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T-De-Esser Pro Reviewed by Tommy Zai

Tommy Zai is a music professional, and pro-audio gear reviewer. He has recently published a new review article about the T-De-Esser Pro on GearSpace. Let’s check it!

Disclaimer: I’ve written and posted over 200 user reviews in the past 10+-years. You’ve probably seen my name here and there. I have clearly spent too much time writing reviews and not enough time writing and producing music. I recently vowed to stop doing reviews unless I came upon something extraordinary. Alas, here we are . . .

De-Essers, in General

De-essing (also called de-sibilizing) is the process of reducing harsh and/or loud sibilant consonants, i.e., “s”, “z”, “ch”, “j”, soft “c”, and “sh”, in voice recordings. De-essers are similar to compressors but more focused on the high frequencies that cause “s” and similar harsh spikes. There are many software units available on the market.

Some are more effective than others, but even the best options have a tendency to make audio sound unnatural and cause artifacts. They affect the frequency balance with their dynamic processing, which is good and bad. The goal is to use a de-esser that is straightforward, accurate. and natural-sounding — one that will help smooth out abrasive high sounds. As modern-day producers strive to brighten-up mixes, it’s even more important to tame loud sibilants to avoid blowing out listeners’ eardrums.

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