De-Esser Plugins

What are your go to plugins for Deessing?

Currently I have/use:
Tonmann Deesser
DigitalFish Phone Spitfish
FabFilter Pro DS

I have seen/used the Bob Clearmount De-Essing trick, but for me right now the plugins serve the purpose more at my lack of skill level.

IK de-esser is what I have, though if I ever encountered a situation where I wasn’t happy with it I’d probably use a band of TDR Nova.

My only real complain with the IK one is that the threshold only goes down to -40dB or something like that. Sometimes, that’s not enough if the part isn’t loud.

Used to use Spitfish, but it doesn’t work with my system.

Sometimes the Eiosis one, or Pro-DS, but I usually automate a gain plugin before any compression and use that. Can be easily altered when you’ve processed the vocal more/less later and doesn’t affect your post processing track automation. Most effective, artifact-free, controllable way of doing it for me…

De-essers are among the easiest of the plugin types to use. Simply point the De-esser at the offending frequency and lower the threshold until you hear it start to go away. Basically, get rid of the S’s, T’s, and Z’s, but take care not to damage the source. Usually de-essers go toward the beginning of the signal chain.

I use the Waves Renaissance DS on just about everything. Just because I’m used to it. Have a ton of others though…to many to name. For hardware, I like the BSS DPR-402. The Manley Voxbox also has a nice de-esser.

May be odd to some, but I have found the McDsp 400AE or MB8000 to handle De-essing rather well,
Also I use the other functions they have, since I’m right there with it,

I don’t de-ess usually, but if i would have to, Lisp from Sleepy Time would be my go-to. It does the job automatically with satisfactory results. Tonnman is not bad also.

Spitfish here. I’ve never used any other.

Eosis Deesser 2 from the Slate bundle is great. Tape sims are also an excellent Deesser.


Eosis one is really easy/cool/efficient

I use Izotope Alloy 2 mostly, I have used this since Mr Drury reviewed it on RR and i still use it. Great channel strip.

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I used Voxformer for quite a while on vocals, and used its built in de-ess function. But like @SoundCandy, I’ve been using Alloy2 (and Nectar 2) from Izotope for a while now, and their included de-ess tools are very good. I don’t need them often, but when I do, I pretty much stick to the Izotope stuff these days.

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I do most of my de-essing manually.
But I have had success with “stacking” a couple of de-essers.
I really like ToneBoosters de-esser for fast upper end (8-10K) de-essing and use Waves Ren De=esser for lower work 4-6K.
TDR Nova works really well with a bell filter set to 4-6K and a shelf above that. I actually like the old version of Nova as a bell de-esser on its own.
Waves C6 and reaXcomp and multiband compressors that work great with a lot of control.
You can also use a tape sim to smooth out esses in a more natural way, or right after a real de-esser. It makes it less noticeable.
I will normally throw a de-esser on the track from the start and overdo it. Then I go into the waveform and edit what I hear hitting hard. The de-esser(s) that I start out with may end up staying on the track when I’m done editing, but the setting will be very light by that time.
But one BIG caution: Once you start de-essing, you will get very sensitized to “s”. So do your thing… walk away and check back later with fresh ears… Attthk me how I know… :slight_smile:
Have fun


Yeth indeed! … Oh, just thought of another: Fabfilter ProMB works fantastically as a de-esser.

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What do you think of the ML8000 @TheRocker? I have the ML4000 and use it a lot, have probably used it a time or two as a DeEsser but will try it again now that you mention it. It looks like the ML8000 is very similar to the ML4000, just 4 more (extra) bands and maybe a few new tweaks. 4 bands has been plenty for me, 8 seems like it could be overkill, but then you don’t have to use them all but they are there if you want to.

Hi from - France!
I prefer to use dynamic tools most of time in music.
So I take multiband comp for de-essing (UAD or the multiband comp within Samplitude)
It’s easy to focus the band you want to smash, and you shall attenuate it in many musicals ways…

I find it difficult to comprehend that people actually discuss the various qualities of competing makes and models. It’s just de-essing folks, a 10-second job then move on to more important stuff.

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Yup, + whatever on Spitfish. Tried it, it works, never tried anything else.

Because depending on how the plugin functions it can be used to tweak other sounds than just the vocals.

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I wish, Bro… :slight_smile: Once I hear one “ess”, every other one in the mix drives me nuts.
But I use de-essers on cymbals, gtrs, synths and a bunch of other stuff, too. So I like multiple options.
Have fun

I use de-ess very sparingly. I don’t have a problem with being able to hear the “S” sounds. If it’s out of control, sure, but especially for more spare arrangements like those I typically do, I find some natural sibilance enhances the intimacy and immediacy of the vox. Just my prefs…