Thread: Signal flow/de-essing position

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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Signal flow/de-essing position

    ymmv, and whatever makes it easier to get it done, by all means. theres no one way.
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  2. #22
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    Default Signal flow/de-essing position

    well, they can work in the opposite way also. you can always find the annoying frequency and notch it out,
    Sometimes that works, but it affects the entire track, even when there's no sssssssss. It can be a little baby with the bath water
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Signal flow/de-essing position

    I'm not going to lie, I'm too lazy to automate down particular sibilant instances in a song.



    Generally, I see eq and compression as exasperbating sibilants,
    Exacerbating?

    "Exasperbating" brings up an unwelcome image of flogging the pickle to no avail.....


    FWIW, I almost never use de-essers, preferring to just re-record the vocal most of the time with different mic position or choice. However we recently had a song with a great vocal take except for a few nasty sibilents and actually decided to try one on my ADR SCAMP De-esser modules, which had previously been gathering dust. (Knew I'd bought the damn things for some reason!) Actually worked a treat. My take is that there's a lot of difference between de-essers, and some just suck. What's key is tunability and the subtlety of the compression circuit's action.If the compressor's too aggressive you're gonna get those nasty artifacts like lisping and you need to be able to accurately tune the range of the device's action to the problem frequency in the track.

    I forget if we put in before or after the compressor.

    The effect of EQ on sibilants depends a lot on what type of EQ you have. Digital EQ does not work like hardware EQ and solid state "gyrator" based analog EQ does not work like a high quality passive inductor based EQ - or like a simple non-parametric SS EQ, for that matter. (By "works like" I mean the effect on the sound, not anything electrical.)

    An inductor based passive type EQ like a real Pultec or the vintage Altec/Langevin design that the Motown Mastering EQ was based on are capable of boosts in the presence range that do not appreciably increase sibilance. This is why such EQs are in such demand. This is also why those plugins with pretty pictures of Pultecs in their UI are flat-out lying to you - there is no way a digital EQ will ever recreate the sonics of a real Pultec or similar device.

    (Note that there were some EQs made with cheap, substandard inductors that really sounded like crap - the 1/3 octave Altec Acousta-Voicette comes to mind. Little dinky coils don't cut it, you need big, beefy, hand wound air core coils to achieve superior tone. This is a case where you do NOT want iron in your inductors.)
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: Signal flow/de-essing position

    Turning this upside down a bit, what are you doing with vocals that you only wish had some siblance? The dead sound - like they were recorded with a dynamic mic dipped in molasses who's innards only move if the SPL is over 100. Got a couple of tracks like that, no idea how they were actually recorded and yes I'd much prefer to have them re-record, but ... humor me?

    So far, I've landed on an exciter before the eq (so the eq has a little more to work with, and to control what I get from the exciter) and used an expander/gate to drive the reverb - so that there is more reverb tail when there is some tone for it to grab onto and blend in more naturally
  5. #25
    Highway to Hell is for Children Area 51 gardener
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    Default Re: Signal flow/de-essing position

    Turning this upside down a bit, what are you doing with vocals that you only wish had some siblance? The dead sound - like they were recorded with a dynamic mic dipped in molasses who's innards only move if the SPL is over 100. Got a couple of tracks like that, no idea how they were actually recorded and yes I'd much prefer to have them re-record, but ... humor me?

    So far, I've landed on an exciter before the eq (so the eq has a little more to work with, and to control what I get from the exciter) and used an expander/gate to drive the reverb - so that there is more reverb tail when there is some tone for it to grab onto and blend in more naturally
    Every once in a while I get tracks where I can only wonder how and why it was recorded that way. And sometimes it turns out it was the true direction, so I need to find a way to make it work, and maybe there would be a way.
    And sometimes there is no way, and all I can do is make it suck in somewhat cooler way.
    On dull tracks a bit of distortion sometimes helps. Also, on a few occasions (mostly guitats, not vocals though) I was saved by Acon Defilter. Maybe you can check it on vocals.
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: Signal flow/de-essing position

    I don't think I've ever heard a track that had too little sibilance, aside from maybe one that had been vengefully de-essed by some some ne'er-do-well.
    I've heard plenty of too dark, and even more with too many low mids. Usually the weapon of choice is just eq though, and (much less frequently) some form of light distortion.

    But as to the point, de-essing at the end of the chain. I'm back to where I started. It's just more effective and easier. Maybe there's an argument for subtitle nature of having it earlier in the chain, but it's just less obviously effective, sooo, fuck it.
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  7. #27
    Most friends are "on the inside". Skate America finalist
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    Default Re: Signal flow/de-essing position

    Every once in a while I get tracks where I can only wonder how and why it was recorded that way. And sometimes it turns out it was the true direction, so I need to find a way to make it work,
    exactly. and honestly, id rather a vocal track be a little on the darker side. i find its a lot easier to deal with that than super-sibilance tearing your head off. there are plenty of 'darker' vocals on records I've heard that sit very nicely. seems like you can sit them a little higher in the mix without it being distracting.
  8. #28
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    Default Re: Signal flow/de-essing position

    I used to put the de-esser first, nowadays I almost always put it last. Putting it before the compression, especially if you use wide-band mode, seems to be counterproductive, you have to use more drastic settings on the de-esser and things start sounding weird. I'm using the Airwindows de-esser, which has about the least amount of side effect on the audio passed, as anything I've come across.


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