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Home Recording/better sound. better quality.


hello there. i've been doing home studio since i was 14 years old. Now i'm 25 now. But the sound wasn't pleasing to me. I don't have that rich sound like normal studios and i knows that i can make it sound close enough. My biggest problem is that sissing sound when you start words with st, t, f, j, s, z. Bout near hurt your ears when listening to it lol. I have a studio mic, hooked to a little mixer, a rca/audio converter. The red and white end is hooked into the out part of the mixer, and the audio end is hooked into the microphone input of the computer where the sound comes in. I use Sonar 6 producer edition. The only effects i use is gate, reverb, and equalizer. I try to use other effects just to make it sound great but Still i'm not satisfied. No i do not have my studio mic in a booth and nor do i have sound proof so i know that that is my first problem. I am not a big big spending person on expensive equipment that'll have me super broke. I just need a little guidance on making my music sound rich.

EQ plosive
EQ plosive  
Hey Lee-

Sorry about the delayed response. Specifically talking about the SSSSSSS sound... is called "sibilance".  The BEST way to get rid of this unwanted noise is to manually EQ / Gain it, or to just use a "De-Esser". That's what it's designed to do.... DE-ESSSSS!!!!!

The one I use the most is the Waves Renaissance De-Esser. There are two main functions of a de-esser. 1st, you normally have a small notch  setting, which targets a specific frequency range. SSSSS'es tend to live for guys in the 7k to 8k range, where girls can go as low as 5k to 8k. The best way to find out is use a Frequency Spectrum Analyzer, and watch for the S sound. Once you have identified the S, you set the freq on the De-Esser and now you manipulate the controls to achieve the sound you desire. The other function is a broadband setting, which looks like a High Shelving EQ. This works better for SSSS's & T's, CH's, K's and such.... anything with high content that is problematic.

Just be careful that you don't over do this, because if you de-ess too much you can make an SSSS sound like a TH, and you give your vocalist a lisp. That's bad. So the goal is after you've identified your frequency, adjust the threshold of the De-Esser until it is only compressing the SSSS's, and then adjust the Range so that the amount of compression sounds natural. For the most part, it's ok to over do it a touch, because when the mix is loud, you probably won't hear it, but always error on the safe side.

As far as warmth goes, unfortunately it sounds like your Mic Pre's and Converters may be the culprit. It's difficult because the stuff that sounds the best unfortunately costs money.


I would strongly recommend checking out a "ProFire 2626" on Ebay. I think they sell for $400...

Would give you 26 ins and 26 outs via FireWire. This is actually a VERY good sounding box for the price. Almost ridiculous... a super sleeper.

Then, unfortunately it comes down to Mic Pre's. Bad converters sound cold for sure, but they are only as good as the Mic Pre's which color your sound. For vocals, if you want warmth the answer is a Neve 1073 or clone which is much more manageable. BAE makes some of the best clones, but they are about $2000 I believe. Definitely a worthwhile purchase. other companies make clones that are less acurate but also good. Check around and see what you can find. Look for the designation 1073, or a shortening of that.

Lastly, for P's and B's... troublesome "Plosives" when the air from the vocalist hits the diaphragm of the mic and makes a bassy POP, the best way I have found is to use a printable EQ, highlight just the P, and then process a High pass Filter at 300hz at 6db Curve (the lowest setting). Then make sure you cross fade the new region to the old. I'll include a picture.

I go over everything I talked about here in depth on my Award winning series linked in my signature... the "Drop to Top" video on I strongly recommend you watch it, 5 hours of recording and mixing hip hop. You get to follow along as I do everything. It's recorded in Pro Tools, but you can do everything in your DAW the same way, just use the tools you have.

Best of luck to you Lee!!!!

I saw your second question, and will look at that now.

Let me know if you have any more questions.


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