Best Workflow for Manual De-Essing?

I have several de-essing plugins but usually prefer to manage sibilance manually with volume automation instead. It’s time-consuming, but the results are pretty much perfect. For this, I use event envelopes but find them tedious to manage - four nodes for every event.

Is there a better way?

I would love to simply drag the mouse across a plosive, for example, and then dial the volume down in that area with the mouse or mouse wheel.

Is anything like this possible?

What’s your preferred method for manual de-essing?

Any advice is appreciated.

I have clip gain on key commands so I typically just cut around the ‘s’ and drop level with clip gain. Crossfade if necessary. Pretty quick.

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Yeah, the event envelopes are pretty much useless in Cubendo as of now (this is why there are frequent feature requests for “proper” clip gain"…)

I have two manual methods:
First one is similar to that from MattiasNYC, selecting the range, split event and decrease event voluem, but I have a macro for that on a key command:
Only problem is you have a static amount of “decrement Event volume”, so you might have to change it afterwards.

Second method which I actually prefer now because I don’t end up with a massively fragmented audio event is automating the threshold of a de-esser. It is rather quick to do with the selection tool and just scaling the automation to the point where the sibilance is reduced but not already an “fff”.

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I tend to use full-range de-essing (opposed to HF-only) and use automation of threshold and/or the de-essing range for the few spots that don’t please my ears. Much faster than doing everything by hand, and the effect is actually the same, as the overall volume gets changed, not just the HF components.

… for the really challenging voices I use spectral de-essing in RX Advanced.


I do manual tweaking only when it needs to get surgical.
Normally, I work with RX adv., bx_dynEQ V2 or even Melodyne.


+1 for Melodyne!


I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before, but so long as Snap to Zero Crossing is enabled, you don’t have to worry about pops / crossfades. Nice! Oh, but wait - dragging the split points does not snap to zero crossings, so you can’t fine-tune your splits after their made. Grrrr… So close.

This is terrific. Thank you!

The only other thing I wish this macro could do is move the clip to a specified lane (or simply the next lane). With all the sibilance, plossives, breaths, etc., in a dedicated lane, it’s easy to adjust their gain globally. Unfortunately, I don’t see that command as an option.

Good point. I’ll have to give it a try.

Good suggestion. In fact, I have RX 9 Advanced but apparently forgot to install the respective plugins in Nuendo’s VST Plug-in Manager. “D’er.” Oh, but it probably doesn’t support the spectral features. Drat.

It’s that good, huh? I’ve considered springing for Melodyne but have been pretty satisfied with VariAudio for pitch-shifting. If Melodyne does superior de-essing too, I’ll have to give it another look.

The last de-esser I purchased was the Eiosis e2deesser. I thought it was supposed to be the de-esser to rule over all de-essers. But, after using it for a while, I ultimately went back to manual de-essing. Maybe Dietz’ automation suggestion would help here. Will give it a try.

Thanks, everyone! Very helpful.

I don’t use the Project Logical Editor, but perhaps see if it’s available there…

Thanks. There’s a key command for it but I also don’t use the Project Logical Editor and couldn’t get it to work in my macro.

I´m using favorites created in the DOP-panel. One for +1db and one for -1db assigned to key commands. Those applied to a range-selection is a very quick way for manual deessing. I love this feature, and it’s one of the reasons I switched to Nuendo from Logic (after using Logic for almost 30 years)

This is another great option! Super-fast workflow.

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Thank you for sharing.