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Using the Logic Pro Compressor as a De-Esser
Old 12th April 2009
  #1
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Using the Logic Pro Compressor as a De-Esser

Using the Logic Compressor as a De-Esser
This has also been posted on Logic Pro Help :: Logic Pro Forums in this thread: Logic Pro Help :: View topic - Using the Logic Compressor as a De-Esser

What and why
The bundled de-esser in Logic Pro is not that good for vocals. Since it can't function in wideband mode it tends to make the vocal lisp very quickly.

This preset does a much better job in my opinion though it's built on a very simple technique: using a resonant high pass filter in the internal sidechain of the Logic compressor.

How to use the preset during mixing
1) Solo the vocal track and loop a couple of bars. Find a part that contains lots of sibilance ("s" and "t" sounds).
2) Switch the Activity parameter from "On" to "Listen", and tune the Frequency parameter until the sibilance is worst. Switch Activity back to "On".
3) Lower the threshold parameter until the compressor ducks on sibilance but not during the rest of the vocal. This is very important to avoid overdoing it.
4) Adjust the ratio if necessary to make the ducking less (lower ratio) or more agressive (higher ratio). The default ratio of 10:1 is fairly aggressive but sounds great.

How to counter a wide sibilance area
Normally a sibilance problem occurs within a specific area, e.g. around 7 kHz. If you're having problems with both "sss" and the lower frequency "chh" sounds then try lowering the Q value. Go from the preset default of Q=5 to around 2 or even lower. Do this while in the "Listen" mode in step 2 above. You need to re-adjust your threshold after doing this.

Where to insert a de-esser
Insert a de-esser early or first in the vocal chain, before equalizing or regular compression. This will give you the most natural sounding result.

However, if you're boosting lots of highs in your vocal eq then you may get better results by inserting the de-esser after the equalizer but still before regular compression. You need to re-adjust your de-esser threshold when doing this, and you could possibly be getting a few more "false positives", i.e. ducking on normal parts of the vocal.

Nerdy stuff you can skip
I've chosen a high pass filter and not a parametric eq in order to detect from the specified frequency and upwards, though it focuses on the specified frequency due to the resonance caused by the high Q value in the filter. The best of both worlds then.

Since the compressor works in wideband during the actual ducking you won't get the lisping artifacts associated with many splitband de-essers. But it also means this de-esser preset is most useful on vocals. If you're trying to remove a fret noise in a guitar recording you may want to use Logic's own de-esser plug-in.

Download and install
Links | Audio Articles, Technical Tips, Download Presets

Move the de-esser preset (.pst file) to this location:

Mac HD > Users > YourUserName > Library > Application Support > Logic > Plug-in Settings > Compressor

Audio examples
Original vocal without de-essing

Same vocal with de-essing preset
Notice how the "s" and "t" sounds are more controlled and lower in a pleasant way without lisping, and the rest of the vocal is untouched.

Using the original vocal WAV file clip you can experiment with the preset yourself. The WAV files are included in the above ZIP download.

Screenshot
Old 12th April 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Thanks!
Old 12th April 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Cheers for this! It works amazingly well on my voice. Beautiful! ;-)
Old 12th April 2009
  #4
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
That's great!

I'm going to update the first post with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to tune and use this preset very soon, so those with less de-esser experience can get the maximum benefit too.
Old 12th April 2009
  #5
Damn L, you did it again with logic stock plugin!
I try'd it and it works 9 out of 10 on French Rap (where alot alot alot SSSS'ss are and hell difficult to get it right).
A winner concept L for me!
Big thanks again.
Old 12th April 2009
  #6
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMauce View Post
I try'd it and it works 9 out of 10 on French Rap (where alot alot alot SSSS'ss are and hell difficult to get it right).
A winner concept L for me!
Yeah, also on rap you need a good de-esser to keep things under control. Especially in a language like French that has both sibilants and lots of shibilants. This preset seems to work well with all kinds of vocal material.
Old 13th April 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Agzilla's Avatar
 

Cool....

This works like a charm... i got your other SSLike presets too, your a real asset to a place like this... good lookin' out man....

I'll be getting good use out of this...




Respect.

Zz.
Old 13th April 2009
  #8
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Cheers!

Thanks to fader8 for providing the filter analyzing graph.



Notice that the gain parameter is inactive. This resonant boost is only caused by the Q setting in the high pass filter.

I've added the following to the original post:

How to counter a wide sibilance area
Normally a sibilance problem occurs within a specific area, e.g. around 7 kHz. If you're having problems with both "sss" and the lower frequency "chh" sounds then try lowering the Q value. Go from the preset default of Q=5 to around 2 or even lower. Do this while in the "Listen" mode in step 2 in the guide above. You need to re-adjust your threshold after doing this.
Old 13th April 2009
  #9
Thanks!

Are the "SSL" presets here, or on the Logic forum?
Old 13th April 2009
  #10
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Old 13th April 2009
  #11
Old 13th April 2009
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Thanks Lagerfeldt!!!

I love the presets SSL for Logic and now this De-Esser!!!
Old 13th April 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Insomniaclown's Avatar
 

Thanks for this tutorial! I have never known what t do with that bottom tab on the logic compressor. Now it all makes sense.
Old 13th April 2009
  #14
Gear nut
 

Thanks!
(and I was just missing my FishFilets the other day with my new MacPro too! )
Old 27th April 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
C Heat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
That's great!

I'm going to update the first post with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to tune and use this preset very soon, so those with less de-esser experience can get the maximum benefit too.
Send it here.

You could make an easy $150.00
Old 27th April 2009
  #16
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Thank you for the suggestion. I've never heard of it before but it looks like a very interesting concept!

I don't think I'm going to be using that service, however. One of the requirements are "Your tutorial must be your original work and not published elsewhere."

While my tutorials are my original work, I like to publish them here on Gearslutz, Logic Pro Help, Wikiaudio, and my own forum Lydmaskinen - Alt om Lydteknik og Musikbranche | Forum (in Danish).

This way the maximum amount of people can get the benefit from my tutorials for free. While I do not get any money for posting these free tutorials I do get a lot of goodwill which is worth a lot more than $150 to me.
Old 27th April 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
C Heat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
While I do not get any money for posting these free tutorials I do get a lot of goodwill which is worth a lot more than $150 to me.
Good for you Lagerfeldt

If I ever switch to Logic I'll definitely check your generous public offerings

Old 18th June 2009
  #18
Gear interested
 

Problem with the settings

It's just a problem with your settings...after applying your preset it sounds like the sound (vocals) jumps up and down in volume. Have you noticed this? Is it a way to overcome this?

Excuse my writing, english is not my native launge.

/Tom
Old 19th June 2009
  #19
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Did you use the provided preset file?

...or did you input the values yourself using the screenshot? I'm wondering if you forgot to set something correctly such as the sidechain.

Did you adjust the frequency in the extended parameters section as explained in the provided guide?

Since the preset will only react to material in a narrow frequency range around the sibilance area, the compressor should not make vocals jump at all - unless you have excessive high frequency material in your recording all the time.

Since this presets does its detection in a narrow frequency area but the actual ducking in broadband (which explains why it can sound so natural) it also means it's not a split band ducker. On a normal vocal recording it will sound very natural when set correctly.
Old 10th July 2009
  #20
Gear interested
 

Hello Lagerfeldt!! This is my first post on Gearslutz. Is there anything out there that's better than this, 'cause this thing is actually killer An elegantly created solution to De-Essing in Logic Pro 8. Beautifully explained, and wonderful graphs by fader8.

Really Good Stuff, thank you!!
Old 11th July 2009
  #21
Gear Head
 
makesijoseph's Avatar
 

Thumbs up very nice

works really well on my vocals
Old 11th July 2009
  #22
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Quote:
An elegantly created solution to De-Essing in Logic Pro 8. Beautifully explained, and wonderful graphs by fader8.

Really Good Stuff, thank you!!
Glad you guys like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twitchy View Post
Hello Lagerfeldt!! This is my first post on Gearslutz. Is there anything out there that's better than this, 'cause this thing is actually killer
Well, there's the Waves Renaissance De-Esser, the Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser, and the Eiosis E2Deesser. I use my own Logic preset or the Renaissance in wideband mode.
Old 11th July 2009
  #23
Gear Addict
 

sounds de-essed but theres a little meat gone from the original take. like to here it in context with the music too.
Old 11th July 2009
  #24
Lives for gear
 

See, now that's awesome. Thanks so much for that. I'm so embarassed, but I didn't even know that the comp had a drop down menu at the bottom with all those options...opens up a whole new world for me...BTW the adlimiter has something similar at the bottom and is extremely useful....thanks again L.
Old 12th July 2009
  #25
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by glissando View Post
See, now that's awesome. Thanks so much for that. I'm so embarassed, but I didn't even know that the comp had a drop down menu at the bottom with all those options...opens up a whole new world for me...BTW the adlimiter has something similar at the bottom and is extremely useful....thanks again L.
Thanks. In fact many of Logic's plug-in have this dropdown menu or other hidden features, such as the EQ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidorange View Post
theres a little meat gone from the original take..
No, the rest of the vocal is unchanged in that regard.
Old 17th July 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Lagerfeldt, I tried this today on a tough vocal and I must say: THANK YOU! The results with this are highly satisfying. The reduction is really transparent, whithout unwanted artifacts.
Old 28th October 2009
  #27
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
That's great thumbsup
Old 28th February 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 
elmolemon's Avatar
 

I just wanted to thank you for this one!

I just stumbled across this thread yesterday and two instances of the logic compressor with your preset (slightly adjusted) solved the problem with an highly problematic vocal take!

I simply love logic and its possibilities and presets like this one or your take on the SSL-compressor show how far one can get with the logic-stock-tools, as long as you know what you are doing!
Old 28th February 2010
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Yeah, thanks for this one. I came across this a few months ago, and I have been VERY disappointed with the software de-essers I've tried, so having another option helps.

What has been tremendously helpful too is combining this with another gem I've picked up: de-essing the reverb send rather than the vocal track. Often, the reverb adds a terrible amount of high end bite to the sibilances. If you can have all that "air" on the track overall, but keep it from biting in the sibilances, it tends to give a more even feel.

I've found more often than not that I get a much more natural sound by de-essing the send to the vocal reverb while letting the full vocal take come through... of course there are times where the source track is just too painful in spots.
Old 28th February 2010
  #30
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeAl View Post
What has been tremendously helpful too is combining this with another gem I've picked up: de-essing the reverb send rather than the vocal track. Often, the reverb adds a terrible amount of high end bite to the sibilances. If you can have all that "air" on the track overall, but keep it from biting in the sibilances, it tends to give a more even feel.
Yes very useful, though I recommend de-essing both the vocal (if necessary) and the reverb send.

For those who aren't familiar with the trick: simply insert a de-esser on the reverb bus before the reverb insert. This de-esses the signal going into the reverb but not the actual reverb output or the original vocal track.

You can often de-ess massive amounts on the reverb send without any sacrifice.
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