Spoken word, please bash mindfully

Spoken word, please bash mindfully
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Feels like someone is rubbing my balls. I could meditate to this. Do you believe in preemptive visions, Stan?


Do you mean clarivoyance or precognition? I’m sure you could meditate to it given due concentration and diligence. I can’t help with the balls issue.


It’s not an issue, it’s relaxing. Precognition.


I can’t seem to edit the OP, maybe the thread is too old. I revisited this and have played with the sibilance several different times. I have been trying to not re-do the performance as I doubt it would turn out the same, and except for the sibilance I really like the performance. This version is a bit louder than the one in the OP, after doing some processing.

Just wondering if overall this sounds okay, no glaring issues (sibilance won’t likely get any better).


Very professional Stan, I wouldn’t change anything, you definitely have a knack for this stuff!

I’m assuming you’ve done the usual sibilance stuff, the Waves plugin seemed to work well for our collab as I recall, and a more relaxed pace might be worth a try.

And of course the composer in me has lots of ideas for ambient music to enhance any future work you might undertake! :laughing:


Thanks Ingo!

I don’t use Waves stuff any more, and tried a number of tools to try to tweak the sibilance. I think what turned the corner for me was an interview I saw with Warren Huart the other day where he was asked about De-Essers and he said he might use 3 of them at the same time! (like stacking compressors for gain staging maybe) So I went back in and worked with several different processors to address the sibilance this time. I think it’s a little better at least.

And I may consider re-recording this. My anxiety about it not coming out as well may be unfounded. Heck, it could be even better! The pace was initially done faster than an actual meditation, as it was supposed to be more like a demo. And as I mentioned earlier in the thread, I used a whole different workflow to record this than I usually use, which accounted for the sibilance coming out so much. So yes it could be redone differently.

I’ll keep that in mind. :smiley:


Hey Stan, just a note here. I really don’t think the sibilance is a problem on this track and I’m sure you have good ways of dealing with it when it is.

What I found to be a good method and perhaps you’ve tried this. I go through and snip out a few of the esses and put them on a separate track, then look closely at a spectrum analyzer to isolate the main frequency of the ess itself.(Could be more than one!) I think esses are somewhat different for different people. With the frequency in mind then I find it easier to focus the de-esser on that spot and adjust it accordingly, and it could take more than one instance of the de-esser too.

Just a suggestion, might not work in all cases of course.


Great idea! Even with EQ sweeping it is hard to hone in on sibilance frequencies sometimes, and yes it is really a whole range in my experience, even from very high to quite low. Like any instrument or vocal, the sound will cover a wide range of frequencies contiguously, though stronger in some frequencies (or ranges) than others. We tend to hear the high parts of sibilance but I’m sure there are low rumbly elements intertwined since this is related to vocal consonant sounds like “s” and “z” and other frictives.

One of my tools has been the multiband compressor, in trying to cover a broader range. Still experimenting with that one.

To expand on your suggestion, I may purposely record some of my own sibilant and fricative sounds on a track and look closely at what is happening frequency-wise there. It could be quite revealing. :slightly_smiling_face:


I wasn’t seeing anything worthwhile on the standard real-time spectrum analyzer, so I popped the vocal track into iZotope RX and looked at the spectrogram. I don’t know why I didn’t think to do that eariler! Very specific and revealing. There was consistently an energy band during sibilance from 4k to 15k. There was a thick band from about 4k-5.5k, and another thick band (but a bit less than the first one) from about 9k-12k. The rest was a thinner wispier band between those and above the top one.

That seems helpful, targeting those two bands. Trying to zone in on one frequency has never worked too well for me, and no wonder! It’s like trying to hit a moving target since the sibilance is all through that range. Using two de-essers it might make sense to first hit the 9k-12k range, then another de-esser after that to hit the 4k-5.5k range. That way if the 9-12k get more degraded it won’t have as much overall impact. (?) Or this is where the multiband compressor may really come in handy.

While there probably is some variation in these ranges depending on each person’s voice, I would guess they may stay pretty close to those ranges most of the time. They are where I have looked before based on how I learned to use de-essers, but the spectrogram gave me more insight into how wide those bands are and where they start and stop.


@Stan_Halen That’s cool that you are getting a good process going!

From what I read esses and shhhs vary in frequency and also vary by person and sex and even by age for some reason. The Waves plug defaults to about 4.5K but when I did Steban’s track I ended up a 3.5K after studying the analyzer.

I took short snips from the vocal track and looped them so I could get a good look at the peaks and then set the plug accordingly. Waves gives you a choice between band-pass and high-pass mode and I used high-pass and then adjusted the threshold which seemed to work. Pretty much a matter of taste there I guess. Obviously you don’t want to get into the ‘lisp’ range LOL! I don’t have RX but that sounds like a better way to study the wave form.

I think a multi-band compressor would do the same thing but a dynamic eq might be better yet?


Yes, I’d be curious about the anatomical aspects of that. I would venture to say that the person’s jaw and facial structure, as well as dental features, would have the most profound effect (i.e. articulation). That probably changes as a person ages too, but from what I have seen stays fairly constant throughout life.

Perhaps. I don’t think I have or have used a dynamic EQ, but I’m very familiar with MBC’s. And I saw a video by Fab DuPont where he used MBC’s for repair work on tracks, one of which was plosives and sibilance. So that’s what kind of turned me in that direction.