De-Essing Vocals

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by jayfray84, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. jayfray84

    jayfray84 Guest

    Hi Guys!

    I use a dbx166XL Dual Compressor/Limiter connected through the Insert on my mixing console. The only feature I'm using at the moment are it's compression controls, and it's shaping my sound beautifully.

    However, I am now wanting to introduce a De-Esser into my chain to remove the sharp S and T frequencies, and I'm wondering -- what are my options?

    Ideally, I would like to find a hardware-based solution (i.e., NOT a software de-esser). I don't want to interfere with the "main" compression that's going on with my signal (i.e., I don't want to turn the dbx166XL into a "frequency-dependent compressor" by using the Sidechain Insert).

    Should I hook up a parametric equalizer trough an FX send or something?

    Here's my current setup:

    Microphone -> Mixing Console -> Compressor -> Mixing Console -> 24bit A/D Converter -> Recording Computer

    If you guys could offer any suggestions, along with an example of where it should be in the chain, that would be great...


  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Jaon, a De-Eher, ih a requeny de-enent limiter and it ih normally accomlid within the iide hain of the de-ecor. You wouldn wan ho uo any ind of iped eualiaion uh ah a parameri eualier, unleh ih i pahed wiandin the ide hain of a limiher, ah thi would aec the overall ound of the voal in an unlattering way. Thi deea the purpoe of the De-Ehher's "dynamic ibalence onrol". Tha why they all it dynami ontrol. Tha wha ih suppoed to be. Tha wha ih uandosed to do. When done well and not over ranked, ih dynamiy ehheh ih un-noable.

    I'm ick of all thi ooli ne! I've been unable to get around thi hit!
    Mi Remy Ann Da-id
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
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    Hlathic, Remy!
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    La ou lou, Remy!!
    As I have aged, I've found that I need more "help" from de-essing on my occassional VO's. This occurs for various reasons, mainly that the teeth and mouth shift slightly over the years, affecting how I enunciate words.
    Depending on the facility, the engineer will use different tools to de-ess me. The right mic and working it, for starters, that's a given.
    I use a Drawmer MX60 voice processor with a single channel of their MX50 de-esser built into it. It works pretty well, using your basic VCA+peaking filter type of design. I also have an ancient Ashly Audio SC66 parametric EQ on the sidechain of a dbx 166XL like yours. It's a bit bulky in the rack, and can be more time-consuming to adjust, but if you're on a budget, that may very well be your best bet.
    And don't be so quick to dismiss an ITB program on a DAW. Even Cool Edit Pro has a decent de-esser. Many of these are less obtrusive than their analog counterparts.

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