Techivation releases T-De-Esser, a FREE de-esser plugin for macOS and Windows.
T-De-Esser is a simplified de-esser plugin that focuses on consistently delivering a natural and musical sound.See also: The Dom Is A FREE Distortion Effect By Shameless Plugs
Using any plugin designed to remove harshness comes with the risk of going too far and losing the natural quality of the sound. So, I think taking a more straightforward approach and leaving less opportunity to go too far is often a good way to go.
As well as limiting the number of controls/buttons, the GUI also takes a cautious approach to visual feedback.
If we compare something like the Eiosis E2 De-Esser with its spectral analysis display and real-time display of what it’s doing to your audio, the difference is night and day.
I should say I’m not against such visual feedback, and I think it’s beneficial in certain applications. However, when it’s not essential, it can become needlessly time-consuming and lead you down a less musical path of varying results.
Learning to trust what you hear over what you see can be difficult, so I understand and appreciate Techivation’s approach.
T-De-Esser’s interface has a large Processing (threshold) knob that engages the plugin. Beyond that, you get controls for Intensity, Sharpness, Output level, and Frequency Range selection. There are four frequency bands: Low-Hi, Mid-Hi, Hi-End, and High. It has handy A/B switch and Undo/Redo functions, too.
One of the most common reasons for de-essing is to control sibilance in vocals. It’s also one of the most common areas that people lose that natural sound. You don’t have to slam the vocals to get results, and doing so will usually enhance the problem rather than eliminate it.
When compared to a few other plugins, the T-De-Esser does get you there a little faster, and it does have a knack for staying musical when some others are squeezing the life out of your audio. That’s a great job done by Techivation.
There will be times when you want to take a more surgical approach. But, when you want quick and quality results, whether on a single track or bus, the T-De-Esser is pretty impressive.
The T-De-Esser is a great tool for taming harshness from instruments, too. You can use it to manage high-frequencies from overheads and even get a more authentic sound from a virtual amp simulation that’s too harsh in the midrange.
At various stages of a project, the T-De-Esser can save you time and an unnecessary headache, and that can’t be bad.
T-De-Esser is available in AU, VST, and VST3 formats for macOS (M1 supported) and Windows. AAX support is coming soon.
Download: T-De-Esser (13 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST2/VST3/AU plugin formats for Windows & macOS)