De-essers. They’re so cool, but a lot of people aren’t sure exactly when or where or why to use them. Here’s a long overdue video where I explain just that. Enjoy! (And be sure to leave a comment.)

  • Nice video, Joe. It covers the subject very well.

    Have you ever thought of putting your podcast through a de-esser? Maybe it’s my crappy ipod earbuds, but I find that most of the podcasts I listen to (including a lot of audio production podcasts) suffer from terrible sibilance. Yours is better than most, but every now and then it jumps up and pokes into my eardrum.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!

    • Yup. I actually do use a De-esser on the podcast…I think… 🙂

  • Awesome video Joe, extremely helpful. Thanks again for sharing this, you got a talent for taking mixing concepts and putting them in a real-world situation where they’re useful. I’m thoroughly enjoying the MixWithUs course and learning a ton because of this!

    • Thanks Julian! I’m having fun, too.

  • David S.

    i parallel compressed my drum track and i noticed the cymbals were piercing after doing so. i ended up putting a low-pass filter on that track, but I suppose I could have used a de-esser?in my particular instance, which would benefit better?

    • Always worth a try and seeing how it sounds to the ears, de-essing isn’t just for vocals I know. If the low-pass filter tamed the piercing sound & frequencies that sounds like a good way to go, but it would seem to me that de-essing would be a cool way to tame the ringing in the higher-frequencies. I’d say give it a go next time.

    • Y’know, it’s one of those things you’d have to try. I would try a high shelf first, and just turn down all the highs a little bit. If that doesn’t work, a low-pass filter might be good, but you could end up losing the “airy-ness” of the drums/cymbals. A de-esser might actually work. I’ve used it on electric guitars before to cut down on the harshness. Also, you may want to check to see if you’re simply over-compressing the drums.

  • Great tutorial – Joe! This video on De-Essing was very helpful and I really like how you work through the song where the strong “s” is present. Not only do you explain how the plug-in works but you show how to use it and fix the problem. ***** 5 Stars my friend. Regretting not signing up for the 12 week workshop you were offering.

    Thanks for sharing this great tutorial with us,

    Mark Hewitt

    • Thanks Mark! De-essing is a super-cool tool. I just can’t believe I’ve not done something on de-essing sooner!

  • Good stuff, Joe! I’ll definitely be playing with Logic’s de-esser in the near future.

    I’m taking this to mean that you dodged the flooding, and relieved:)

    • Hey Neil. Yes, thankfully we had no flood damage. A lot of people weren’t so fortunate. Very sad.