Do you ever 'de-ess' instruments?

Aloha guys,

I have only used de-essers on voxes but
last week I had a client playing solo flute (well it was a sort of ‘flute-like’ thingy)
and the next day while editing/preparing I found that if I applied a de-esser (instead of
I could get rid of an annoying lil ‘whistle’ without altering the main sound.

Of course when she heard it she hated it and I had to remove the plug.
As she put it, “that ‘whistle’ is part of my sound”.

OK I get that! So no probs. All was well.

But this worked so well it got me to thinking about instead of
try de-essing saxes/harmonicas or raunch guits etc that
have that annoying hi-end buzzzzzzz in the sound.

I realize that a de-esser is really a sort of ‘dynamic eq’ and I’ll be trying this going forward
but just but wondering if any one here has experience with this technique
and asking: ‘am I just late to the party’ ?. :blush: —oops
Major TIA (thanks in advance)

I use my Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser for all those kind of tasks.
It is equally good to dynamically remove low end rumble, as it is de-essing. A brilliant plugin (the one you never understand you could live without), and one of my most used plugins these days.

I’ve used UAD and Waves De-essers to even out the top end of solo guitars, that works very well if used sparingly.


My referred tool-of-choice for that application is the SPL Transient Designer plug by Universal Audio (to de-emphasize wolf tones or harshness in certain frequency ranges).

To answer your question, I rarely employ a de-esser (and then, only on vocals, if memory serves correctly). More often than not, the Transient Designer gets the job, rather than the de-esser.

I use pop-stopping wind screens in an effort to reduce (or eliminate) plosives at the inception point.

I usually use multiband compressor (mostly Waves C4) for this kind of treatment, bybassing all but one of the bands. This gives me more control than traditional de-esser. I even use C4 for de-essing vocals sometimes because of this flexibility.

sometimes, on hihats…

Cubase De-esser on acoustic guitar, every track, it’s wonderful.

Tanx soooooooo much guys.

Brilliant ideas posted.

Always something to learn.

And to answer my own question,
Yes I am late to this party.
Ma bad.




I use a linear phase multiband, supressor and spitfish.

Cool post… Thanks for all the tips. I will try it when I have a chance :smiley: