Help needed with SSSibilance

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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atomvoyager
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Help needed with SSSibilance

Post by atomvoyager » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:25 pm

I'm attempting to narrate and produce my first audiobook after having pros narrate my first two books. I'm using Win 8.1 with a Blue Yeti (60% gain, Pop filter, 8" distance) and 2.2.2 Audacity. After doing a sample audio and mastering with your recommended guidelines of Equalize-Low Roll ff,5000, then RMS Normalize -21, then Limiter-Soft,0,0,-3.5,10,No, then 6,6,6 Noise Reduction, I have a sample that passes ACX Check.

Unfortunately, I have a very noticeable whistle sibilance when I pronounce s or sh. It's the same problem in the raw file or mastered. I also tried fishspit de-esser but could not improve it. Maybe I don't have the settings right or need to use a different plug-in. I figured out that it is in my normal speaking voice and I never noticed it until now. I've tried correcting my voice but a lifetime of habit won't let me sustain different than normal tongue positions without screwing up my delivery. I sent my sample out to two friends for feedback without telling them what I was concerned about. Both of them said that the s's are a problem for the listener. One said the t's were also too shrill.

Later I tried recording with a thin sock over the mic as well as the pop filter a couple inches from my mouth. It helped somewhat but knocks down the RMS 2db. Maybe I'll have to live with that and let the RMS Normalize boost it back up.

Here's a 20 second unmastered sample that I hope you can have a listen to and give me some ideas. Thanks.
Attachments
TNDS Intro 1a Sample 2.wav
(1.82 MiB) Downloaded 14 times

kozikowski
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Re: Help needed with SSSibilance

Post by kozikowski » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:56 pm

Your 28 foot what?

That's classic "Essing," and you can fight with the de-essing tool, or you can try a simple equalizer I drew. I switch from raw to corrected about 9 seconds.
TNDS Intro 1a Sample 2-Essing-Eq.wav
(1.82 MiB) Downloaded 14 times
It should have about the same effect as the sock, but it's more tuned to the crisp tones, so less effect on everything else. You can't take out too much because that will cause serious muffling.

Let us know.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Help needed with SSSibilance

Post by kozikowski » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:03 pm

very noticeable whistle sibilance
Actually, you don't. You have plain sibilance, an evil boosting of tones between about 4000Hz and 7000Hz. Whistle sibilance is very serious. That's a wholesale changing some voice tones into other ones. I don't know you can fix that in post production.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Help needed with SSSibilance

Post by kozikowski » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:13 pm

I got a similar effect with the DeEsser tool with these settings.


Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 10.10.15.png
Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 10.10.15.png (49.11 KiB) Viewed 231 times

I don't think DeEsser comes with stock Audacity. I need to find it.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Help needed with SSSibilance

Post by kozikowski » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:16 pm

The idea is to leave your normal "S" tones alone and just get rid of the "ice pick in the ear" sound.

These adjustments get harder as your ears fall apart.

"WHAT?"

I SAID THESE ADJUSTMENTS...

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Help needed with SSSibilance

Post by kozikowski » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:26 pm

viewtopic.php?p=245549#p245549

I'm pretty sure this is current. I know they made changes to it and updated this one.

I'm also including DistantSeas.xml which is the equalizer custom setting. That's basically fancy-pants tone controls.

DistantSeas.XML
(461 Bytes) Downloaded 12 times

Download that and import it into Effect > Equalizer.

Open any audio > Effect > Equalization > Save/Manage... > Import > Select the DistantSeas.xml file > Open.

https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/equalization.html

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Help needed with SSSibilance

Post by kozikowski » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:30 pm

I know how to change the XML file to increase the effect. Let me know.


I do have some homework for you. Crumple up a newspaper sheet about a foot in front of the microphone and record it as you would normally. Try to find a sheet of a real paper like New York Times or Washington Post. Some free newspapers use different paper and the effect is different.

If you start overloading Audacity (meter goes all the way up), just back up until it stops.

This is a poor man's microphone analysis tool.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Help needed with SSSibilance

Post by kozikowski » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:46 pm

AKGNewspaperTest.wav
(1.86 MiB) Downloaded 11 times

Koz

atomvoyager
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Re: Help needed with SSSibilance

Post by atomvoyager » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:58 pm

Koz
Thanks so much for that info and instructions. I listened to your corrected file and downloaded your equalizer settings
and applied them to the entire raw file without any other mastering. I heard an improvement to the final 9 seconds
you edited but the strongest sibilance is in the first 7 seconds on the words "swarming" and "sailing" and I am not
hearing much difference there when I applied your custom equalizer. It did seem to clear up all the other ones to an
acceptable level. I'll do some more experiments. Could you go back to my original file and see if you can correct the
first part as well and let me know if we need to change some settings?

Tomorrow I'll try to download the de-Esser plug-in you linked to and get back to you on the results. Assuming I can get
that to work, do you have a preference for which one is simpler to use or provides better correcting for sibilance? I'm
new to mastering so it's been quite a struggle to get this far.

I don't have a good newspaper here but uploaded the crinkled paper file here using advertising paper that is similar
I hope. I guess you will use that to check the health of my mic? I kept the gain on 60% same as I used for my other
tests but was redlining the meter too much so had to back away to about 18 inches.

Thanks.
James
Attachments
PaperCrinkling1.wav
(1.29 MiB) Downloaded 8 times

Trebor
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Re: Help needed with SSSibilance

Post by Trebor » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:06 am

atomvoyager wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:25 pm
Unfortunately, I have a very noticeable whistle sibilance when I pronounce s or sh...
... I also tried fishspit de-esser but could not improve it ..
Spitfish is too blunt an instrument to fix whistles.
Paul-L's de-esser plugin on high-resolution settings can remove it, (takes real-time though) ...

remove whistle on 's'.gif
"s" of swarming. Whistle starts @ 3sec @4000Hz
remove whistle on 's'.gif (1.33 MiB) Viewed 215 times
Then follow with Spitfish.

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