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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SSSSSSolder SSSSSSSmoke's SSSSSSS problem

In SolderSmoke 109, I did a little experiment. Normally I do some audio processing using Audacity's Equalization option. In all of the recent episodes, I have been using an equalization curve similar to the one shown above. I drop off the low frequencies (to get rid of the Popping P sounds) and I put a notch at around 3500 Hz in an effort to get rid of the problematic SSS sounds. I had my doubts about the effectiveness of all this. Partly in an effort to save time, SolderSmoke 109 I dispensed with the processing. I immediately got a couple of e-mailed signal reports saying that the nasty SSSS sound was back.
I really can't hear it on my computer. This may be related to different sound cards. And some high frequency hearing loss that I picked up on the rifle range may be involved.
If you can, please compare the sound quality in SS108 with that of SS109, and let me know what you think.
Dean, WA6P, and Bill W7AAZ, going to send me a passive audio filter that we hope will help.
On a similar note (!), I am looking for a circuit for a simple audio signal processor for use with my DSB rigs. I need something simple that will provide both clipping (probably via the standard two diode arrangement) AND audio frequency selection. The ability to put upper and lower limits on the audio frequencies is important in DSB rigs, because they lack the crystal filters that do most of this work in SSB transmitters.


  1. Bill

    I've never had any problem listening to your podcasts either wrt to "p" or "s" sounds. I always listen on inexpensive MP3 players rather than IPOD machines. My current is the Samsung Sensa. I use Sony earbuds.

    I have great hearing for a 61y/o so I don't think that's the problem.


    jim ab3cv

  2. Hi Bill
    I can detect little difference between 108 and 109 on either my ipod or mac. Both have (how can I put this delicately?) borderline painful sibilant distortion.
    It is clearly distortion, so I would try to find and correct that problem before attempting to fix it with signal processing. It could just be the mic overdriving the input circuit.
    I love your podcasts, sibilance notwithstanding, and have your new book ready for a vacation read. Keep up the good work.
    Paul AA6B

  3. Hi Bill
    Your notch will not get rid of the SSSS .you must roll of the curve above 3.5Khz. The equalization curve you posted on the news page shows the audio above 3.5khz not attenuated as well as listening to the last two podcast.
    podcast 109 sound driven harder than 108 and of course louder SSS.

    wayne va7at (ps you must get started on your softrock kit.I am having fun with my two tranceiver kits having upgraded the oscillator with an SI570 USB-controlled sythesizer.I am all over the band from 1.8 to 30Mhz)

  4. Bill,

    Since you are running Audacity, try installing the VST enabler and then run a plugin called "Spitfish" which is designed as a simple de-esser.

    And I will also put in a plug for starting construction on your Softrock! We'll need a play by play of your adventures with SMD soldering. Don't worry, it's not hard if you use a holder-downer tool on the part.

  5. Thanks for all the comments. Glad to hear that I have Bluegrass potential! Jonathan's comment about this just being part of my voice was interesting. After reading this, I am starting to notice that my SSS sound does kind of whistle! I never noticed it before. I wonder if instead of putting the notch at 3500 Hz, I just rolled off everything a above 3500 Hz, I wonder if that would help.


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