Izotope De Esser
A de-esser is a type of audio compressor that applies gain reduction to sibilance and other high frequency issues in a vocal track. Sibilances are high frequency sounds created by the human voice when pronouning the letters "s," "f," "s," "sh," and "ch." But, you can find these harsh high frequencies in other instruments as well, like crash cymbals and electric guitar. Sibilance and harsh frequencies typically happen anywhere between 4 and 10 kHz depending the the vocal and instrument.
Izotope De Esser
The drawback to manual de-essing is the amount of time it takes. A more common approach to removing sibilance is to use a dedicated de-esser plug-in that automatically reduces the level of harsh frequencies whenever they exceed a threshold.
Having a de-esser on your vocal after EQ and compression is especially important for controlling the unintended consequences of making the vocal cut through the mix. While compression and additive EQ tend to amplify sibilance, a de-esser will tame it.
Now that you have a de-esser in your vocal signal chain, you'll want to focus the de-esser on harsh frequencies you want to attenuate. Nectar's De-esser module includes a detection cut off filter for adjusting the detection and reduction of sibilant frequency content. Any frequency content that is above the cutoff frequency will be used for De-esser detection.
Next, drop the threshold until the de-esser begins reducing the harsh frequencies caused by sibilance. Remember, you don't want to completely remove the "esses," since they're a normal component of human speech. Apply just enough gain reduction that the sibilance no longer sounds harsh to the listener.
For guitars, this is especially true on electric axes that make use of amplifier simulators, as emulations often reveal their fakery in the harshness of the high-midrange. Slap a de-esser down around 4 kHz or so, and you may be able to get more authenticity out of a fake amplifier.
As part of their Master the Mix month, our friends at iZotope are releasing a set of 4 tutorials. In this first episode, they explore how to correct sibilance issues in the mixing stage with Neutron's de-esser tool.
Not technically a de-esser, but with the addition of the dynamic EQ mode, the Pro-Q 3 makes this flagship equalizer from FabFilter even more versatile. Essentially, when this mode is engaged, the Pro-Q 3 applies attenuation only when the plugin detects amplitude at a specific frequency over a set threshold.
The Weiss DS1-MK3 bundle from Softube, which is a line-by-line code port from the highly sought after hardware unit, is a fantastic set of mastering tools. Weiss Deees features two independent bands, in case your program material suffers from sibilance at multiple frequency ranges. Add to that, helpful metering and pristine sound quality, making it one of the best plugin de-essers currently available.
This is by far my favorite way to de-ess vocals when mastering. There are numerous de-essers available and most of them have the option of choosing what is feeding the sidechain. The sidechain is the signal that will trigger the compressor or dynamic EQ band node when it crosses the threshold. This is also referred to as the key.
A de-esser can be used to control sibilance and tame other high frequency issues in a vocal track.Traditionally, a de-esser dynamically reduces loud sibilant content using a threshold and ratio. The NectarDe-esser module is a hardware-modeled level independent processer, allowing for consistent and transparentreduction of sibilance in signals with variable levels, like a vocal track. The De-esser works by analyzingthe current level above a specified frequency cutoff and comparing that level against thelevel of the full frequency bandwidth of the signal. When large differences in level are detected, gainreduction will be applied to the entire incoming vocal signal.
The De-esser module includes controls for adjusting the detection and reduction of sibilant frequency content.The controls are positioned on the right side (upper frequency range) of the De-esser module panel.
Two spectrum analyzers are displayed in the De-esser module: the input to the De-esser module (displayed indark grey with no border) and the output of the De-esser module (displayed in light grey with a white border).
When it comes to mix processing, the de-esser is often one of the most misunderstood tools out there. However, it is also one of the most necessary tools for mixing, especially if you want your vocals to sound crisp and professional.
A de-esser plugin is a niche form of a compressor plugin that exclusively acts on the desired frequency range. While you can often alter the frequency range the compressor works on with a de-esser plugin, it is most often used to control the sibilance that occurs in the human voice.
Sibilance can sound very unpleasant if not dealt with, which is why we use de-essers to deal with their harshness. While you could use a compressor to clamp down on volume peaks, you would affect the entire sound of the vocal, which can often bring sibilance out even more.
For example, you may not need a de-esser when you play your raw vocal, though the minute you start compressing it and boosting the high-end, the sibilance will begin creeping out. In that case, you would put your de-esser AFTER your compression and EQ.
For best practice, loop a section of your vocal recording where sibilance is bothering you. While the vocal is playing, slowly pull the threshold down while listening to how it is reacting to the sibilance. The second it begins to sound lispy, back it off a tad. At this point, your sibilance should feel in control and your de-esser should feel transparent.
Many consider the Weiss De-Ess to be one of the best hardware de-essers in existence. With the Softube Weiss De-Ess plugin at your disposal, you can now obtain the same powerful processing as the original hardware unit without spending big bucks.
Xils DeeS is one of the easiest de-esser plugins to use on our list, allowing you to move the frequency knob and apply sibilance reduction without having to think. The interface is super clean and the signal path is clear, allowing you to solo each channel to expose harsh sibilance in an instant. Plus, with the real-time frequency graph at the bottom of the plugin, you get a clear visual reference to help you make better decisions.
DUE: De-esser plugins. Choose your plugin and set your parameters. Most de-essers provide wide-band and split band processing and variable frequency band detection modes. Experiment with the parameters to find the most transparent settings for a particular song.
Pros: Effective sibilance control over a wide range of frequencies Cons: Multiband processing often changes the sonic character of a sound. More complicated than de-essers or automation.
Does anyone know if the new Waves "Sibilance" De-esser works with Screenflow? It does have an AU version, and is on sale for $30, which looks like a good price. Perhaps you can test with a trial version.
Getting the main ideas from the De-esser preset we can apply those same principles to the Multiband Dynamics compressor. Simply put in the frequency target for the top band and then begin to add compression via the threshold and input volumes.
The most common usage for de-essers is for fixing sibilance issues on vocal recordings, however, as the T-De-Esser works in a different way than regular types of de-essers, it can be useful for several kinds of sound sources, such as drums, guitars, keys, etc.
You next need to locate the frequency with the most sibilance. You can solo the part that you are filtering so that it becomes easier to hear where the most sibilance is. 3. Set The Threshold So That It ONLY Triggers When there is excessive Sibilance Again, having the filter soloed will help with this. If you are ONLY hearing the sibilance when your filter is soloed, then your threshold is good.4. Adjust the reduction until the sibilance is reducedFinally, dial up your reduction until you are taking out the sibilance. Don't go too far or the vocal will sound unnatural. Use Multiple De-Essers If NeededIn some cases, one de-esser may not be enough to get the job done. If you're still hearing excessive sibilance even after trying all of the above methods, try using multiple de-essers.
Ultra-transparent and simple to use and in all plugin formats from the start! Also, for this plugin to be free and imo already better than all of the market brand de-essers! Thank you and great job Techivation LTD.
I was a big fan of another well-known de-esser, and that made me doubt if I really needed another de-esser... But literally after 30 seconds with the T-De-Esser that doubt left my mind. This is the most transparent de-esser I've ever heard, and the most effective at the same time. Where other de-esser start to sound artificially fast, this one stays completely natural and transparant. Since I downloaded T-De-Esser I never touched the other wellknown one again! And I HATE changing plugins so that surprised even myself a lot. HIGHLY recommended.
De-essers are specialized compressors that focus on a specific frequency range. They use a combination of multiband equalization and sidechain compression to reduce harsh high frequencies and sibilance.
De-esser plugins are typically used for vocal mixing. They are the most preferred mixing tool for dealing with sibilance in the mix. However, these versatile devices have other mixing or mastering purposes. For example, de-essers work great at taming cymbals, hi-hats, synths, keys, guitars, and more. Anything with high-end harshness can benefit from a de-esser.
For example, a static EQ will continuously cut frequencies in the vocal, even when there is no sibilance occurring. Conversely, the dynamic response of a de-esser only tames the harsh frequencies when needed. The result is more transparent and natural sounding.