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Thread: Help Me Find a De-Esser Plugin For Spoken Word/Podcast

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    Question Help Me Find a De-Esser Plugin For Spoken Word/Podcast

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    Looking for guidance on a de-esser for spoken word/podcast. I know usually people would say to de-ess through editing, but for spoken word, and weekly episodes that amount to 1.5-2 hours of content each week, that's not really an option.

    Is there a plugin that anyone would recommend? For some reason, the stock plugin isn't installed and I can't find it for the life of me.

    I'm on a Mac using Cubase 4 (b/c I'm too poor to upgrade my DAW ha)

    I'd prefer a plugin than an outboard gear. I'd rather be able to edit fully within the software. I also don't want to complicate the signal chain too much, so not having to do side-chains, sends, etc, would be helpful, as I'm not super familiar with that.

    Thanks in advance! Any help is appreciated.

    Also, I've done a lot of Google searching and haven't seen much on this topic that isn't 3-4 years old, or threads that recommend plugins that no longer work for Macs. I'd use SpitFish, but it's not Mac compatible anymore. Same story for a few others I looked into.

    I was considering buying the Waves plugin, but wanted to ask around first.

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    I've never used a dedicated software de-esser, but any single band of the few multi band comps for duties like that. Or dynamic eq. (I use the UAD multi-band mostly
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    I make my own de-esser in Reaper's ReaFIR VST. If Cubase 4 will take the Reaper VST package you can do the same.

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    I haven't found need for a de-esser plugin in years.

    What mic are you using and do you have a pop filter or something to stop it? The best way would be to kill it at the source.
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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    Thanks for the interesting thoughts guys. Really appreciate the help on this. I have to confess, I'm not too sure how to go about de-essing using a comp or EQ, but I can google and read up on that.

    Setup is pretty good, esp for podcasting.
    MXL 770 (for me) and an AT 2020 (other host) into a MOTU 8pre, fed into Mac running Cubase 4 via firewire. Pop filters on both mics.

    I've been using EQ, a multi-dynamics plugin with Gate, Comp, Limiter, and sometimes turning off that limiter and using a dedicated limiter plugin.

    I've been wondering if I would be better off running an out board gate and comp in the input chain. I've been hesitant to do that because if the signal sucks, I have to record it all over again.
    Four TV Sports is a weekly sports podcast based in Austin, TX, primarily focused on college football. Past content and new releases available at http://fourtvsports.libsyn.com/

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    Get some different mics...both of you guys have really over-pronounced "sssss" sounds when you speak, and the condensers mics are accentuating that. You should try a foam wind filter over the mics, and then get in a bit closer so you get more body to your voices.

    These dynamic mics will do a much better job:
    EV RE20 and Shure SM7B
    They will give you that classic "radio announcer" sound out of the box.

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    Big +1 to that.
    This is something you can usually sort out at the source.
    The microphone are probably a bad pairing so if you need to go condenser go with something less hyped like mk219
    or, as miro says, classic dynamic. Very hard to go wrong.

    In the mean time you could experiment with rotating the mic 45 degrees ish so it points at the talents cheek or over their shoulder, instead of directly at their mouth.
    Might help.
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    Thanks for the thoughts, guys. I've always liked the vocal results of those mics (esp the MXL), but I've been disappointed with their use as a spoken word mic (the AT 2020 has performed better than expected, though.) I've been hesitant to move to a dynamic mic because I'm worried that it wouldn't give me the kind of presence and depth that I have been looking for, but I've also been wondering if that would help clean up the sound a bit.

    Appreciate the thoughts. I'll let you know how things come out.
    Four TV Sports is a weekly sports podcast based in Austin, TX, primarily focused on college football. Past content and new releases available at http://fourtvsports.libsyn.com/

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    It's always best to go as far upstream as possible to fix problems like this. If you push your esses, that's how it's going to sound.

    That said, a dynamic mic may make a big difference. Borrow an SM58 and get as close as possible, even touching your lips. It might be great on its own or it might be better with a foam windscreen. If you find it to be an improvement, that may be the answer or you may want to try an RE20 or other dynamic.

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    Out of all the dynamic options I might take the re20 last, where sibilance is an issue, although it'd still certainly be better than an MXL, I'm sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Four TV Sports View Post
    I've been hesitant to move to a dynamic mic because I'm worried that it wouldn't give me the kind of presence and depth that I have been looking for, but I've also been wondering if that would help clean up the sound a bit.
    Don't be fooled. They're broadcast and V/O staples for a reason. Well, for a lot of reasons.
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