I’m always on the lookout for the ultimate de-esser. Thankfully, many new ones have come out lately that have upped the ante over the old analog versions that we’ve been accustomed to. One of these is the brand new T-De–Esser Pro plugin from Techivation. Let’s take a look.
Most traditional de-essers just have frequency and sensitivity controls, but as the processors have entered the digital domain the controls have gotten a lot more specific to the task at hand – getting rid of sibilance on voices or instruments. As a result, we now have a lot more sophisticated parameters at our fingertips, which is good because de-essing is generally a delicate task that requires a deft hand to make it work well without affecting the original program too much.
T-De-Esser Pro provides a high-level of sophistication yet it’s fairly easy to use. A large Processing control in the center of the plug sets the threshold and lets you dial in the right amount. Intensity is basically the ratio control, and Sharpness sets the slope between the de-essed frequency range and the unprocessed frequencies, a very nice feature that helps you focus the de-essing process. Attack and Release parameters aren’t seen much on de-essers, but again, these can be useful in helping you to dial in the process so it works without hearing it.
Lookahead is really useful, as the processor actually finds the offending frequencies before you hear them, while the frequency range allows you to dial in offending frequency area. You can also audition both the de-essed frequency range, and the areas around it, a parameter that you don’t often see on many de-essers.
There’s also mix, quality (oversampling), stereo link, an MS mode selector, and a saturation control that helps smooth out the sound by adding a bit of color.
By the way, although you can dial in the exact frequency range manually with the slider, there are also 4 preset buttons for Low-hi, Mid-hi, High and Hi-end, along with a hi-cut filter.
Techivation T-De-Esser Pro is one of the new generation of processor plugins and certainly worth checking out. If the aim is to decrease or eliminate sibilance, then you want to do it as unobtrusively as possible and that calls for as much control over the signal as possible, and that’s what you’ll get here.
The plugin is $90, but there’s a free 14 day trial version with no feature limitations.
You can find out more here.