Urgent De-esser help needed

I am totally new to this and very untechnical so please bear that in mind if you are kind enough to help me… ie talk to me about all things technical like I’m in grade 1!

I am recording narration for some training and appartently I have a huge “ssss” problem. I’ve read through the forums and found out that Spitfish is the best option for toning down my hissing. I’ve downloaded it along with the VST bridge. I put both inside the plugins folder within Audacity. When i put Spitfish inside the VST folder, I couldn’t see it anywhere. Then i copied it and put it in the regular plugins folder as well. When I did that Spitfish appeared in the list of plugins.

When I clicked on it, I get an interface that I haven’t got a clue what to do with.

  1. Can someone either explain how to use this interface or tell me how in the simplest way to have it look like the interface/dashboard that it shows in the Digitalfishphones site with the dials and listen button.

i have 124 slides to narrate and I need to do it ASAP so any help would be much appreciated.

Also if anyone has any advice on how to alleviate some of the prominent 's’s in the first place that would be great. I am using the Plantronics DSP 400 headset. I have the mic placed to the side of my mouth.

[Spitfishcapture.jpg]http://image_url [/Spitfishcapture.jpg] :question:

Okay so I tried to include a screen capture of what I see when I click on the Spitfish effect but as you can see, I am so technically inept that I don’t know how to post a picture either…

To post pictures when making a post, click on the “Upload Attachment” tab below the text window.
Click on the “Choose” button and browse to the image file (use .jpg, .png or .gif format images)
Click on “Add the file” button.
I think there is then a button to make the image appear “inline” (so it is pasted at the cursor position in your text).
The image itself will show up after you have posted (and I think also if you “preview” your post, though I’m not sure without trying it).

Now to your problem:
Audacity does not support the fancy graphical interfaces of VST effect plugins due to licensing restriction. This makes many VST effects very difficult to use.

Basically what a de-esser does, is to apply compression to high frequencies so that they are less prominent. It is possible to reproduce this effect with nothing more tan EQ and compression by creating two copies of the track, on with all low frequencies removed and one with all high frequencies removed, then compressing the high frequency track. However this is all rather fiddly. You will probably get a good deal of improvement with just the Equaliser effect to reduce the high frequencies (above 2000 Hz). I find the Equaliser in Audacity v.1.3.4 a lot better than the one in v.1.2.6.

As you rightly point out, it is much better to try and avoid sibilance in the first place - this is partly by improving your diction and microphone technique, and partly through the choice of microphone and microphone placement. Headset mics can be a little prone to this problem as they often have a lot of sensitivity to high frequencies (making the voice sound clear). Dynamic microphones, such as the well know Shure SM58 are far less prone, but for recording narration a headset mic could be far easier to use than a microphone on a stand.

Sometimes simple remedies such as wrapping cotton-wool around the microphone can help, so try a bit of experimentation.
There is also some general information about microphone technique here: http://www.audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php?title=Microphone_Techniques_for_Voice although it sounds like you have it set up about right.

Also have a look at the use of “notch filters” near the bottom of this page: http://audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php?title=Noise_Removal