When de-essing vocals it can be difficult to strike a balance between too little de-essing and too much de-essing.
Too little and you leave the sibilance untamed. Too much can give the singer a lisp.
Getting things just right and finding that subtle yet sufficient balance can be tough.
When you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution. There’s a secret weapon that I like to employ to make sure I’ve dealt with that sibilance – ear buds!
I know, it sounds crazy right? But due to the innate lack of high and low-end frequency definition, most ear buds will amplify any harshness in your mix.
Too much sibilance is particularly noticeable, making ear buds a great second reference point when de-essing vocals.