A de-esser is a plugin that solves the problem of sibilance in vocal recordings. And today you’re going to learn how to use a de-esser on vocals to remove sibilance!
Sibilance is where the high frequencies come across as really loud and harsh during ‘S’ and ‘SH’ sounds. The de-esser works essentially as a compressor, but just for these high frequencies. So just like a compressor, when the signal goes over a certain level, the de-esser pushes it back down. But it’s only ‘listening’ for high frequencies, at around 6kHz or higher. And in turn, it’s only attenuating those very high frequencies. What this means for your mixes is that if you have a vocal recording with a lot of sibilance, you can use a de-esser to reduce that harshness, without over-compressing the whole frequency range. They’re essentially a multiband compressor, but with only the high band activated.
Check out the full video to get a close look at a de-esser plugin, find out what all the settings do, and learn how to use a de-esser on vocals to achieve smooth vocal mixes.
Featured podcast in the video – Recruitment Mentors Podcast