Randy Coppinger wrote a great article on de-essing. He does a great job of explaining why sibilance is a problem, and how to deal with it using various methods.

Randy asked me to chip in on the topic, so I created this video on how to create a de-esser in Studio One. Studio One doesn’t come with a de-esser plugin per se, but you can build one in about 60 seconds using their MultiBand Dynamics plugin.

Here’s the video:


And here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

How to build a De-Esser in Studio One

  1. Open MultiBand Dynamics.
  2. Create a 2-band Compressor
  3. “Deactivate” the lower band (Ratio 1:1, Threshold all the way up, DON’T use the bypass button)
  4. “Listen” to the upper band and adjust frequency.
  5. Set attack and release to something fast (5-10ms), and use a fairly high ratio (4:1).
  6. While listening to full signal, adjust threshold of high band until sibilance is under control. (You know you’ve gone too far when the singer sounds like he/she has a lisp.)

Jon Tidey over at Audio Geek Zine is also joining in on the fun. Check out his article on Advanced DeEssing Techniques using Reaper.