Two months ago, developer Techivation released a neat de-esser plug-in that seemed ripe for expansion (and is also free!). Today, we have T-De-Esser Pro, which is like the original but designed for obsessive de-essing. Casual de-essing be damned!
Techivation T-De-Esser Pro
The Techivation de-esser looks mighty royal in black and gold, and its signal processing facilities are no joke. You can use it for de-essing by the books, but also to remove harshness and resonances, improve tonal balance, control high frequencies in transients, and expand the dynamic range of tracks (by suppressing the nasty stuff). T-De-Esser Pro can act upon four specific side-chained frequency bands to detect and remove harshness. It also has Mid/Side processing and Stereo Link modes.
Among the core functionality, you will find features like Audition (listen to the isolated de-essed signal), Lookahead (smoother attack with improved transient detection), Attack and Release controls, Custom frequency range, Saturation, and Hi-cut filter. The basic workflow is: select frequencies, adjust the amount of processing, tweak controls, love life. There are many high-quality de-essers to choose from, but this one is modern and I’d say it does sound quite natural – as much as a plug-in like this can sound, anyway. This is welcome, because ess-ing is a fact of production life, especially with delicate studio condenser mics.