I’ve just discovered a plug-in that takes the very de-esser concept to a new level: the mind-blowing Massey De:Esser ($89).
Compared to Massey’s best known, ultra-simple, dual-knobbed Tape Head, the De:Esser is the Space Shuttle; it is about launching sounds into orbit as much as it is bringing them back to earth. Familiar controls include full range and band split modes, detector frequency and reduction amount. Innovative controls include the increasingly in-vogue Dry/Wet mix control and Auto Sidechain Listen. But drop the drawer on the bottom of Massey’s De:Esser to reveal the revolution of the de-esser: the “re-esser” — an opposite process that can be used to put “esses” back on a vocal that’s lost its sibilance, or increase the transients of an instrument or drums. (Yes, drummers, drums are instruments, too, but the Massey De:Esser provides a special mode just for you.)
Each switch for Response (Vocal, Aggressive, and Drums), Speed, Output Trim (especially useful in Re-Ess mode) are “painted” an entirely realistic color of silver — they really look like metal. It’s a fun GUI.
Massey De:Esser sounds great and has revolutionary features. I thoroughly navigated this plug-in without reading Massey’s entertaining and informative usage notes on his website. I highly recommend them now that I’ve read them, if for nothing else but glimpsing his very interesting mind.
Once again, when reviewing a Massey plug-in, my summary can only be, “You absolutely should buy this plug-in and for $89, you’d be ‘sssilly’ not to.”