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working on a live tv show where a 60 second show needs to be turned around in 25minutes. The client has come back and feels the female presenter is too essy? SSSSSy? sibilent? Due to the tight time, it leaves little time for post audio work. We did use a de-esser and now we're going to try and tweak some settings. It sounds quite awful in isolation.

We plan to use a hardware compressor with de-esser on it, possibly a focusrite or a drawmer..

Any ideas on what one could do? mic placement for example? (clip mic) OR what to look out for?

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3 Answers

quick fix to deal with it in post and save yourself time on the tweaking:

duplicate the track, find the worst moment of sibilance and set your de-esser's settings to control that particular instance (you can do this RTAS or Audio suite)...on the duplicated track of course. once that's done, go through and crossfade/mix between the processed and unprocessed track wherever needed.

that will preserve the rest of the track and let you have some fine tuned controls (ranging between complete replacement and subtle reduction...depending on how you mix the two) for the trouble spots. it's light on automation, and will keep you from going overboard on tweaking/automating the de-esser's settings.

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I don't know the specifics of the production, but mic selection is important. Different mics treat different voices differently. Doesnt sound like you have much time for mic selection tests, but i'd start there. Can you set up multiple mics and pick the best?

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yes I think we can.. will try some others. –  edmatthews82 Oct 14 '11 at 13:20
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Try using an omni lav turned upside down. The mic capsule actually blocks out some of the highs whilst the rest of the frequencies remain balanced.

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