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De-essers what do you like? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 8th February 2003
  #1
Little Labs
 
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Thread Starter
De-essers what do you like?

I have been doing experimenting with de-essing circuits in my lab. For my clients in the studio (Chalice here in Hollywood) it's pretty much a dbx 902 or nothing at all. They don't care so much for SPL, they build killer stuff but no one seems to dig the de-esser, or maybe you use it and there is a trick to make it work better...I dunno. What do you use and like ? What features would you like to see and no de-Fer jokes.heh
Old 8th February 2003
  #2
I've never been big on Dessers.

I prefer to use a "esses smoother"type comp on mixdown and build the vocal backup with some EQ and automation.

I always thought the 902 was ok. I did like the Desser in the Voxbox though(that and the direct input are the only things). I think valley had a decent one also.

Sometimes a little sidechain combo does the trick.

Hey sometimes a sibilant vocal is part of the vocalists sound.
Old 8th February 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
jazzius's Avatar
 

Would it be possible to build an analogue dynamic eq to deal with sibilance?...

...like a normal parametric but the gain will be automatically dipped when the signal in the sidechain (which is passed thru a bandpass filter which has the same settings as the main eq (mechanically linked???) pass above a certain threshold (with a fairly hard knee) .....

...instead of a ratio you have a negative (or positive for expansion) gain which may (or may not) be reached according to the attack/release settings..?...hmmm...clear as mud methinks
Old 9th February 2003
  #4
Ditto!

902

& the one in the Manley VoxBox

(just had an idea) I think a look ahead 'Audio Suite" software plug in for Pro Tools would be great, (Audio Suite is non-realtime prosessing)

Make it use most of the power of a new G4 - I could care less, it would be cool!
Old 9th February 2003
  #5
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
I think valley had a decent one also.
Yeah, it's called the 415. I like mine a lot but sometimes I get distortion depending on what's feeding it. I think it's unbalanced in and balanced out or maybe the oppisate. Either way, it's wired in my rack as unbalanced and I try to run it through the console insert whenever I can.

I tend to like stuff that's simple and works great. The Valley is one of those things. Just three knobs, link and a switch to let you listen to the sidechain and bypass it.
Old 9th February 2003
  #6
Gear addict
 
Etnier's Avatar
 

About the 902's

FWIW: I learned somthing interesting about 902's the other day. I had two in my studio, and bought a 3rd for $99.00 on eBay . When it arrived, it turned out to be totally different from the others- obviously older, and with a completely different physical setup. This older one had a shiny black face with aluminum side trim like the older NR boards had, instead of matte black anodized aluminum. The circuit boards could not have been more different. The older one contains what is probably a standard dbx VCA module in a small aluminum can. I really doubt they share much in circuitry. Works just fine...
The link referenced above contains some rough photos. I could take and post more if anyone wants...
Anyone know about the differences in topology between the two devices?
Old 9th February 2003
  #7
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Jonathan... what would like to see in a "de-esser"? Well... I don't know if it's possible to do... but I would love to have one that picked out the offending frequency/frequencies all on it's own.

I have no problem giving it a "range" in which to work... both from a 'frequency' and 'threshold' perspective... but I'm really kind of tired of sitting around with the offending passage looping while I try to isolate the specific offending frequency with something like a GML 8200... it's a time consuming pain in the arse.

The other thing I'd love to see [hear?] is rather the de-esser compressing the entire signal... is to have it add 180' out of phase information to the offending frequency [and only the offending frequency] in "real time".

Yeah... I'm in the club that ****ing hates 'de-essers' in general... but every now and again some dumbass mother****er records something that I have to mix with an "ssss" problem... and they are indeed a necessary evil.

Of them, like your clients, I have found the 902 to be the pick of the litter... but having to run my lead vocal through a DBX compressor is not one of my favorite activities.

There is also a way to do an automated "de-esser" with 2 channels on an SSL or desk with the link function engaged... which isn't all that much better than the 902 as you're still running through the channel strip compressor [which has all the warmth and charm of a DBX 160X as far as I'm concerned]...

So... I don't know if any of the previous suggestions are worth a ****... but they're somthing I've wondered about... and something tells me that with the power of modern digital technology... it may indeed be possible [and with no more than a sample or two's worth of latency].

Did any of that make sense?
Old 9th February 2003
  #8
Gear addict
 
cymatics's Avatar
 

I really like the de-ess on the Orban 424-A. One knob for 'more' or 'less'. That about how complicated I like a de-esser to be.

- jon
Old 9th February 2003
  #9
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher

The other thing I'd love to see [hear?] is rather the de-esser compressing the entire signal... is to have it add 180' out of phase information to the offending frequency [and only the offending frequency] in "real time".
If I'm not mistaken, this is how the SPL unit works...
Never laid hands/ears on one, though.

(From the website):

..."To solve this difficult problem, SPL has developed a new circuit design that combines ease of use with natural sound characteristics and the highest level of technical performance. SPL’s Auto Dynamic De-Esser monitors the S-frequency spectrum and automatically detects the sibilant frequencies. The de-ess bandwidth is set so narrowly around the range of the sibilance that neighbouring frequencies remain unaffected. Input processed via this frequency band is mixed back into the main signal phase-inverted so that only the S-sounds are cancelled where the S-reduction controller determines the intensity of the phase-cancelled mix. The result is a neutral, unobtrusive and extremely effective de-essing process. Even at high S-reduction values the de-essing has a negligible effect on the character and timbre of the voice...."
Old 9th February 2003
  #10
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
The BSS DPR901 came in handy many times. It's like a swiss army knife for ESSES or POP problems. (lots of cool lights too)
Attached Thumbnails
De-essers what do you like?-dpr901ii.jpg  
Old 9th February 2003
  #11
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paterno's Avatar
 

Ditto on the BSS box for me as well. Different principle of operation than the dbX. Straight band limited compression vs. the comparing circuit in the 902. When it doesn't do the job, I go for a 902.


It may not be applicable here for you Jonathan, but the Waves de-esser works pretty well in the digital eviron.


Cheers,
John


PS -- The IBP is ruling!...
Old 9th February 2003
  #12
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
The BSS DPR901 came in handy many times. It's like a swiss army knife for ESSES or POP problems. (lots of cool lights too)
are you not running through the vipre anymore on slow rise? i really dug that when i was there to calm the essses in that track. i dont come across any de-essers i like at all. its such a finicky thing. although the last mix i had to do was full of that crap, when the artist came back in to track some new vox on some other things i used an RCA77 that worked beautifully for his ess problem. ribbons.
Old 9th February 2003
  #13
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
are you not running through the vipre anymore on slow rise? i really dug that when i was there to calm the essses in that track. i dont come across any de-essers i like at all. its such a finicky thing. although the last mix i had to do was full of that crap, when the artist came back in to track some new vox on some other things i used an RCA77 that worked beautifully for his ess problem. ribbons.
Yes, I still use the VIPRE when tracking, but if the esses are severe or in a mixing situation where the bad stuff is already on tape/disk the 901 does a great job. It also has a "below" function which raises a certain frequency when the level goes below the set threshhold. I also have used the Drawmer MX 50 (?) in some cases. The automation on the DMX console does a great job on taking out unwanted esses or pops, by dipping that particular frequency for exactly the time when it is happening. It's my preferred method if there are not too many occurances.

Johnathan, are you planning on building something like a de-esser?
Old 9th February 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 

I started a thread "Why can't anybody make a KILLER de-esser?" some time back.

There may be some food for thought in that thread as well.

Regards,
Brian T
Old 9th February 2003
  #15
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
I started a thread "Why can't anybody make a KILLER de-esser?" some time back.

There may be some food for thought in that thread as well.

Regards,
Brian T
Check it out...

"Here's the link Brian was talking about"
Old 10th February 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

I like the cheap and dirty pencil trick for deessing!
Just place a pencil in fornt of the mic and it will cancel out the nasty sibilans!

You've got to know your physics! heh
Old 10th February 2003
  #17
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

clm dynamics dynamics eq is THE swissarmy knife of dessing/eq

also i like the de-esser of the ISA Focusrite 430 and 220.

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 10th February 2003
  #18
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Nutmeg II.
I like the cheap and dirty pencil trick for deessing!
Just place a pencil in fornt of the mic and it will cancel out the nasty sibilans!

You've got to know your physics! heh
I thought that was to get rid of low end pops. Well, you learn something everyday...
Old 10th February 2003
  #19
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

nah, the pencil doesnt work... you got to "waive" away sibilance... although that doesnt work either.

mic choice and pre choice... start there. if its down on tape already, its a bitch.
Old 10th February 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

I'll verify that pencil trick on the weekend!

BTW I realy like the sound of the esses and cymbales on old vinyl records. How did they get that sound? Its like a distortion of the HF with a phassig efx going on.
I'll bet thats because of the ms-coding of the records, is it?!?
Old 10th February 2003
  #21
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guittarzzan's Avatar
a slight tangent from topic

Straying a little bit from topic. I have a pet peeve and am curious if anyone else agrees with me. On Linkin Park's debut cd, the lead "singer" has "esses" that frickin smack ya in the face and become very irritating to listen to material. Anyone else heard this album and agree?
Steve
Old 10th February 2003
  #22
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loudist's Avatar
 

The pencil in front of the mic capsule is for reduceing 'plosions, not sibilance.

An aside; ever use the DBX on accoustic guitars, especially ones with pickups?

Tames that pick transient!
Old 10th February 2003
  #23
This is a question not a statement.......
With the advent of the DAW, isn't the dedicated deeser more or less redundant.
Old 11th February 2003
  #24
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Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chrisso
This is a question not a statement.......
With the advent of the DAW, isn't the dedicated deeser more or less redundant.
Well, we do fades/gain changes for deessing within the DAW for quite some time now, but it's time consuming and dedicated hard-/software would be cool if you have to do a quick job.
I had times when I edited the esses and find my self turn down the sh and f also and in the other case we weren't able to do a mix after manualy deessing some 20 tracks of vocals!
Does that Hihat need some deessing?!? Need more high end on that Snare?!?

Any how the manual edit does sound best!

But still I like the vinyl distotion sound on the ess and hihats/cymbales! I would realy like a box that could do that: Drive silbiants into distortion-phasing, without affecting the othe frequencies. Have a listen to some old records it sounds realy pleasant and present!
Old 11th February 2003
  #25
I have a PT rig that goes out on rental. My friend at the rental co delivered it back to me one day and for fun he left a Tina Turner vocal session that had been done on it - on there for me to check out.

I had my rig hooked up to a Pro Control. Her vocal channel's fader was smashing up and down at high speed, No way were these manualy made fader moves. It was as if the devil himself had a hold of the fader! Looking at the edit screeen you could see the de-eesing curves the PT engineer had 'drawn'.

It sounded perfect.

By-passing the volume rides she sounded like a hissing spitting wild mountain cat!

Get down Tina!

Old 11th February 2003
  #26
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Did you save or erase that Tina Session?
Old 11th February 2003
  #27
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by blackcatdigi
If I'm not mistaken, this is how the SPL unit works...
Never laid hands/ears on one, though.
Yeah... that sounds like the ticket... but I've never laid hands on any SPL stuff either.

Hopefully I'm not going to sound like too much of a snot... but I don't chase manufacturers to try their gear. If they give me a call and send me the thing to try... and have the patience to wait until I'm done trying it... great.

If they don't call me about trying their stuff... there are damn few instances where I'll call them. I reckon it's just a defence mechanism as I probably get called by half a dozen manufacturers/distributors a month about trying their ****... which may not sound like a whole lot... but you try to seriously evaluate half a dozen units a month when you're only able to "engineer" part time... it's a bitch!!

FWIW... I've heard great things about SPL product... and it's one of the lines I would love to play with from top to bottom... but as it stands, if my phone don't ring I know it's them...
Old 11th February 2003
  #28
Lives for gear
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher

FWIW... I've heard great things about SPL product... and it's one of the lines I would love to play with from top to bottom... but as it stands, if my phone don't ring I know it's them...
Agreed.
(In a former life), I was briefly associated with Beyerdynamics (who at the time were the US distributors for SPL). It was all I could do to get a few pieces of lit and a pricelist from SPL... They produce some great products (apparently) but their marketing department is not what I would consider 'aggressive'...

IOW, don't hold your breath waiting for that call.
Old 11th February 2003
  #29
Love that Tina Turner storyheh

I was working on a documantary film recently.
There was some important dialogue from a crowd scene filmed on a digi domestic camera.
A lot of it was distorted.
The sound guy went into Pro Tools and re-drew all the flat lining square waves to smaller curves.
It took him over half an hour to do a minutes worth, but the result was miraculous.
Old 11th February 2003
  #30
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Fibes's Avatar
 

Miracles cost money.

I like the 902, i wish it wasn't as grainy...

The concept of phasing the siblance out "smartly" would be my ticket as well. Can we get one that recognizes lip noise too?
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