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Anyone use the Spitfish De-esser (dealing with sibilance)?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I know a lot of people have problems with sibilance in this forum, and for whatever reason haven't seen this plugin mentioned much here on head-fi... does anyone here use it?  I started looking for solution for sibilance on my main computer rig ever since I got my HD800 and D2000, both of which are frequently reported to have slight exaggerations in the sibilance range (and I did find that these slightly exaggerate the 8k-10k range).  My first solution was to use a parametric EQ, but this also cut into extension of the high frequency range more than I wanted.  Then I found the Spitfish De-esser, which I saw was frequently recommended in other audio circles in dealing with sibilance.  And IMO they do the job very well without cutting into the highs extension and keeping with the general frequency balance!  Now, they don't cut out 100% of the sibilance; if the recording naturally has a lot of it, no amount of de-essing it will get rid of it completely... but I've found that this has been a much better solution for me in dealing with sibilance than EQing (of course, if the highs also kill you then parametric EQ like Electri-Q is a better way to go, and I have both on my VST).

 

For anyone suffering from sibilance and JUST sibilance, I encourage you to give this a try.  You can find it here and use it for foobar using a VST wrapper: http://makeownmusic.org/free-plugins/spitfish-de-esser-free  


Edited by K_19 - 7/20/10 at 7:03am
post #2 of 7

I'm testing this now, and I'm actually finding it to distort the music a little bit... I wouldn't recommend it for all tracks.  Trying it with a terribly sibilant track, Say Anything's Do Better, and it just seems to make everything fuzzier.  A slight improvement, but at the cost of the sharpness of the original recording all around, not just the sibilant lyrics.  =/

 

If you could share your optimal settings, K_19, I'd love to give it another try.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm guessing the optimal settings would differ with the headphones that you have (I'm still trying to find the best settings myself), but for now I personally have it in the 9k range with sensor about 3/4th to the right.  And the depth knob is only about 1/5th turned right, not that much.  Not sure if you clicked and activated the "Stereo" button on the top right side but that is a must with headphone use; otherwise the sound becomes all weird and terrible.  Experiment with it and see if it works out for you... play around with both the sense and the depth knob, as well as the sibilance range.


Edited by K_19 - 7/20/10 at 7:42am
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

I'm guessing the optimal settings would differ with the headphones that you have (I'm still trying to find the best settings myself), but for now I personally have it in the 9k range with sensor about 3/4th to the right.  And the depth knob is only about 1/5th turned right, not that much.  Not sure if you clicked and activated the "Stereo" button on the top right side but that is a must with headphone use; otherwise the sound becomes all weird and terrible.  Experiment with it and see if it works out for you... play around with both the sense and the depth knob, as well as the sibilance range.


Yeah, I caught the Stereo button right away, that's not the problem.  I tried it at about 8.5k range, with both the sensor and depth at about 3/5ths.  I'll try playing with the depth again.

 

And yet, again, it sounds so much flatter.  =/  I'm unimpressed, sorry to say.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yeah, it definitely works no magic or anything, sorry if I gave that impression in the OP.  It surely compromises something, as with any software modification post-production, so it's all about trade offs in the end.  I do find that it works fine in my rig (Hiface->DA100->WA6->HD800) in toning down music I find overly sibilant (J/Kpop, Oasis, Coldplay etc) and that it's worth it on my end, but it's likely not going to be that way for everyone.  It may also work better for certain genres than others I'm suspecting, and may depend on the headphone that is used (HD800 for example is so sharp and detailed with everything already that I may feel like I'm not missing much even though I might be in reality)... thankfully you can always bypass it in the VST wrapper if it is not needed.


Edited by K_19 - 7/20/10 at 8:10am
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

Yeah, it definitely works no magic or anything, sorry if I gave that impression in the OP.  It surely compromises something, as with any software modification post-production, so it's all about trade offs in the end.  I do find that it works fine in my rig (Hiface->DA100->WA6->HD800) in toning down music I find overly sibilant (J/Kpop, Oasis, Coldplay etc) and that it's worth it on my end, but it's likely not going to be that way for everyone.  It may also work better for certain genres than others I'm suspecting, and may depend on the headphone that is used (HD800 for example is so sharp and detailed with everything already that I may feel like I'm not missing much even though I might be in reality)... thankfully you can always bypass it in the VST wrapper if it is not needed.


I'm just seeing negatives all around, that's why I commented.  You do have a rig that is a million times better, and not at all light on the upper freqs, so that might be the real difference playing out here.  I'll definitely take another look at it when I get my Buf24/B22 up and running though.

post #7 of 7

I know it's an old thread, but I'm getting a bit of sibilance in a new setup I just acquired and wanted a way to clear it up. This plugin works wonders.

 

Hybrys, when I first started playing with it it just seemed to veil the music entirely. Let me explain what I had to do to set this filter up properly:

 

1. Set the 'stereo' toggle on

2. Find a sibilant song (I chose Alanis Morissette... tons of sibilant moments in her recordings if your system is at all inclined to spike in that frequency range) and some sibilant moments in the song

3. Set the frequency knob to 8-9k to start with

4. Set "depth" to about 1/5th of the way up as K_19 mentioned

5. Now continually seek back over the sibilant segments of the song while watching the sound level meter on the "sense" knob. Adjust the "sense" value until the sibilant moments spike, while there should be very little activity for any other moments in the song.

6. Further fine-tune the frequency knob while tuning "sense" and "depth" as low as they can go while still not hearing any sibilance.

 

Voila... sibilant-free music with almost zero sound degradation overall. When I hit "bypass" now during non-sibilant moments I hear -zero- difference, and I'm listening with a very resolving system (stax).

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