What Is De Esser? What Does De Esser Do?

As you probably get it, it is what it says. De-esser removes ‘sss’ sounds from the voice. It mainly removes sibilance sounds from audio recording. Also, it removes irritating sounds like ‘fff’, ‘tsss’, ‘ttt’, ‘zzzz’ that pop out louder than it should.

The amount of these sounds in the voice depends on how much you use a compressor and how much high end frequencies are peaking at around 7kHz. The more it has high frequencies, the more de esser will have to work to control it.

Best De Esser Plugins

  1. Fab Filter Pro DS
  2. Era 4 De-esser Pro
  3. Sibilance – Waves
  4. DeEsser – Waves
  5. Weiss Deess – Softube

Fab Filter Pro DS

Fab Filter is well known for its great quality products. It has been a gold standard for a long time. And this Fab Filter Deesser is no different. 

It catches sibilance accurately. This perfectly works when catching specific irritating sounds in vocals. 

Furthermore, with Allround effect, this de-esser perfectly works with drums or any other instruments that have too much high end frequencies.

Another great feature is stereo link. It allows to apply the effect only for stereo sides or mono side.

The main thing about Fab Filter Pro DS that most people are likely to use is visual interface. It makes it much easier to spot bad frequencies and see where and how much de esser effect is applied.

Price: €149

Era 4 De-esser Pro

Accusonus released a fancy looking De-Esser plugin that is super easy to use. Usually what you need to do is tweak the big knob in the bottom center. This knob controls how much processing is applied to the sound. 

Also there are two other options: 

Focus. It allows us to select n which frequencies to apply the effect. 

Shaping. It controls how hard deesser should be applied. This is good when adjusting the effect to achieve the most natural sound and remove sibilance without damaging audio quality.

And, of course, great presets included to kick off your session faster!

Price: $59.99

Sibilance – Waves

Another de-esser plugin from Waves. This one is admired by lots of engineers as their most favorite. It has a futuristic looking interface and a lot of great features. 

The Sibilance De-esser plugin is built with Organic Synthesis technology that automatically detects bad sounds like ‘ts’ faster than any other plugin and removes it without corrupting the whole sound.

This de esser is capable of detecting only harsh sounds and removing them without touching desired frequencies in the mix. That is what makes this de esser unique

Threshold does the same thing as in previous plugins, which allows to control where to start taking out ‘sss’ type sounds. 

Detection knob makes a wider band, so that it can capture a bigger range of sibilance sounds.

Mode controls the detection position 

Price: $49.99

DeEsser – Waves

DeEsser by Waves is a vintage style sibilance processing plugin. It has various features to control bad frequency removal. 

First of all, you are able to select the frequency range which to focus on when applying the effect. 

Secondly, the curve selection allows to choose what type of sound reduction to apply for the sound.

Threshold meter visually is giving valuable information on how much effect is applied. And you can adjust the level of threshold at the same time.

Price: $49.99

Weiss Deess – Softube

Fast processing and easy to use deesser that has a bigger price, but has the best algorithms from the famous DS1-MK3.

This de esser has two bands of sound control. So that you will be able to handle several sibilance problems in one view.

Great interface makes it easy and fun to use.

Furthermore, this plugin has a very low cpu usage, thus you will be able to use this plugin live while recording audio without any latency problems.

Price: €199

The Main De Esser Functions

There are a lot of de esser plugins on the market. And all of them do the same thing. However, they have different ways of achieving the needed result. Thus, let’s cover the most common features of sibilance deEsser plugins:

  1. Threshold. This feature gives an ability to control at which point(loudness level) the plugin should start taking action.
  2. Male/Female. Sex does have an effect on how sibilance should be treated. So plugins usually have a feature to select sex in order to apply effect more precisely.
  3. Frequency. Producers, who understand sound theory better, are able to do the de-essing process by controlling at which frequencies the effect should take place. This gives more control at removing unnecessary vocal sounds.
  4. Amount of de-essing. This feature sets the amount of how much of deessing should be applied to the sound. By the way, make sure to not over-do it in order to not make your vocalist sound lisping.

Free DIY De-Esser (Secret Tip)

It is possible to remove sibilance manually without purchasing de esser plugin. However, it might take more time and be more complex than using de esser plugins itself.

Multiband Compressor As De-Esser

So, the first plugin that can take care of deessing is a multiband compressor. With this compressor, you are able to control which frequencies to compress, so if you select the range of frequencies where the vocal sibilance appears the most and compress it, then you are doing the same thing as de essers do.

Equalizer As De-Esser

This can be a bit more complex way of finding sibilance sounds and removing it without corrupting the timbre and quality of a vocal. But if you can, then eq will be a great de esser tool for you, and you still will be able to keep the vocal dynamics.


We’ve covered one of the most popular and best rated plugins on the market. Even though they all do the same thing, they perform differently. All these picks are no brainer to go for. It is only the question what resonates the best to you. Make sure to get all of these plugin free trials and have a taste by yourself how it feels to you and then make your purchase, if you are still in the doubt. 

Good luck and have a great one!