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What is a De-Esser?

A De-Esser is one of the most important vocal tools for controlling dynamics in terms of sibilance. Read more to find out its use and importance.

De-essing is a process used in music production to reduce the level of sibilance, or the harsh, "sss" sound, in a vocal recording. Sibilance can be a problem for many vocalists, particularly those who sing in the upper range, and can make a recording sound harsh and unpleasant.

De-essing is typically achieved by using a dynamic equalizer, which automatically reduces the level of the sibilant frequencies only when they exceed a certain threshold. The dynamic EQ can be set to focus only on the specific frequencies that are causing the problem, such as the "sss" sound around 8-10 kHz. When these frequencies become too pronounced, the dynamic EQ will reduce their level, making the recording sound smoother and more pleasant.

De-essing can be a complex process, and it's important to be careful when using it, as too much de-essing can make a vocal sound unnatural and muffled. However, when used judiciously, de-essing can greatly improve the clarity and tonality of a vocal recording.

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