"De Ess Manually"???

Hello all,

i Was wondering, is there a way to De Ess the s sounds manually in the Cubase 10 Project window for a vocal take (s)? Seems tedious, but effective on a You Tube video of Pro Tools? And, can you share your process of doing this that’s not too time consuming after a vocal has already been recorded? Thanks :sunglasses:

I would work in the audio editor so you can see what you’re doing.

I used to use fade in and fade out to remove plosives and sibilants.

Select a section before the plosive then fade in to reduce it, keep adjusting the selection size to get it to sound right.

Just the opposite for sibilants using fade out.

That’s an interesting approach to it. Thanks for that info T. I’ll give it a go. :sunglasses: Oh, and while you’re here, what in your opinion is one of the better DeEssers out there? The one in Cubase seems to do a pretty decent job :slight_smile: What do you think? Thanks to all

It’s very common to use volume automation to do this.

I find the quickest way is to use the range tool. Open volume automation below the track. Select the ‘ess’ and then drag down on the volume track - a new set of nodes are automatically created with the volume pulled down around the ‘ess’. Adjust as necessary.

Unless it’s a demo or guide vocal, I almost always take the time to de-ess manually, after all the lead vocal is such a big part of many productions, it is risking too much to compromise. In the editor, I usually cut out the sibilant and reduce its level and sometimes its length until it feels entirely natural. Often this is reversing the effect of eq and aggressive compression. I reduce breaths in the same fashion.

Most de-essers do a pretty good job and are ideal for example to de-ess a backing vocal group in a single instance. Cubase stock plugs are fine for this. My de-esser of choice is Sibilance by Waves. It seems less obtrusive than some in its action, and it is easier to find a sweet spot. It also has a lookahead mode to catch transients. I’ve no affiliation with Waves by the way.

The de-Esser in Cubase is really good, one of the best.
Not only for voice, also good for stringed instruments, finger noise etc.
Or use one or more as a dynamic EQ, say for track that in some parts has a boomy bass, just let it shave a few dB off in the problem frequency area.
But I am getting off topic, take a look at this older thread.
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=141080

I always de-ess manually with Melodyne. It’s easy to recognise since s, d, t have no modulation curve. Just seperate them from the word and lower their volume. I think VariAudio can do this too.

Offline processing…(gain) Good overview, not obtrusive, save favourite setting (just drag and drop) and tweak a little if necessary, can always go back later, sticks with the file without setting follow automation. Agree with Sibilance by Waves as a second option

Thanks everyone. Very good info that i can use. :sunglasses: