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lagerfeldt
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Using the Logic Compressor as a De-Esser

Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:18 pm

Using the Logic Compressor as a De-Esser

What and why
The bundled de-esser in Logic Pro is not that good for vocals. Since it can't function in wideband mode it tends to make the vocal lisp very quickly.

This preset does a much better job in my opinion though it's built on a very simple technique: using a resonant high pass filter in the internal sidechain of the Logic compressor.

NEW - Tutorial video
http://www.popmusic.dk/download/logic/d ... torial.mov

How to use the preset during mixing
1) Solo the vocal track and loop a couple of bars. Find a part that contains lots of sibilance ("s" and "t" sounds).
2) Switch the Activity parameter from "On" to "Listen", and tune the Frequency parameter until the sibilance is worst. Switch Activity back to "On".
3) Lower the threshold parameter until the compressor ducks on sibilance but not during the rest of the vocal. This is very important to avoid overdoing it.
4) Adjust the ratio if necessary to make the ducking less (lower ratio) or more agressive (higher ratio). The default ratio of 10:1 is fairly aggressive but sounds great.

How to counter a wide sibilance area
Normally a sibilance problem occurs within a specific area, e.g. around 7 kHz. If you're having problems with both "sss" and the lower frequency "chh" sounds then try lowering the Q value. Go from the preset default of Q=5 to around 2 or even lower. Do this while in the "Listen" mode in step 2 above. You need to re-adjust your threshold after doing this.

Where to insert a de-esser
Insert a de-esser early or first in the vocal chain, before equalizing or regular compression. This will give you the most natural sounding result.

However, if you're boosting lots of highs in your vocal eq then you may get better results by inserting the de-esser after the equalizer but still before regular compression. You need to re-adjust your de-esser threshold when doing this, and you could possibly be getting a few more "false positives", i.e. ducking on normal parts of the vocal.

Nerdy stuff you can skip
I've chosen a high pass filter and not a parametric eq in order to detect from the specified frequency and upwards, though it focuses on the specified frequency due to the resonance caused by the high Q value in the filter. The best of both worlds then.

Since the compressor works in wideband during the actual ducking you won't get the lisping artifacts associated with many splitband de-essers. But it also means this de-esser preset is most useful on vocals. If you're trying to remove a fret noise in a guitar recording you may want to use Logic's own de-esser plug-in.

Download and install
Download the preset, screenshot and audio examples (3 Mb ZIP file)

Move the de-esser preset (.pst file) to this location:

Mac HD > Users > YourUserName > Library > Application Support > Logic > Plug-in Settings > Compressor

Audio examples
Original vocal without de-essing

Same vocal with de-essing preset
Notice how the "s" and "t" sounds are more controlled and lower in a pleasant way without lisping, and the rest of the vocal is untouched.

Using the original vocal WAV file clip you can experiment with the preset yourself. The WAV files are included in the above ZIP download.

Screenshot
Image
Attachments
Lagerfeldt De-Esser.pst.zip
(605 Bytes) Downloaded 1347 times
Last edited by lagerfeldt on Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:48 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Snowdon
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Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:14 pm

Thanks heaps you guys.

Cheers.

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ChicoSatis
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Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:42 pm

Sweet.

Thanks Lagerfeldt. :D
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Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:49 pm

Sounds very good.
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Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:12 pm

This looks great. I have a question about this.

What if I already have a compressor on the same track for regular compressing, will it override the effect?

This also applies to EQ. If I have 2 EQs on the same track with different settings, do the EQs cancel the changes out?
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Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:29 pm

zepsun wrote:
What if I already have a compressor on the same track for regular compressing, will it override the effect?

No. Sometimes that can help, actually.

This also applies to EQ. If I have 2 EQs on the same track with different settings, do the EQs cancel the changes out?

No. For example having two 5 band EQ's in series is like having a 10 band EQ. One interaction to be aware of though, if you have 2 low pass filters in series, each 12dB/oct slope at the same frequency, then you've just constructed a 24dB/oct filter. You're just adding more poles.
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lagerfeldt
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Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:38 pm

zepsun wrote:
What if I already have a compressor on the same track for regular compressing, will it override the effect?

Try using this preset early in your chain for the most natural effect.

Sometimes it can work after equalizing too, but rarely after compression.

I'm going to make a detailed step-by-step guide on how to use this preset very soon.
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zepsun
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Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:44 pm

lagerfeldt wrote:
zepsun wrote:
What if I already have a compressor on the same track for regular compressing, will it override the effect?

Try using this preset early in your chain for the most natural effect.

Sometimes it can work after equalizing too, but rarely after compression.

I'm going to make a detailed step-by-step guide on how to use this preset very soon.


dude, u f'n' rock!
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lagerfeldt
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Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:12 pm

Thanks, updated with a step-by-step guide now.
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Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:57 pm

Here's a plot demonstrating the resonant overshoot and rolloff of the Compressor's sidechain filter as lagerfeldt was describing. Response shown at various Q settings.

(Note: the Gain parameter has no effect on the HP filter response.)
Attachments
SidechainFilter.jpg
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lagerfeldt
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Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:58 am

Thanks! Is that a 12 dB/Oct at Q=0.7?

How to counter a wide sibilance area
Normally a sibilance problem occurs within a specific area, e.g. around 7 kHz. If you're having problems with both "sss" and the lower frequency "chh" sounds then try lowering the Q value. Go from the preset default of Q=5 to around 2 or even lower. Do this while in the "Listen" mode in step 2 above. You need to re-adjust your threshold after doing this.
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Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:19 am

lagerfeldt wrote:
Thanks! Is that a 12 dB/Oct at Q=0.7

Yup!
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ld_neil
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Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:53 am

fader8 wrote:
Here's a plot demonstrating the resonant overshoot and rolloff of the Compressor's sidechain filter as lagerfeldt was describing. Response shown at various Q settings.

(Note: the Gain parameter has no effect on the HP filter response.)



Hey Fader8, could you tell us what program you used to generate the frequency response curves in Logic here ? many thanks!
 
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Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:13 am

ld_neil wrote:
Hey Fader8, could you tell us what program you used to generate the frequency response curves in Logic here ?


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excellent!

Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:48 pm

Just wanted to say thanks for posting this. I tried the de-esser that comes with logic, and it's basically worthless. Was about to spend 150 bucks on the waves de esser, but this option is worth a try before spending my money!

Thanks, I'll give it a try.
 
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Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:54 pm

how did i miss this thread?!?

shouldnt it be put in the Tricks and tips section?

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Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:00 pm

wip wrote:
how did i miss this thread?!?

shouldnt it be put in the Tricks and tips section?


Definitely. Not sure how I missed it either!
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Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:48 am

Epic! Can't wait to use this tonight! I have the perfect project in mind :)
Thank you!
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lagerfeldt
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Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:47 pm

So I finally finished the tutorial video for this preset:

Logic Pro Compressor De-Esser tutorial video
http://www.popmusic.dk/download/logic/d ... torial.mov

and while I was at it:

Waves Renaissance De-Esser tutorial video
http://www.popmusic.dk/download/waves/r ... torial.mov
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Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:25 pm

lagerfeldt wrote:
So I finally finished the tutorial video for this preset:

Logic Pro Compressor De-Esser tutorial video
http://www.popmusic.dk/download/logic/d ... torial.mov


Loved it!....perfect tutorial.

Thanks lagerfeldt!

J.
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