I don’t use one, either, but that leaves a whole world of analog options. Are you using the microphone inside the laptop, and which laptop have you got? Sometimes manufacturers will accentuate sharp sounds to make up for a really terrible microphone in the laptop. “It sounds really clear.” Actually it sounds distorted and can be mistaken for “clear” if you’re not paying attention.

Sibilance in particular is not simply high frequencies being accentuated. It’s level dependent distortion and special software is needed to take it out. If you try to use the equalizer or tone controls to take sibilance out, you get, oddly enough, muffled sibilance and a greatly damaged show.

It is strongly urged that you fix the microphone problem rather than trying to “fix the show in post.” Audio repairs rarely succeed in correcting more than 80% or so of the damage. Sometimes not even that much, and everything left becomes part of the show.


Thanks Koz,
I’m using a Sony MTL F-96 microphone on a Dell LATITUDE D800 laptop with Windows XP. I tried varying the distance I hold the mike and also how much energy I put into the sounds themselves.By saying “stop” without a puff of air after the “p” and saying “corter” instead of “qwarter” for the word quarter I can cut down on the sibilance.

Thanks again,

You can easily get rid of “P” pops with a blast filter–basically a woman’s stocking stretched over a bent coat hanger.


But the sibilance is much more serious. That’s an electrical mismatch between the microphone and the computer. It can cause serious distortion down the pipeline if you leave it that way.