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Sibilance refers to the high frequency components of certain vocal sounds, especially “s” and “sh”. Sibilance lives in the 5 to 10 kHz frequency range, and can cause problems if over-emphasized in a recording. While it is possible to use a graphic or parametric EQ to correct for sibilance, this is often an unsatisfactory approach. Often the overall track will begin to sound dull before the sibilance is corrected. A better solution is to use a dedicated de-esser, or use an EQ in the sidechain input on a compressor to perform de-essing (see “sidechain” in the inSync Word For The Day archives for more on this). Since a de-esser dynamically corrects for sibilance (only processes where necessary), the resulting track will sound much more natural.

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