Virtual instrument and software processing manufacturers Waves are introducing plenty of new products in time for January's NAMM show, from a clever new de-esser to a variety of virtual instruments. The first of these, Sibilance, takes a new approach to de-essing, using resynthesis algorithms based on spectral filtering to identify, separate and tone down over-harsh 's' and 'sh' sounds, rather than relying on more traditional methods involving heavy application of compression and EQ. According to Waves, this results in de-essed vocals that maintain the "timbre, duration and natural resonance of the original vocal sound" while leaving the non-sibilant portions of the vocals completely unaffected. Alternatively, if you plan on applying heavy processing to your vocals, such as lots of HF lift to brighten a vocal, you still can, because even though applying this kind of EQ would render a highly sibilant vocal track totally unusable, the sibilant sounds are kept separate after being passed through the Sibilance plug-in. And it looks easy to use, with simple threshold and sensitivity controls to adjust the overall amount of de-essing.
Also new for NAMM is the Inspire collection, a set of 10 virtual keyboard instruments including acoustic and classic electric pianos, plus modelled subtractive, wavetable and vocoder synths and even a slap bass, all of which may be used in plug-in form or as stand-alone instruments. Completely new for this collection is the Flow Motion FM synth (also available separately) — so-called because it combines a four-strong oscillator section capable of frequency modulation and subtractive-type synthesis via a drag-and-drop modulation matrix (the 'Flow' screen) with tone-shaping envelopes, EQ, processing and an arpeggiator and snapshot sequencer (all of which are accessed via the 'Motion' screen). You can see more about Flow Motion in Waves' introductory videos here and here.
The Sibilance plug-in, Inspire collection and Flow Motion synth are available for download now, priced at $69, $699 and $99 respectively.