It really does hurt.

You’re working on a mix, and you need the vocal to sit front and center, but once you add in some EQ and compression, the vocal tone is amazing…except for one thing.



(Isn’t there a Phil Collins song that goes “Si…si…sibilance”?)

Sibilance is what allows you to understand what the singer is singing. It’s the S’s and T’s in the words. But when you add in a healthy dose of compression, sometimes the sibilance becomes overwhelming.

It feels like it’s trying to chop off your head.

A de-esser plugin is a good solution, but isn’t there a better way? Is there something we can do to…dare I say it…get it right at the source?

Surely we can address this with mic choice right?

I know! We’ll just use a dynamic mic. Boom, no sibilance, right?


(I made that assumption recently, and I still had to deal with a fair amount of sibilance.)

What about mic placement?

Now we’re onto something. High frequencies tend to be directional, so by placing the microphone somewhere other than directly in front of the singer, we can maintain a good vocal tone without the excessive sibilance.

But what’s the best placement?

I explore this in this week’s VIP video. The results are very interesting and will help you get better, less sibilant vocal recordings.

If you’re a member, head over to the members area and check it out.

If you’re not a member, you can get signed up in about 60 seconds here:


Joe Gilder
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