Help with sibilance please

Hi there, I am a bit of a newbie when it comes to using an Equaliser so would love some guidance or for someone to point me in the right direction.

I have had a quick look at the Roon guide about this and I am not really that much further forward.

I will give a bit of background. I moved home about 9 months ago and as anticipated my music is my new room sounded so different. I have moved to a detached house and accept that playing music louder seems to emphasise the problems.

I do have two GK acoustic panels behind my listening position and they help but it is not enough in this room. I don’t have the time or the cash yet to look at improving the room set up so I am hoping to see if using the DSP in Roon can give me a temporary solution.

What has really brought it home to me is I have started to use my Headphone set up lately. I do have quite a good set up and it sounds excellent. However when I now listen to music on my main rig the problems are more apparent.

So I will try and keep it simple. I have the Devialet 200 feeding the SF Olympicas and I have set the tone setting on the amp to -5 for treble. This helps a little

My main issue is it sounds a bit bright, and female voices have way too much sibilance .

The bass can also be a bit boomy , but that is really only an issue when I crank the volume up, but yes listening to music loud is my one vice :wink:

Can anyone help me or give me guidance on how I can try and improve this by using the Roon interface.

I am not great with all of this stuff so it will need to be kept simple if possible, but any guidance will be greatly appreciated

Devialet is a very transparent amplifier if all the settings in the “Tone” menu are zero / off (in all subpages of the menu). There should be no such problems. Probably the cause is the source of the music or the room. Are there large reflective / glossy surfaces in the room (windows, floor tiles or glossy parquet, etc.)?

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Yes I know it is the Room, but for now I cant do anything about this …this is why I am looking for a temporary solution

In time I will address the room deficiencies with softer furnishings and some curtains etc…I may even add further room treatment., but for now the room will stay as it is.

Depending on how long “temporary” is, you could also consider using a professional DSP service, for example HAF - if you give Thierry one of your problem tracks as a test, you can see for yourself whether the changes are worth it to you (no association other than as a satisfied customer).

I suggest to start with something like the following, and then play with the settings for frequency, gain and Q.
Obviously, frequency changes where the dip is centered, gain by how much and Q how wide a range is affected.
Just play with it, can’t really damage anything with it…

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Oh yes you can. It is surprisingly easy to miss out the ‘-’ when changing gain settings, resulting in +6dB. Not very harmful at that frequency agreed, but can be dangerous when experimenting with cutting boomy bass frequencies.

okay, it’s always good practice to keep the volume down when changing things…

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Thank you , I will look at the manual to see how I get to do this and try and experiment with this area .
For a bloated bass which area should I try and lessen ?

Cheat sheet taken from masteringthemix.com. No idea how accurate this is but it is a start:

See also here.

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The link looks a decent enough guide for a novice like me, thanks

Just follow the steps below…


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Perhaps headphones?

Played about with this quite a bit last night and for me to remove the sibilance I had to set it to -8.
It definitely worked but it feels like a little bit of detail lost.
I will have another play with it tonight hopefully, and see if I can improve it further
In your example above you have headroom management and sample rate conversion enabled…I am not sure what they do or what difference they make as I did not do this on mine.
Thanks again for your input

change frequency and play with Q to zoom in on the needed center frequency and affect a narrower frequency range, maybe.

they are of no importance for your case, I had just quickly set and numbered what’s important for you, so please ignore.

And don’t forget, what I suggested is a rough starting point.
I can’t possibly know what your setup sounds like and what you’re hearing…

Good luck!

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yes, this will be the case. sibilance will be tamed on any reasonably mastered track, the only reason you’d have to counter excess sibilance is if you’re doing the recording (mixing). if you are playing back the BEST way to tackle sib and boominess is room treatment. you can tweak your eq, but i’d suggest just doing a LITTLE. like, 6 dB boost or cut is too much. you are doubling (or halving) the energy in that spectrum and changing the balance A LOT. to compensate for early/excessive reflection in the high-end use floor and wall coverings. to soak up boominess use bass traps and chairs and cushions and drapes and dog beds and bean bag chairs… i’m sure this has all been said already, and perhaps even in this thread (didn’t see)… and you probably already know it. but i wanted to emphasize it. if you are looking for a temp fix until you get aforementioned items in place, i’d live with a little excess high end or low end… and not over correct and then get used to that sound. which would be less than ideal, and a shame. my 2¢. thanks!

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This statement needs clarification:

6dB cut =
0.5 x the amplitude,
0.25 x the power,
but 0.66 x the loudness perception

6dB boost =
2 x the amplitude,
4 x the power,
but 1.52 x the loudness perception

Your last point is a very good one, I will bear this in mind.

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thanks marin. yes, your notes are correct - here i am referring to audio signals to amplifiers, so i’m talking about voltages, which are doubled and halved at this ratio. this is how sound mixers measure the changes in signal. the perceptual loudness is a different thing and is affected by many parameters, not the least of which being room treatment and hearing ability of the listener… so. you are correct in your math notes, and i appreciate it, but i was really making the basic point that smallish changes in parametric eq can make substantial changes in the auditory sound balance of the track, and to compensate for inadequate listening environments with band eq is a fool’s errand at a certain point. it should be meted out with full understanding of the absolute effects and not just dialed in to taste like a teenager with a new boom tube in an open-back honda crx. :smiley: not that anyone here was acting that way… just. sayin.

Another recommendation for HAF, Thierry is a wizard with speaker and room adjustments! Depending on how temporary you are in that room I would get yourself a Umik mic and download REW - it’s not half as complicated as one might think and I have a simple step by step to taking measurements and using REW with Roon. Once you see the actual room resonances, peaks and troughs visually displayed it’s a revelation! Just a simple PEQ arrived at in REW and implemented in Roon will work wonders, but you have to have a measurement as a starting point otherwise you are shooting blind.

@Womaz can you not play with your speaker placement? This is the first and most important step. Just moving it a few cm in any direction can drastically alter the sound for the better or worse. It’s taken my a year to find my optimum position in my room and I have been constrained as to where I can locate them. I would spend some time doing this before anything else.