Why does the spoken "S" sound bad through live broadcasts?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by WilliamG, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. WilliamG

    WilliamG Supporting Actor

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    I normally don't listen to regular tv broadcasts that much through my HT, but my family has really gotten hooked on American Idol. For the past several weeks we've listened to it through the system and I've noticed that "S's" are coming through sounding pretty harsh; it's a kind of over-modulated-type sound. Everything else that is spoken sounds OK. And it's really beginning to annoy me. I'm running the JBL NSP1 and PB-12 Sub w/the Onkyo TX-SR600 receiver if it helps. Please tell me if I can correct this somehow.
     
  2. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Will,

    What you are hearing is referred to as Sibilance. When a
    speaker is producing too much treble S's tend to get over
    accentuated and that lingering "Sssssss" is the result. Do
    you get this same phenomenon with all sources? If so try
    going into your Onkyo's OSD and knocking the treble down
    a few notches at a time until it's cleared up.
     
  3. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    It seems strange that it would only be happening to you on live broadcasts, if that is in fact the case, but if it is, it could simply be pointing to the quality of your reception.
    As a Klipsch user (Klipsch is known for ssss-sibilance) I occasionally get this problem myself on specific DVDS, but more often while watching television, probably for the same reason outlined above.
    As Brett pointed out, you can drop treble down a few notches, but I have noticed that this can have a negative sound quality impact on DVDs where I don't have a sibilance problem. Win some lose some.
     
  4. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Does the problem disappear when you turn down the volume? I had a problem with this with a car stereo, and it turned out I was really under-powering the speakers, and a larger amp fixed the problem (both amps were from the same line, so amp quality was probably not the issue).

    -Robb
     
  5. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    It may be that the source of the audio includes the problem, and they need to add a De-Esser (yes, there is really such a hardware device in pro audio.)
     
  6. chun howe

    chun howe Stunt Coordinator

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    how about too much bass? what am i going to hear then?

    i heard ssssssss... sound also when i turn bass -6 and treble +4. now with bass +4 and treble +4, its equal.
     
  7. Scott Sabin

    Scott Sabin Stunt Coordinator

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    Since you have noticed the problem on live broadcasts, I would suggest the problem is the lack of a "De-Esser" at the source.

    I did record 1 CD while in a garage band, and as the lead vocalist, you cannot survive without the magical de-esser box. The sibillence is unbearable without it.

    Perhaps your equipment is too good, showing you all the faults in the audio that your basic TV speaker does not?
     
  8. Jeremy Stockwell

    Jeremy Stockwell Supporting Actor

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    WilliamG,

    I wonder if you're using some kind of Digital Signal Processing on the broadcast signal that you don't use for music. I've noticed that with certain broadcast signals while using Circle Surround 5.1 that the sibilant "s" gets sent heavily to my surrounds.

    Could that be it? Both Circle Surround and Dolby Pro Logic II have a movie/cinema mode and a music mode. Try playing around with that. Also, I'd turn off any other DSP and see if that helps!

    JKS
     
  9. WilliamG

    WilliamG Supporting Actor

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    Brett and James,
    Yes, the problem is ONLY w/broadcast transmissions. DVD's are not affected. And I *will* go in and adjust the treble and see what happens. Thanks!

    Rob,
    I've tried turning down the volume incrementally, but it really doesn't help that much.

    Scott,
    While I'm certainly proud of my equipment, I would stop WAY short of saying that it's "too good".[​IMG] While not 'audiophile' by any stretch of the imagination, there's really no one on my street that has anything like it!
     

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