Got this question from a reader:
“Thanks for all your good advice! I find it hard to get a good setting on my de-esser so I can get rid of the sibilance. Is there any good mic technique I can use so I don’t have to work with the de-esser so much while mixing?” -Thomas
When I read this over I remembered that my man Joe Gilder over at Home Studio Corner had a similar issue last year when he was working on his EP. He re-tracked the vocals to one of his songs because he felt it was too sibilant.
So I forwarded Thomas’s question to him and asked what he did differently the second time to reduce the sibilance in his voice.
Here’s what I got back from Joe:
“Honestly getting closer to the mic helped. Like super close. A bit more boomy but the sibilance was way less pronounced. I was rockin’ 8-12 inches away and it was just too sibilant.”
Simple advice and straight to the point. If you’re too far away from the mic you run the risk of getting all that “air” into your mic instead of getting that thickness from the proximity effect.
So if you’re dealing with too much sibilance and don’t want to overuse your De-esser you should really focus on getting it right at the source. You can always EQ out the boominess later if it’s a bit too thick but that’s easier to EQ out than sibilance.
If you want more simple tips to make the production process easier I recommend you check out my Recording & Mixing Strategies Bundle: