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How to tame vocal "I" and "E" sounds?

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I've got lots of compressors/limiters but notice they don't do much to tame annoyingly loud/shrill, long "IIIII" and "EEEEEE" vocal sounds. Anybody have any ideas how to smoothly tame these sounds. I've tried reducing the gain but even that doesn't do much. Those sounds really leak through and dominate too much.

Thanx, Frederick

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An EQ or de-esser should do the trick.  You just need to scan through to find the right frequency.

You can also use a dynamic eq, so it only ducks the frequency when it gets particularly bad, rather than all the time.

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I should sing more of an "ahh" sound for both the "III" and "EEE" sounds. That should help a lot.

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Maybe work on your mic technique instead of trying to "fix it in the mix."

Odd that you would have trouble with vowels; it is usually plosives and sibilants that heavy compression makes stand out in an ugly way.

I would also suggest getting some vocal coaching. In lieu of - or in addition to - that, there is a whole genre of "vocal coach reacts to -----" videos on YouTube that are well worth watching to pick up tips on what various singers are doing to achieve certain effects.

My guess is that there is a very nasal quality in your ii and ee vowels you don't like that the compression is accentuating. Lots of singers reduce that by modifying the way they produce those vowels or even by substituting others.

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Since you seem open to working on your singing and mic technique, yeah, your voice is an instrument that needs regular practice to maintain a skill level, just like guitar or piano or drums.

As far as mixing-related solutions, using the Quadcurve EQ in ProChannel, take the green band, set the Q to about 8, crank the gain up to about 10 and then sweep the frequency knob back and forth until you hit the "ugly" frequency. You'll hear it, it will be the once that grates like chalk on a blackboard.

Once you find that unwanted resonance, pull the gain down to -3dB and then fiddle with the Q and gain as necessary to tame it. As with all things mix, take care not to overdo it to the point where there's a frequency hole.

I do this for every vocal. To my understanding, it's what happens when your voice and the mic (and maybe some room reflections) form a resonant peak. It can be reduced by learning more singing and mic placement technique. Even if you don't have a vocal booth, you can set up your mic in different places around the room until you find the one that is most flattering/flattening. That's how Sam Philips did it.

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