Schwerkraftmaschine Deesser

  • 03/07/2017
  • Michael Krusch
  • Story
  • Schwerkraftmaschine

Part 11 of our review of the different compression modes in the Schwerkraftmaschine

Sibilants in singing voices can hurt listeners' ears and ruin even a good song.
The effect often comes from poor singing technique. But certain microphones are also known for being particularly susceptible.
However they arise ? they're annoying.

How to get rid of them

Where possible you have the singer redo the part. But that's not always an option.

The next best choice is to call up the problematic spots in the audio editor and reduce the sibilants by hand.
But that can be a mountain of work.

De-essers are another effective alternative.
They analyze the audio signal, reducing levels when a sibilant is detected. Because sibilants tend to occur in certain frequency bands, de-essers focus specifically on those ranges.
There are two possible techniques: one attenuates the entire signal, the other impacts only the relevant frequency band.

Broadband attenuation is good because it doesn't change the sound of the signal. Frequency-selective attenuation by contrast does modify the sound, but in a targeted manner. The rest of the signal remains unchanged beyond the attenuation of the sibilants.

The Schwerkraftmaschine's approach

Because the Schwerkraftmaschine doesn't place filters in the signal path, it attenuates the audio signal using the broadband method whenever sibilants are detected.
The side-filter potentiometer serves as the frequency regulator for sibilant detection.
It doesn't matter what labels are on the knob.
The potentiometer runs from left to right in a frequency band from 500 Hz to 10 kHz.

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