The Science Of Art: Tip #0002 - De-Essing Vocals

Tip 2.) De-ess vocals the grown up way: manually zoom in on the waveform and chop out the ssssibilant parts (they’re easy to recognise, as you can see from the GIF below) and reduce the clip gain on that region - around 6-8dB is usually a good starting point. You might need to apply a little crossfade to address any clicks/pops when overlapping the normal region. A little more time consuming, but by far the best method. You can probably get a whole track done in 10-15 minutes once you become proficient - rap vox may take a little longer. Don’t be lazy.

Of course, this will be ‘pre-inserts’ (i.e. before your plugin chain), so if you’re using a lot of compression and/or distortion, go right ahead and try a de-esser plugin near the end of your chain, too. 

Finally, be sure to check the sibilance once a ton of compression has been applied to the lead vox, as well as on the master bus. Once the song compressed and limited, it will become a lot more apparent.

With Love,

Ed  🎛🎚❤️