Recently finished up a spoken word CD, no background music, just voice. The talent has a “tonal” voice, lots of fundamental but very few harmonics. Additionally she has an ess that will cut steel. Therefore getting more harmonics in her voice got nasty fast.
The de-essing combination that worked best for me was to put the Waves de-esser and the Nuendo de-esser in series, each doing their own flavor. I’ve always thought the Nuendo de-esser is better than advertised and the Waves de-esser has a flavor that is good if you need that effect, but on this project nothing worked well; the two in series did the job.