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Is a de-esser necessary for mixing vocals?

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Re: Is a de-esser necessary for mixing vocals?

Postby The Elf » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:48 pm

dred2009 wrote:
The Elf wrote:You can always frequency-split the vocal and control the highs on a separate mult track.
Frequency-split? Ohh, I was thinking about this when I was mixing a piano. It would be very useful. Do you do that with an EQ?
Essentially I mult the vocal, filter (HPF) off the lows on one and the highs (LPF) on the other. Now I just automate and dance the fader containing the esses.

If I'm being exacting about it I use a tricky arrangement of filters and reverse polarities to sort out the phase anomalies and overhangs arising from the filters. Bit busy today, but I'll try to sort out how I designed it and explain - if I can get my head back to how I did when I take a look!
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Re: Is a de-esser necessary for mixing vocals?

Postby The Elf » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:50 pm

dred2009 wrote:
The Elf wrote:Most DAWs come with a de-esser in their armoury. Tell us a bit about where you're wanting to host this de-esser and we may find you already have it!
I use Mixcraft 7 pro edition. I believe it does not have a De Esser, but I could be wrong.
If it doesn't then I second Mike Stranks' vote for Spitfish - it does a decent job.
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Re: Is a de-esser necessary for mixing vocals?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:07 pm

I've got spitfish as well and use it fairly regularly, but Waves were doing their Sibilance plug-in as a freebie before christmas and I have to say that's my current preference.
Probably worth picking up on something a few people have touched on here, and that's that generally you only need one esss at a time.
So i'll frequently do some light volume automation on the main vocal but then any reverbs, backing vocals, effects etc will be heavily de-essed one way or another. The main vocal still sounds natural but you don't notice them missing from the other sources and it stops it all adding up to something too penetrating.
Hope that makes sense?
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Re: Is a de-esser necessary for mixing vocals?

Postby Zukan » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:13 pm

I have all the usual de essers like SSL, FabFilter plus the Cubase stock de esser. However, thanks to Mixedup, I am buying more and more utility plugins for these guys and I have this:
https://www.hornetplugins.com/plugins/h ... billa-pro/
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Re: Is a de-esser necessary for mixing vocals?

Postby Wonks » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:30 pm

dred2009 wrote:
The Elf wrote:You can always frequency-split the vocal and control the highs on a separate mult track.

Frequency-split? Ohh, I was thinking about this when I was mixing a piano. It would be very useful. Do you do that with an EQ?

You'd probably use a high pass filter on one instance and a low pass filter on the other, with the same cut-off frequency and filter slope.
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Re: Is a de-esser necessary for mixing vocals?

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:40 pm

The Elf wrote:If I'm being exacting about it I use a tricky arrangement of filters and reverse polarities to sort out the phase anomalies and overhangs arising from the filters.

I'd guess that you do something similar to some speaker designers who invert the polarity of the tweeter. At the crossover point the phase of both signals is shifted by approximately 90 degrees (in opposite directions) so reversing the polarity means that both are in phase at the crossover point.
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Re: Is a de-esser necessary for mixing vocals?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:51 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:He's using THREE mics. You'd think they could have got a decent recording from one of them!

:) Amusing... but probably unfair. I suspect the headset radio mic is being used for the lecture-theatre PA, and the lavalier radio mic for the video recording. The lectern mic is probably unused... but it sounds to me like that chap has an unfortunate tooth-whistle which is always going to be very hard to resolve at the console!

H
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Re: Is a de-esser necessary for mixing vocals?

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:48 pm

dred2009 wrote:
The Elf wrote:Most DAWs come with a de-esser in their armoury. Tell us a bit about where you're wanting to host this de-esser and we may find you already have it!

I use Mixcraft 7 pro edition. I believe it does not have a De Esser, but I could be wrong.

So do I! The 'bundled' de-esser is called Lisp x64... I tend to use Spitfish more though...
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Re: Is a de-esser necessary for mixing vocals?

Postby manhattan » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:22 pm

dred2009 wrote:I would like to know:

Where do I download a good free de-esser;

if a de-esser plugin is necessary for mixing vocals;

if it's possible to remove the sibilance with just an EQ;

and what's the difference between a de-esser and an EQ.

Thank you all in advance.

There are no good free de-essers. Most de-essers that come in DAW's aren't that good. Most de-esser's actually aren't that good for vocals.

A de-esser is not necessary for mixing vocals, it's more the lazy way to do it.

Some of these guys have some good ways to use de-essers creatively for other things, which is quite frankly what they seem better for.

The best way to de-ess is simply to edit the waveform, and do sharp narrow q drops in volume on the waveform during sibilant moments. This is a more transparent way to do it.

If you stack vocals it is a bit painstaking, but if you don't, then it's really the only way to do it.

One of the better de-essers I found was the Massey De-Esser.
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