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De-essing trick from Bob Clearmountain...
Old 29th December 2011
  #1
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3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
De-essing trick from Bob Clearmountain...

Thought this was a good idea...haven't tried it yet.

“I don’t use de-essers. Instead, I have a patch on the SSL. I mult the vocal to the channel next to it, on which I’ll roll out all mid-range and bottom and boost around 7k as far as it will go. I’ll then send the output of the fader into its own bus, and select a compressor on that channel to pick up on that bus, so basically it becomes a sort of loop in the channel. I put the compressor on fast attack and fast release, and link it to the original vocal channel, on which I turn on the dynamics. It works like a side-chain on the compressor and it has the effect of a fast high-frequency limiter, its threshold being controlled by the fader on the parallel channel. It’s really effective, very fast, and it de-esses very smoothly and much better than any other de-esser I have ever used. Plus you can automate the threshold. It uses a lot of buttons and knobs, but once you see how it works, it’s really simple and very effective. I used it on Keith’s and Mick’s vocals.”
Old 29th December 2011
  #2
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
...and if you don't happen to have a large format SSL desk handy... an Empirical Labs "Derr-esser" will sound better and be easier to set up...

Peace
Old 29th December 2011 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSimpkins ➡️
What's the difference between this and doing a traditional de-esser with a compression sidchain and an EQ?
I don't see any difference... Maybe the right questions should be "When was this written?".

Alistair
Old 29th December 2011 | Show parent
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSimpkins ➡️
What's the difference between this and doing a traditional de-esser with compression with an EQ on the sidechain? I guess maybe it's like splitting a mono signal, putting an EQ in one side and feeding into a stereo compressor, but only using the original side. In that case, it's no different than running the de-esser sidechain in sequence with a compressor.
A fader you can put your hand on?
Old 29th December 2011 | Show parent
  #5
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've yet to hear anything, hardware or software, that is as invisible and unobtrusive as this little trick right here.



I put this on a trim plug so it's separate from volume automation, makes it much easier to edit as the mix progresses.

If you slide your first two nodes to the right, you can let as much or as little transient thru as you'd like. If you add nodes, you can put the transient at one level and the ess at another.

Each sibilant (ess or tzz or chhh or fff) is tuned by ear, so the amount of control is unparalleled. Once you get up to speed, you can do a whole track in about 5 minutes. Sibilants are very easy to spot visually, they're much denser and faster than anything else on the track.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 29th December 2011 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Sqye's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
I've yet to hear anything, hardware or software, that is as invisible and unobtrusive as this little trick right here.



I put this on a trim plug so it's separate from volume automation, makes it much easier to edit as the mix progresses.

If you slide your first two nodes to the right, you can let as much or as little transient thru as you'd like. If you add nodes, you can put the transient at one level and the ess at another.

Each sibilant (ess or tzz or chhh or fff) is tuned by ear, so the amount of control is unparalleled. Once you get up to speed, you can do a whole track in about 5 minutes. Sibilants are very easy to spot visually, they're much denser and faster than anything else on the track.


Gregory Scott - ubk
.

Well said, man.

I'm right there with you - and have been since the mid 90s.

I cannot imagine shooting blind with de-essing...

I like your gain control, as well - very nice.

Although, I'm so used to grabbing envelopes, it doesn't matter.

If I was a professional mix engineer, however...I'd be doing it your way, no doubt!

.
Old 29th December 2011 | Show parent
  #7
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules ➡️
A fader you can put your hand on?

Exactly, Bob's technique gives you a dead simple way to automate the sidechain of the 'de-sser' comp.

For guys who are used to doing nothing but riding real faders, his method fits in that world seamlessly.

For the rest of us, drawing the sibilants out is probably much more in line with our typical workflow.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 29th December 2011 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Sqye's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
Exactly, Bob's technique gives you a dead simple way to automate the sidechain of the 'de-sser' comp.

For guys who are used to doing nothing but riding real faders, his method fits in that world seamlessly.

For the rest of us, drawing the sibilants out is probably much more in line with our typical workflow.


Gregory Scott - ubk
.

Again - exactly right.

.
Old 30th December 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
lobsterinn's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I've done this many times without thinking to just automate a trim plugin. I'm sure that is smoother sounding than doing volume-automation post-processing.

Thanks, UBK!
Old 30th December 2011 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
zimv20's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
I put this on a trim plug so it's separate from volume automation
thanks for that.
Old 30th December 2011
  #11
RiF
Lives for gear
 
RiF's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
I've yet to hear anything, hardware or software, that is as invisible and unobtrusive as this little trick right here.



I put this on a trim plug so it's separate from volume automation, makes it much easier to edit as the mix progresses.

If you slide your first two nodes to the right, you can let as much or as little transient thru as you'd like. If you add nodes, you can put the transient at one level and the ess at another.

Each sibilant (ess or tzz or chhh or fff) is tuned by ear, so the amount of control is unparalleled. Once you get up to speed, you can do a whole track in about 5 minutes. Sibilants are very easy to spot visually, they're much denser and faster than anything else on the track.


Gregory Scott - ubk
This is what I do if I really care about the vocal track.
If I want to get things done fast, I'll
grab a DeEsser.
Old 30th December 2011 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
I've yet to hear anything, hardware or software, that is as invisible and unobtrusive as this little trick right here.



I put this on a trim plug so it's separate from volume automation, makes it much easier to edit as the mix progresses.

If you slide your first two nodes to the right, you can let as much or as little transient thru as you'd like. If you add nodes, you can put the transient at one level and the ess at another.

Each sibilant (ess or tzz or chhh or fff) is tuned by ear, so the amount of control is unparalleled. Once you get up to speed, you can do a whole track in about 5 minutes. Sibilants are very easy to spot visually, they're much denser and faster than anything else on the track.
So am I understanding you correctly that you automate the trim plugin for pre compression control and seperately automate your fader for overall, post compression control?
Old 30th December 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Ward Pike's Avatar
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
...and yet another useful method. Thank you, OP. Someday I'll have the time to type our mine also.

Cheers!
Old 30th December 2011 | Show parent
  #14
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint ➡️
So am I understanding you correctly that you automate the trim plugin for pre compression control and seperately automate your fader for overall, post compression control?

Precisely. Since compression tends to exacerbate sibilance issues, it's helpful to pull them out of the compressor's way before it blows them up.

Also, having the separate trim plug makes it really easy to tweak things as the mix progresses and comp settings change, sometimes the comp itself gets changed or another gets added etc. If your 'de-essing' is on the same lane as all your other volume automation, it's very time-consuming to go in and make adjustments to just the sibilants; when they've got their own lane, you can tweeze a few or lot in just seconds.

It's a surprising effect when you first try it; you can make cheap mics sound a lot more expensive because you soften the crisp sibilants while leaving the air completely untouched on the rest of the track. It also allows you to crank open the top on, say, a darker ribbon while selectively pulling back the occasional sound that ends up poking out.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 30th December 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
 
dualflip's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ohhh man, i guess im with Greg or the derr-esser, either way, i dont want to get stuck too much on the de-essers, i like to focus my attention on the more important stuff, when im fixing stuff usually my attention is drawn to issues like "why the hell is that vocal so disturbingly out of tune? why does this song suck so much?" and that kinda stuff
Old 30th December 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Nice - never thought about automating a trim plug...
Old 30th December 2011
  #17
Deleted 1846071
Guest
I find it useful to split the sibilant from the rest of the track and then notch EQ that item, twice or thrice if necessary. Not only reduces the gain, but leaves the unoffensive frequencies intact.

Never used a de-esser I liked.
Old 30th December 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn ➡️
Thought this was a good idea...haven't tried it yet.

“I don’t use de-essers. Instead, I have a patch on the SSL. I mult the vocal to the channel next to it, on which I’ll roll out all mid-range and bottom and boost around 7k as far as it will go. I’ll then send the output of the fader into its own bus, and select a compressor on that channel to pick up on that bus, so basically it becomes a sort of loop in the channel. I put the compressor on fast attack and fast release, and link it to the original vocal channel, on which I turn on the dynamics. It works like a side-chain on the compressor and it has the effect of a fast high-frequency limiter, its threshold being controlled by the fader on the parallel channel. It’s really effective, very fast, and it de-esses very smoothly and much better than any other de-esser I have ever used. Plus you can automate the threshold. It uses a lot of buttons and knobs, but once you see how it works, it’s really simple and very effective. I used it on Keith’s and Mick’s vocals.”
That's how I do it exactly. I always keep an extra channel open beside the lead vocal for this reason. It really works like a charm and sounds good.

Here's how it is set up:

Power Tools: SSL Mixing Tricks, August 1998
Old 30th December 2011 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
stardustmedia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
I've yet to hear anything, hardware or software, that is as invisible and unobtrusive as this little trick right here.



I put this on a trim plug so it's separate from volume automation, makes it much easier to edit as the mix progresses.

If you slide your first two nodes to the right, you can let as much or as little transient thru as you'd like. If you add nodes, you can put the transient at one level and the ess at another.

Each sibilant (ess or tzz or chhh or fff) is tuned by ear, so the amount of control is unparalleled. Once you get up to speed, you can do a whole track in about 5 minutes. Sibilants are very easy to spot visually, they're much denser and faster than anything else on the track.


Gregory Scott - ubk
That's what I also do for breaths and sibilants. It's a lot of clicking and copying and pasting, but it's the best sounding way. And you can still easily edit the ramps. Sometimes it sounds better when the volume comes up "slowly".

With deessers I always find some sibilants left over or sounding bad. So manual work is the one that garuantees me the best result. Deesser are fine when there is no time.
Old 30th December 2011 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
stardustmedia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn ➡️
Nice - never thought about automating a trim plug...
If you want to work with a compressor with a edited sidechain (like Bob), you can even try to automate the threshold.

That works also like a charm when sidechain pumping

It's a lot of work, but depending on the music style, especially when the main vocal has a lot of space and every detail is audible, it's way more natural.
Old 30th December 2011
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Iron Man's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You can use phase to de-ess as well:

- Copy just the offending sibilant wave section to another track (you can see it in the waveform - there's an example above).
- Using an EQ create a frequency envelope with high and low pass filters to only play the sibilant frequencies range (e.g. 4500 to 8000Hz).
- Reverse the phase.
- Raise volume of the new phase-reversed track to reduce the noise on the main track.
Old 30th December 2011 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
Precisely. Since compression tends to exacerbate sibilance issues, it's helpful to pull them out of the compressor's way before it blows them up.

Also, having the separate trim plug makes it really easy to tweak things as the mix progresses and comp settings change, sometimes the comp itself gets changed or another gets added etc. If your 'de-essing' is on the same lane as all your other volume automation, it's very time-consuming to go in and make adjustments to just the sibilants; when they've got their own lane, you can tweeze a few or lot in just seconds.

It's a surprising effect when you first try it; you can make cheap mics sound a lot more expensive because you soften the crisp sibilants while leaving the air completely untouched on the rest of the track. It also allows you to crank open the top on, say, a darker ribbon while selectively pulling back the occasional sound that ends up poking out.


Gregory Scott - ubk
So what trim plugin do you like to use for this? I know they should all more or less sound the same but one might be easier to automate than another.
Old 30th December 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I guess with PT10 you could separate the sibilant into its own region/clip and use clip volume to turn it down.
Old 30th December 2011
  #24
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I really like the DerrEsser, but editing is better. I've used EQ on a sidechain before, but without a fader to manually ride, it's never been as good for me as the DerrEsser. The DerrEsser responds to the proportion of high frequency content in the signal, and not the amplitude directly, so it's very natural sounding. This idea of automating a trim plugin is really good, and I'm going to have to give it a try.
Old 30th December 2011
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
You guys ought to drop in at LowEnd every once in a while.
We do this with Sonar's pre gain clip envelopes. I guess you'd call it your 'first layer automation - SOP stuff.
Old 30th December 2011 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Sqye's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne ➡️
You guys ought to drop in at LowEnd every once in a while.
We do this with Sonar's pre gain clip envelopes. I guess you'd call it your 'first layer automation - SOP stuff.
.

Yup. Sonar ROCKS!

.
Old 30th December 2011
  #27
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
The renaissance de-esser is my favorite plugin variant. In wideband mode.
Old 30th December 2011
  #28
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules ➡️
A fader you can put your hand on?
Since when can't we assign faders to de-esser plugin parameters? ;-)

Alistair
Old 30th December 2011
  #29
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Automating trim is the way to go, leaves behind zero artifacts.

MT Studios
Old 30th December 2011
  #30
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
You guys ought to drop in at LowEnd every once in a while.
We do this with Sonar's pre gain clip envelopes. I guess you'd call it your 'first layer automation - SOP stuff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louderock ➡️
I guess with PT10 you could separate the sibilant into its own region/clip and use clip volume to turn it down.
:-)

Alistair
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