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De-esser - Audio FX Bitwig Guide

Bitwig Guide | Nov 22, 2022

This video is about the De-esser feature in Bitwig Studio, a software program. The video explains how to use the compressor to reduce the loudness of harsh frequencies, as well as how to adjust the cutoff frequency, gain reduction, and filter type. The video also provides examples of how the De-esser can be used on drums.

You can watch the Video on Youtube

What is a De-Esser?

A de-esser is an audio effect used to reduce or eliminate the harsh "s" or "sh" sounds, known as sibilance, that can occur in vocal recordings or other high-frequency sounds.

Sibilance occurs when there is an excessive amount of high-frequency content in the recording, causing a sharp hissing or whistling sound that can be distracting or unpleasant to listen to.

The de-esser effect works by selectively reducing the level of frequencies that fall within a specific range, typically between 4-8kHz, where sibilance is most prominent. The effect can be applied to a specific frequency range using a frequency-selective compressor or equalizer, or with a dedicated de-esser plugin.

The de-esser effect is commonly used in vocal processing, but can also be applied to other high-frequency sources such as cymbals or brass instruments. By reducing the harsh sibilant sounds, the recording can sound smoother and more natural, making it easier to listen to and mix with other elements of the mix.


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[00:00.000 --> 00:06.280] The De-esser of Bitwig Studio is actually a small little compressor for high frequencies for
[00:06.280 --> 00:11.480] harsh sounds, if you will, and you have like a cutoff frequency here where you can change
[00:11.480 --> 00:13.920] what goes into the analyzer part.
[00:13.920 --> 00:19.440] It's just a high pass for the analyzer, so you can say I want only have frequencies
[00:19.440 --> 00:24.520] above 4.8 kHz going into the analyzer part.
[00:24.520 --> 00:29.200] Then you can monitor what's going into the analyzer part here, so you can preview what's
[00:29.200 --> 00:35.440] getting analyzed, and you can change the high pass type here from a 2 pole filter to an
[00:35.440 --> 00:40.000] 4 pole filter if you want to have more like a steep filter cut here, you can choose this
[00:40.000 --> 00:41.000] here.
[00:41.000 --> 00:46.560] Then there's a gain reduction graph here where you can see how much dB there is actually
[00:46.560 --> 00:53.280] getting removed from the signal in this frequency range, and you can change the amount, this
[00:53.280 --> 01:00.040] is basically probably the kind of ratio, so you can change how much the gain reduction
[01:00.040 --> 01:05.480] is applied to the signal, how much gain you want to reduce from the harsh frequencies.
[01:05.480 --> 01:12.280] So this is basically the De-esser, and it's mostly used on vocals of course, and maybe probably
[01:12.280 --> 01:18.560] on sounds that have harsh frequencies like drums, the hi hats maybe.
[01:18.560 --> 01:23.080] So I have this here on drums.
[01:23.080 --> 01:28.080] So this is how the drum loop sounds.
[01:28.080 --> 01:34.560] Just some hi hats in there, and you put this De-esser on there, and you can preview here what's
[01:34.560 --> 01:40.880] getting analyzed, and then you can increase the amount here, and you can see some of these
[01:40.880 --> 01:50.080] frequencies above 4.39 kHz are getting removed or reduced in loudness.
[01:50.080 --> 02:04.400] You can preview here, so everything you hear now is basically pushed down in loudness.
[02:04.400 --> 02:20.440] So yeah, you can see it kind of a small little, super small, easy compressor.