Discover how Sybilla, our new de-esser, works internally
Sybilla has one purpose, remove the sibilance from your tracks, mainly vocals.
Starting with this principle in mind I tried to create a usable plugin to fit with the HoRNet philosophy, use the least possible amount of knobs and build as much intelligence as possible inside the plugin, so that the engineer can work faster and spend less time tweaking knobs.
I started a research trying to see if there where some analog de-esser gem that was built on those principle and I found that the DBX engineers brilliantly solved the problem with their 902.
Their solution was easy, just provide a frequency selection knob and and “effect amount” knob. The threshold was removed because it was relative to the level of the input signal so de-essing happens for both low and high levels,removing the need to set a threshold.
I used the same principle, but taken a step further. Essentially the signal is split in two different path the original and the sidechain. The sidechain then is split in six different bands tuned around the frequencies where the sibilance usually is found.
All this seven signals are passed through envelope followers with the same speed as that of a VU Meter (that was tuned from the start to represent vocal intensity). After this step the intensity of each of the six bands is compared to that of the original signal, and here happens the magic. When any of the bands is above the original signal that band is sent to the sidechain input of a VCA compressor that actually applies the compression for de-essing.
But since you may want to decide how much de-essing to apply, I added an “effect amount” knob that actually changes the ratio of the compressor so that for the same difference between the sidechain and the original signal you can decide to compress more or less.
A dry/wet knob completes the tool giving you the ability to feed some of the orginal signal back in since Sybilla may remove a little too much high frequency when compressing hard.
This is in a few words how Sybilla works, if you have any comments please add them here below!