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HelpWithHissing

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I'm working on an orchestral piece in Reaper right now, and the volume of the hissing increases with the dynamics being played by my CS Strings, Brass, and Woodwinds. I otherwise love these libraries, but they really add up to bothersome hiss for me. I've tried using close mics, but I'm not a fan of the sound. I've used Waves X-Noise, but soon found out that the plugin is mainly intended for consistent hiss. My hiss is very inconsistent. I've tried a -4 dB high shelf at various frequencies, ranging from 6k to 12k. I've tried using different sound drivers. I've messed with the master volume, which has proven to be most effective so far in mitigating the hiss. But even then, it's still there and quite noticeable. I also have pretty minimal EQ in my project.

Any advice would be appreciated. :)

Attached is an example of just strings, but still shows the problem.
 

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Hi there, could you perhaps post an example of what you mean? There are many folks on this forum that use CSS regularly (myself included) and will hopefully be able to tell you if something is wrong.
 
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Trash Panda

Clueless nitwit
Have you identified the frequency of the hiss and tried applying a dynamic eq to tame it when it exceeds an acceptable threshold?
 
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HelpWithHissing

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Hi there, could you perhaps post an example of what you mean? There are many folks on this forum that use CSS regularly (myself included) and will hopefully be able to tell you if something is wrong.
No problem. I just added an attachment :)
 
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HelpWithHissing

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Have you identified the frequency of the hiss and tried applying a dynamic eq to tame it when it exceeds an acceptable threshold?
I have not. How would I go about doing either of these things? 😆 I'm still a bit confused with the more technical side of things.
 

David Kudell

LA-based Composer
CSS has some hiss when you first play a note if your mod wheel / CC1 is set between 10 and 55 or so - in the lower dynamic where the volume of the strings aren't quite high enough to mask the room noise. I generally start a line with the mod wheel down and quickly ramp it up when I play. It sounds more dynamic that way anyway.

I think it's one of those things that stands out in isolation but not a problem in the context of a track.
 
No problem. I just added an attachment :)
Sounds pretty good to me tbh! I do hear what you're hearing as well, but I see it more as a feature than a bug. I have noticed there is usually quite a lot of noise in real orchestral recordings, so a bit of hiss just adds realism imo. Personally I would leave it as is, but if you're going to try to address it I would lean towards doing it "dynamically" (as others have suggested) - which is to say only remove it when it becomes a problem, as opposed to just blanket eq-ing/de-noising the whole part.

Another way to go, is to add even more hiss to mask when it sort of "comes and goes" and in effect even it out. This is probably not what i would suggest in this particular situation, but a useful trick nonetheless :)
 

purple

Senior Member
I use CSS all the the time and barely notice the hiss. When I do it's at very low dynamics only. I don't even hear hiss in your track actually. Are you sure you're not just hearing part of the noises that come from the instruments themselves?
 
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HelpWithHissing

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Sounds pretty good to me tbh! I do hear what you're hearing as well, but I see it more as a feature than a bug. I have noticed there is usually quite a lot of noise in real orchestral recordings, so a bit of hiss just adds realism imo. Personally I would leave it as is, but if you're going to try to address it I would lean towards doing it "dynamically" (as others have suggested) - which is to say only remove it when it becomes a problem, as opposed to just blanket eq-ing/de-noising the whole part.

Another way to go, is to add even more hiss to mask when it sort of "comes and goes" and in effect even it out. This is probably not what i would suggest in this particular situation, but a useful trick nonetheless :)
I could be over-analyzing my music haha. But in another project I have, with strings, brass, and winds, it's a bit worse. Listening to reference tracks, I can tell that my piece definitely has more hiss.
 

averystemmler

Active Member
I think the noise in your example (nice writing, by the way) is well within acceptable tolerances for soft dynamics like that. I've had issues with noise in CSS when boosting or saturating highs, but I think it sounds better when EQed more judiciously anyways, as you seem to be doing.
 

Johnny

Senior Member
For what it's worth, your mockup sounds very good to me!
Yes great work! It sounds really good and honestly, and is that hiss you would have on a live recording regardless and it really isn't bothersome. (To me) You are always going to have noise floor and that is unavoidable when stacking layers of recordings- with noise floor. It just becomes a cumulative sum of all of the stacked samples at a certain point, some of which may even comb filter out, pending on how similar the wav profile is. I wouldn't worry, I even add tape hiss to sample when they are too clean :P Cinesamples piano in blue lets you do this in the interface. Anyways, if it's bothersome, pick up Izotope RX, extremely easy to take that hiss out! Just remember: you take some, you lose some, there is a cost to noise removal no matter how transparent. There will always be a loss or degrading quality to your strings and the upper harmonic spectra, when you choose to de-noise, even at the most subtle level. Some of which you may like having removed? Other harmonic spectra you may not- there is always a cost, and this is the struggle of developers- constantly trying to come to peace with compromise vs quality. (Except for Pacific Strings and Vista apparently :P)
 
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