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I'm doing some voice recordings and I noticed that sometimes certain letters sound louder than they should: K, S, E, et cetera. What they all have in common is that they send a huge wall of air towards my microphone. I have a pop filter in place but it isn't canceling out the issue entirely.

Are there any common tricks to treat plosives with effects? Do I need to learn speak differently?

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2 Answers

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If a pop screen isn't sorting the problem, try moving the microphone further off centre, so that wall of air misses it entirely. You'll have seen singers with head mics have them positioned quite far around their cheek - this removes almost all the plosives.

If you want to remove them from a recording, you can have a look at your spectral plot and see where the bulk of the power comes in and compress that bit right down, but it won't be as clean as sorting it initially.

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You can use what's known as a 'deEsser' plugin - which is basically a program that isolates a frequency in a vocal track where the "S" sound produces the loudest frequencies, and compresses it. Here is an example of one I use - http://www.waves.com/Content.aspx?id=325, but there are also many free ones. A good idea to find out which frequency specifically is giving you trouble is to run through your tracks with a thin band spike up and down the spectrum, hovering around until you can isolate the frequency, then you will know where to compress... S's and other silibants are commonly a problem in speech and vocal performances, and so often need to be attenuated.

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