Question about mixing or mastering for highs

I was listening to Park Kyung - Inferiority Complex and the highs were LOVELY, no sibilance and just made the song super enjoyable. been able to appreciate the treble on the hawks recently too, i think they are underrated. either way there are many songs however that just have terrible treble that becomes sibilant, i have eq’ed it before and it works pretty well but i was wondering is there a easy way (program) to set a threshold on vocals? basically editing my music to not be sibilant, even stuff that isn’t pop get’s aggressive. i’ve asked a pal to listen to some of my stuff on his elex, and says that there is no issue, which is nice since i do technically plan to get the elex eventually however right now i only have the nighthawks and want to listen to all my music without having to be picky because of the way it was mastered

You could do this in theory but in practice it might get a bit complicated. Option one would just be to eq a wider range of possible sibilance to encompass more vocal ranges (or other noises that cause sibilance), but that will most likely end up dulling or messing with the tracks too much. Another way to go about it would be to find offending tracks and remove the sibilance yourself but I’m going to guess it’s too time consuming

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that’s actually what i was thinking, the second option. like going album per album and removing it myself. is there a vid or tutorial u know about that could be good to learn from?

since it’s only with some select artists who’se albums i enjoy alot but have to eq due to sibilance. the rest of my kpop dosen’t matter

Hmmm, well, honestly you could just run all your tracks through a wideband adaptive de-esser and if you configure it properly it just might work, but again it’s not ideal

I guess you could overboost your de-esser by taking an eq and boosting the treble up extremely high running it though a compressor, running it though the de-esser, and then cutting it back down in volume by eq for the same amount boosted, that will allow the de-esser to catch more while maintaining a bit more fidelity

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not ideal because of time put in, because of how complicated it is or because the results wont be ideal? i don’t mind putting alot of work and time in

So personally I prefer to do manual de-essing myself or with a fairly high tier rackmount processer, but if you get a basic daw and a wideband de-esser, you can look up tutorials online on how to effectively use the de-esser, but really it’s kinda something you have to judge based on what you think sounds good on the track, you can’t just set it and forget it. Manual de-essing can be a pain in the ass but imo it yields the best results if done right (ideally you avoid sibilance in the first place from recording techniques), but personally in your case an adaptive wideband de-esser seems the most straightforward. A lot of things you might find online will be geared to removing sibilance in the recording or mixing stage, not many cover modifying an existing fully mixed and mastered track, so watch for that if you are going off of some online tutorials


ill do some research on de compressing applications and turorials then. ill hit this thread up later. i don’t mind if it’s alot of work anyways

It shouldn’t be a ton of work once you get down the basics of using a daw and using the wideband de-esser of your choice, but it will be a pain if you start to get more complex with it than that lol

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haha gotcha, let’s gooooooooo

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The main thing that’s going to cause issues is working around the rest of the track besides vocals, dealing with isolated vocals is much easier, but when you are dealing with the whole track, you will have more issues to deal with and a much higher chance of screwing something else up in the track besides the vocals


@Jose_G I’m vibing to this song LOL “padadapaPA~”

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Given the effort level that seems to be required for a software approach, perhaps a simple “hardware” mod might be more practical?

Try a few layers of toilet paper in each ear cup, for example, as proof of concept. Dan Clark Audio supplies just such “notch” filters with their headphones. Yes, they don’t ideally solve the problem, there are some negative side-effects on sound quality. It’s a matter of trade-offs. I wonder if just popping in a piece of felt or foam when a problem track pops up on the playlist might not be the more pragmatic solution.


i’m not interested in doing that tho because at that point i can’t be selective. the highs on the hawks are not the problem. it’s very specific genres, songs or albums. not all of my music, so doing that would put a hamper on everything including things that don’t need it. i’m hoping to be much more selective like this and retaining the highs that the hawks have

While something like the Drawmer 1978 certainly looks cool and does a fantastic job, de-essers as a piece of hardware are expensive.

A pair of DBX 286s could be used as inserts between DAC and headphone amp, them being mono makes them meh at best for this application. They work fantastic when used on mic input though.

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Yeah not good for music, I think a software solution makes the most sense here, because at the cost for a good hardware deesser you can just buy different headphones lol

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