FabFilter makes the coolest tools for music production and audio handling. To accomplish this, they consistently test and rethink industry requirements and have never hesitated transforming the wheel. FabFilter’s motto is:
“We tune our formulas and interfaces up until they sound ideal, look outstanding and work great.”
I was blessed to have the opportunity to review the cool plug-in called the FabFilter Pro-DS. The FabFilter Pro-DS is an extremely intelligent ‘Single Vocal’ detection formula; FabFilter Pro-DS accurately recognizes sibilance in vocal recordings and attenuates it transparently.
What is it?
The FabFilter Pro-DS is a vocal De-Esser and does the job like many others De-Essers on the market. If you’re not familiar with what a De-Esser does, it essentially helps control the sibilance in vocal recordings. Sibilance can be avoided with proper vocal recording but sometimes it can happen with how a performer is singing or the room, mics etc. De-Essers come in handy to control the “S”s and “T”s and make them sound more pleasant.
The FabFilter Pro-DS has the typical tools to get the job done like Threshold and Range for controlling the amount De-Essing you want. FabFilter Pro-DS also has Low Pass and High Pass filters to zero in to a particular frequency range. The plug-in has some features I don’t typically see in other De-Essers like a real-time Spectrum Analyzer which can show you the strength in the frequency range. This helps tons to dial in fast to the part of the frequency range that needs attention. There are two modes you can use FabFilter Pro-DS and that is Single vocal or All-round. FabFilter Pro-DS can be used on vocals or an entire track with vocals and music. The processing can be done in Wide band or Split band too. It’s best to use Wide Band for single vocal track. Also, FabFilter Pro-DS has a look ahead feature to catch the transients. If you using the Look ahead feature, just know it will use more CPU.
Overclocking is another feature included to help with smoothing out the transients more. This feature will also use up CPU. If you have a powerful computer, you shouldn’t have any issues. Another cool feature is side-chain. You can run an unprocessed version of the vocal through the side-chain and it will help FabFilter Pro-DS to zero in on sibilance better. Volume can be controlled with audio going into FabFilter Pro-DS and out of it as well. The best feature by far is the intelligent aspect to the plug-in. Once you set the low and high pass filter the way you want it, FabFilter Pro-DS seems to do the hard work for you. It will find the Sibilance and control it with ease. This feature alone is worth the price.
As you can see, I enjoyed using FabFilter Pro-DS. It takes the trouble out of trying to find frequencies to De-Ess and help get the job done quicker. I really don’t have anything negative to say about this plug-in. If you’re looking for a really good De-esser, give FabFilter Pro-DS a try.
Intelligent Sibilance Detection
Find out more here.