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Steinberg SPL De-Esser

By Mike Collins
Published February 2000

Steinberg SPL De‑Esser.Steinberg SPL De‑Esser.

Formats: PC DirectX, VST

Reviewed: Mac version

The SPL De‑Esser user interface could hardly be simpler. You get an On/Off switch for the Auto Threshold function, a pair of selector switches to select male or female voice types, an 'S'‑reduction knob to control the amount of de‑essing, and a simulated LED display to indicate the level by which the sibilant frequencies are being reduced. Choosing Male or Female adjusts the sibilant frequency settings and recognition parameters to the characteristic frequency ranges of the male or female voice. The Auto Threshold feature is ideal when recording less experienced singers, for example, who often move around inadvertently in front of the microphone, causing the microphone's output level to vary. With Auto Threshold disengaged, the Threshold is preset.

This has to be one of the simplest plug‑ins to use — but personally, I missed the more sophisticated controls of the Waves DeEsser. Still, it performs perfectly adequately on straightforward male and female vocals — and it should be ideal for novice users.