1. Dear Guest, if you haven't already... enter to WIN Samplitude Pro X4!
    Dismiss Notice

Sibilance and Cables

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Jeremy Dean, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Jeremy Dean

    Jeremy Dean Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Location:
    Virginia
    Hey everyone,
    I was wondering if mic cables can effect the amount of sibilance that comes through a mic. I recorded vocals for a song a few years back and the sibilance was pretty well controlled. The past two days I recorded the same vocal parts(re-doing a song) using the same mic, mixer, and interface. When comparing the two, the most recent takes have very strong sibilance that can't be found on the original takes. The only difference in my setup is the room I'm recording in(and I'm confident the room wouldn't cause such a drastic change in this area), the cable I'm using, and I have a sock over the mic this time(lol, I know. I need to just spend the few bucks to get a pop filter but I didn't order one yet and needed a quick solution. Doesn't seem to change the tone as far as I can tell). The only other possibilities I can think of is that I may be singing closer to the mic this go round, not sure though. How far away I sang from the mic 3 years ago isn't very fresh in my memory. ;) Also, I guess my singing could have changed and I'm stressing my consonants more these days but I hardly think that I'm stressing them as much as I've heard in the recording if at all. So, I was just curious if the xlr cable could make that kind of difference? Just going through the possibilities.
    Thanks in advance for your input! :)
     
  2. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Location:
    Lowestoft - UK
    Home Page:
    Mic cables have three properties impedance, resistance and capacitance that can interact to change the characteristics of the cable. So using a long cable on a guitar, with it's high impedance pickups means you lose HF. Microphones, using lower impedance would only suffer from noticeable HF drop off if you had HUGE lengths. On a typical mic cable this means that swapping A for B is indistinguishable. Unscrupulous sellers prey on the gullible and sell them mega expensive cable that does nothing extra at all. If a cable removes the top end from your mic, then it is faulty. Drastic changes are nothing to do with cable. The sock would reduce sibilance. Sibilance comes from your mouth and your mic positioning - so could just be that you now sing differently, have had dental work, have the mic in a bit closer, or angled differently - that's pretty well it!
     
  3. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Home Page:
    Sibilance is a performance issue, including vocal technique and mic technique. People who sing or speak to an audience without amplification tend to emphasize their consonants. When they are using a mic their voice is lower but their consonants stay loud. It takes conscious adjustment to balance them for a mic.
     
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    That was my thought. Other than that, the place in the room could play a role. Also, the temperature and humidity could very slightly change how the mic capture the source but drastic changes; no
     
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    I agree but >
    Can such consonants produce hissing sounds be inheritance in cheap converters, tin rooms, bad acoustics, certain headphone bleed, drum hi-hats, clanging cymbals > “shhhhhhhhhhh” sound, which adds a very harsh form of sibilance throughout a mix. Sometimes its hard to tell if the sss aren't actually the singers mic picking up all the crap from all the rest of the 5k going on from a bad case of the sibilant mix from hell.

    Thoughts?

    I have a perfect example of a mix I did, happening from a cabassa/ hi hat section conflicting badly with the vocals. My ears were so conditioned from that area that I missed it during the mixdown. It sounds like its the vocals, when in fact it is the hats and cabassa. I could have easily fixed it by using a sidechain duck on them.
     
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Home Page:
    Cheap converters may add to the problem, but I see the earlier links in the chain having a greater impact. The performance is the main influence followed by the acoustics, the mic, the pre and then the converter. That's a generalization and any of those can have a bigger impact in certain cases.

    This reminds me that I have to notch a little out of the cymbals on a mix in progress. The vocal is getting sibilant and it's because I'm trying to get it on top of the cymbals. A little cut at 6-8k would probably let the vocal be heard more clearly.
     
  7. Jeremy Dean

    Jeremy Dean Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Location:
    Virginia
    Ok, must be me then. Trying to figure what I'm doing differently with an almost identical signal chain.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice