Pro Audio Files

How to Correct Lead Vocal Sibilance in Neutron (Master the Mix: Part 1)

The key to a great sounding master is a great sounding mix, so if we can take care of issues like sibilance, low end muddiness, or resonant frequencies at the mixing stage, it’ll make the mastering stage go much more smoothly.

I’m working on a track that’s got a beautiful, well recorded vocal, and I’d like to bring even more attention to it. However, I’m hearing some sibilance, meaning unpleasant harshness that can happen during constant syllables like “ess” and “tee.”

Let’s see if you can hear what I mean. I want you to listen for the words, “Same,” “Changes,” and “Seem” in the solo vocal.


So I’m going to try to use the Track Assisting feature in Neutron to suggest some EQ and compression settings that might help this vocal fit a little better in the mix.

I’m going to unbypass Neutron and I’ll choose medium for the modes, and warm and open from the preset, and I’ll run some audio through Neutron, and when I’m ready, I’ll hit the Track Assistant button and see what happens.


So in a very helpful way, Neutron has decided to high pass some of this low end information here where nothing is really happening anyway. Given this is a female vocalist, that makes perfect sense.

It’s added some compression to smooth things out a little, but not too much, because this vocal is already very warm and consistent. It’s also added a little bit of action on the Exciter module.

Now, it’s also added some dynamic EQ nodes, to where maybe some more intense frequencies were poking out. I’m going to build on this and add another dynamic node to tame some of those “ess” sounds I mentioned earlier.


I’m going to enable this eight-band. I’ll choose dynamic mode, and what I’m going to do is listen back to the audio and hold Alt, and click around to see if I can hear where those sibilant frequencies are.

[vocals, filtered]

So I think they’re happening at around 12,000 cycles, so I’ll go write that in here. And what I’m going to do is dip this down, lower my threshold, and play some audio through again to see if I’ve got the right place for this dynamic node.


Let’s do a before and after. So here’s before we did any work with Neutron.

[vocals, no Neutron]

And here’s after. Let’s listen to those “ess” sounds.

[vocals, with Neutron]

So the “ess” sounds, the “chs,” those are all gone, and the vocal is sitting much better in the mix, so when I go to master it, I won’t hear those sounds poking out in the vocal.




iZotope develops award-winning audio software and plug-ins for mixing, mastering, restoration, and more. Learn more at

Free Video on Mixing Low End

Download a FREE 40-minute tutorial from Matthew Weiss on mixing low end.

Powered by ConvertKit
/> /> /> /> /> /> /> /> /> />