Saturday, April 11, 2015

Review and tutorial: Fabfilter PRO DS

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we're going to review another Fabfilter product, the PRO DS Deesser.

Do you remember what a Deesser is (click here for an in-depth article)?
A Deesser is a compressor, which is set to work on a specific range of frequences in order to attenuate the sibilant consonants (mainly the "s", the "f" and the "th"), leaving the rest unprocessed.
We could obtain the same result by using a multiband compressor, and processing only the narrow band in which these consonants lie, or we could also operate with a surgical eq, but the Deesser is the tool made specifically to solve this problem.
Obviously the controls will be similar to the ones of a Compressor: there is a threshold control and another one to find and isolate the frequency range in which the singer has the "s" consonants.
The range knob controls the amount of attenuation applied, which can also be monitored with the 2 metering tools located at the right side of the ui.
You can also choose between the single vocal processing, or the allround mode, in which the deesser will try to attenuate the sibilants from a full band, instead of just the vocal track, and to do this it will have to operate obviously with even more attention; we can choose via the mid-side knob wether to process the center of the mix or the sides, and this can help us narrowing the area for the plugin where to look for sibilants.

Obviously as for all the other Fabfilter plugins, there are A/B comparison, midi automations and support for side-chain processing.
All in all another great plugin, and another confirmation that a producer doesn't need to make 50 compressors, 50 eq, 50 limiters: you just need one good, complete processor for each type and nothing else, to work well and in a simplier way. Thumbs up!

Key features taken from the website:

- Highly intelligent 'Single Vocal' detection, and classic 'Allround' detection
- Transparent program-dependent compression/limiting
- Adjustable Threshold, Range and detection HP and LP filtering settings
- Wide Band or linear-phase Split Band processing
- Optional look-ahead time up to 15 ms
- Optional mid-only or side-only processing
- Up to four times linear-phase oversampling
- Real-time de-essing display, clearly showing the affected parts of processed audio
- Side-chain input meter, making it easy to choose a good Threshold value
- Real-time spectrum analyzer built into the HP/LP filter controller
- MIDI Learn
- Undo/redo and A/B comparison
- Smart Parameter Interpolation

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