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Problem that seems like sibilance but I don't think it is?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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Problem that seems like sibilance but I don't think it is?

I'm a relative newbie, and I've recorded about 10 songs already, and I'm currently recording the loudest vocals that I've ever done, and I'm running into some problems. I'm getting what sounds like clipping, but only on very specific words and consonants (usually s and sh sounds, but not all of the s and sh sounds, and also some other words that don't have s's in it). I also notice a slightly louder ambient hiss than normal in the entire recording.

My initial thought is that it's just a sibilance issue, but I've messed with the gain in every way possible, and even tested taking the gain down so low that I can barely even hear the vocals, but no matter how much I mess with the gain, the distortion and the hiss are still there. I've tried many different mic placements, and even this "bubblegum trick" that I found online that's supposed to stop sibilance, but nothing has worked. It's definitely not a spike in volume of any kind, but I don't know what else the problem could be.

The hiss makes me think it's a setup issue (which it could be, as I recently moved), but I don't believe I've done anything different than before. Any thoughts as to what it could be?

I'm using a Shure SM7B and a Focusrite Scarlett Solo.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross49 View Post
I'm a relative newbie, and I've recorded about 10 songs already, and I'm currently recording the loudest vocals that I've ever done, and I'm running into some problems. I'm getting what sounds like clipping, but only on very specific words and consonants (usually s and sh sounds, but not all of the s and sh sounds, and also some other words that don't have s's in it). I also notice a slightly louder ambient hiss than normal in the entire recording.

My initial thought is that it's just a sibilance issue, but I've messed with the gain in every way possible, and even tested taking the gain down so low that I can barely even hear the vocals, but no matter how much I mess with the gain, the distortion and the hiss are still there. I've tried many different mic placements, and even this "bubblegum trick" that I found online that's supposed to stop sibilance, but nothing has worked. It's definitely not a spike in volume of any kind, but I don't know what else the problem could be.

The hiss makes me think it's a setup issue (which it could be, as I recently moved), but I don't believe I've done anything different than before. Any thoughts as to what it could be?

I'm using a Shure SM7B and a Focusrite Scarlett Solo.
Sibilance is not restricted to s or sh, f's for example can also cause problems. Since the SM7B needs tons of gain (which could cause trouble with those carlett preamps) and the problem is still there when you lower the gain it could very well be the mic can't handle the voice. You said it's the loudest vocals so far, they may be so loud that they overload the capsule. I'd put the singer further back from the mic and see what happens. If you still hear distortion or hiss, your setup may indeed be flawed.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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I'd be surprised if the singer was overloading a dynamic mic like the sm7.

I had a scarlett myself as a cheap way to get two channels recorded in a hurry. What the op is saying sounds exactly like my experience with it no matter what I did. I think he should probably look into trying another interface to see if it's the issue.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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I just realized that the place I'm living in right now has central AC that has a hum that I didn't notice until now, so now my theory is that's what's making the hiss. As for the sibilance-like distortion, I've since started recording a different song and am still having the same problem at a lower volume (though it isn't nearly as noticeable). It's definitely a setup problem (I don't think it's just the interface since I haven't had this problem before with other songs....) but I'm about to relocate again to a more permanent location within the next week, and I'll update whether the problem continues or not.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Well, how trated is your new space? It could also be the new room overemphasizing the sibilance region, especially when the singer is loud and the room really reacts.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Quote:
I'm getting what sounds like clipping, but only on very specific words and consonants (usually s and sh sounds, but not all of the s and sh sounds, and also some other words that don't have s's in it). I also notice a slightly louder ambient hiss than normal in the entire recording.
Ross, the Solo is not the best interface for your sm7b mic. Do you have an external pre-amp? Try it, if you do. Also, replace all cables in your chain
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