it basically takes a copy of the vocal (or whatever you run through it), inverts the phase, and whenever it detects sibilance, it mixes a bit of that inverted phase signal back with the original, canceling out some of the sibilance.
connect the ins and outs of the combi as you see fit (since it's a combinator, it won't fit inside an existing combined rack chain, but if you drag it between devices in your chain, it will hook in right where you want it)
it has these controls:
- gain reduction indicator on the Channel Dynamics -- use this to see when the de-esser is being triggered; if it's not triggering as you want, you need to twist some of the knobs and press some of the buttons below
- focuSS -- raise this to focus the ess detection more towards the upper frequencies (if the device is triggering when it shouldn't be, on sung notes, instead of esses and other sibilant sounds)
- leSSen -- raise this to cut more of the sibilance out, and get that lovely little lithpy thound; lower it for a less aggressive de-ess sound
- threSShold -- controls the level at which the sibilance will trigger the de-esser; set it to where it's de-essing the stuff that's bugging you, and not the stuff that isn't
- DEACTIVATOR -- this mutes the inverted signal; effectively same as using the Bypass toggle
- liSSten -- mutes the NON-phase-inverted signal, so you only hear what the sibilance detection is doing (as long as the DEACTIVATOR button isn't also depressed; if it is, the entire signal will be muted)
- Gertie -- this does nothing but look pretty
- Sally -- this too does nothing but look pretty
- Ted -- Ted is useless also; he's not very attractive, but is an okay guy
I find that it works best early in the chain (like most de-essers)-- if you feed it a signal that's already heavily compressed, there's a higher likelihood that you'll raise the volume on stuff that will then trigger the de-esser when you don't want it to.
here's the combi:
any feedback would be super welcome. I think it works pretty dang well already, but I'd love to improve it more. unfortunately, it's only for v11 and up, since the Channel Dynamics is the only sidechain-able gate available as a stock device.
here's a walkthrough: