Reducing sibilance

What do you do to reduce sibilance?

I tried reducing stress and tension, also increasing soft and clear vocal modes, but I still get sibilance with Kevin, with S and Z even with P, K, T, D (I don’t know if it’s called sibilance for these or something else).

The best way is to reduce the duration of the sibilant consonant but most of the time I don’t like how it’s pronounced.

Strangely render quality affects sibilance negatively. “Prefer Quality” is more sibilant than “Prefer Speed”.

I haven’t experimented with rendering and processing the aspiration separately. Does it work? What is your workflow?

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The simplest answer is to export the aspirant sounds separately, then recombine things after you’ve adjusted the levels of each component in isolation.

Don’t forget to use a de-esser just like you would with any other vocal recording. Of course, targeting the correct frequencies is much simpler when the aspirant sounds are isolated.

The other sounds you’re referring to are mostly plosives. They tend to be less problematic than sibilance, but you can tackle them with small dips in the Loudness parameter, as well as any of the usual techniques you’d apply to human vocals.


You could always try higher sample rates when saving and/or having a small gap between the words where the sibilance appears, but sometimes I have to use Soundforge with the smooth tool on the ‘sssss’ bits and RX10 de-click helps as well.

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Sample rate is linked to the DAW project sample rate, so I can’t change it. Also I’m not sure how it will help to reduce sibilance.

I found that the most effective way to reduce sibilance is by minimizing breathiness to approximately -0.500. It works great. Do you think there is a drawback with this approach?

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Sorry, I meant bit depth - not sample rate. I haven’t tried reducing breathiness - it’s not unreasonable since sibilance is a product of breathing.

A further few thoughts on this. I find that Harrison AVA Vocal flow has one of the best De-essers if you can get it cheap enough. it might also be worth running the vocal track (MAKE BACKUPS) through a de-clicker.