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Old 2nd May 2003
Lives for gear
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Originally posted by Dave Derr
John Paterno!

Hiya. Been listening to several albums you mixed lately and love them! I had to give up the Jeffrey Gaines CD to one of the gang here and she wont give it back. Think I should fire her?

Since this is a gear oriented crowd... i have a technical question for ya. What De-essers do you use?? I used to like the Orban and the DBx modular one, and then often used the little dBx 163's is it? They were cheap but seemed to work so well. I did this mod to them that just made sure no noise was added by the instrument jack on the front. Davd Blackmer from dBx was a genious and I was so sorry that he passed away recently. Earthworks is carrying on his legacy thank god, and Eric is one of those guys I try to spend time with at the shows.

SOooo... would u mind telling us your thoughts on de-essers? Any other tricks to getting those great vocal sounds you come up with?
Hey Dave --

You are too kind! I'll tell you what -- just to keep the peace at the company, I'll send you another copy. And you can tell her that yours has the artwork...

Thanks for your remarks on the vocal sounds. As far as de-essers, I have a few different approaches. It really depends on the situation, and the degree of de-essing needed. If it is light, I'll use the top band of a BSS 901 II 'dynamic EQ'. This is that 4 band, band limited compressor/expander. You can select a frequency, bandwidth, and amount of compression per band. If it is more serious, I still like the dBX 902. If Dave Blackmer was the guy who designed the 902, he is a genius! I have heard good things about the SPL de-esser, and I look forward to checking one out at some point.

On the digital side, if I'm using Pro Tools I will reach for the Waves de-sser plug in, which does the job well.

As far as the vocal sound, a lot of times I use a parallel compressor along with the main vocal track. Basically I take the signal on the main vocal channel, and buss it over to, quite a bit of the time, a Distressor set to pump pretty hard, and blend it in to taste with the main vocal channel. I usually EQ this a bit as well to focus the range in the main vocal I'm trying to beef up. Nothing earth shattering here, but it gets the job done.

Cheers and have fun moderating!!