How to Use DeEsser in Logic Pro X

You can use the DeEsser plugin in Logic Pro X to help you make your vocal tracks or other recorded audio sound better. This feature can be accessed in the Audio FX section of the channel strip when in the mixer view. 

I’m Donovan, and I love everything about making music. I’ve been writing, recording, and producing for over a decade and have a lot of experience working with Logic Pro X. I know all of the tools and features of this fantastic app. 

This post will show you how to use the DeEsser in Logic Pro X. I’ll show you how to add this plugin to your tracks and also how to make adjustments to take advantage of all that it can do. My goal is to give you another tool to utilize while you record and edit. 

Let’s get after it. 

Key Takeaways

  • The DeEsser plugin in Logic Pro X is called DeEsser 2. This plugin is built into Logic Pro X, and you can put it onto a channel strip like any other plugin. 
  • A de-esser is a dynamic-based plugin that helps reduce unwanted sibilance, which is basically the hissy S-sounds you can hear when the human voice is recorded through a microphone. 
  • You are likely to only want or need to use DeEsser 2 on vocal tracks in Logic Pro X projects. You can use it to help you make vocal tracks of any kind sound much better and reduce the harshness caused by pesky S sounds. 

How to Use DeEsser in Logic Pro X

The DeEsser 2 plugin is a great tool to use when mixing vocals in Logic Pro X. This is an effects plugin that comes built into the app, and you don’t need to pay extra to use it. You can use it on a track similar to any other type of plugin. 

DeEssers are used to help reduce sibilance in recorded audio tracks. This is a dynamic that creates the harsh S sounds that you hear when a recorded vocal is played back. That’s why the plugin is called a DeEsser – it removes the Ss. 

The DeEsser 2 is a solid plugin and a great tool to use with any type of vocals you record. Whether you are recording rock vocals, a podcast, or a hip-hop song, those S sounds can all stand out, and the DeEsser 2 will help you reduce that.

The first step to using the DeEsser is to add it to your vocal track as a plugin. 

Follow these steps to add the DeEsser 2 onto a vocal track in Logic Pro X. 

1. Open a new or existing Logic Pro X project. 

2. Record your vocals. 

3. Press X to show the Mixer, or click on the Mixer icon from the top of the main project window. 

4. Click on the Audio FX slot in the channel strip of the vocal track. 

5. Select Dynamics

6. Select DeEsser 2

7. Select Stereo or Dual Mono, depending on what type of recording you are doing. 

(Screenshot taken in Logic Pro X on my Mac) 

8. The DeEsser 2 plugin will now be applied to the vocal track you are working with. You can make adjustments to the plugin by using the window that appears when you add the plugin to your track. You can also double-click on the plugin slot to display the window. 

(Screenshot taken in Logic Pro X on my Mac)

You can choose several different presets from the DeEsser 2 window and make manual adjustments as you see fit. 

The Classic DeEsser preset option is good if you want an all-around effect to reduce sibilance and tone down those S sounds. You also can use several Male or Female presets, which are self-explanatory on how to use them. 

You should also take a look at the Detection and Reduction meters on the left side of the DeEsser window for insight into where your sibilance is occurring in your tracks. Playback your vocal track and keep an eye on these. 

When you observe the range where sibilance occurs, you can adjust the frequency or threshold knobs in the plugin to accommodate. This method gives you a hands-on approach to using the DeEsser. 

The Filter options are also good to play around with and can help you reduce sibilance and S sounds better. 

The filter on the left is a low-pass filter, which will address a broad range of higher frequencies. The filter on the right is a peak filter, which will address a smaller range of frequencies in your track. 

The Max Reduction knob will set how much sibilance is reduced, and you’ll see these changes show up in the Reduction meter on the left side of the DeEsser window. 

You can also change the Mode of the DeEsser. You’ll see this option pretty much right in the center of the window. 

For low-level signals, choose the Relative option from the pop-up menu. This is a more active and responsive type of reduction that will pick up sibilance on quieter audio tracks. The Absolute setting is better for high-level signals.

DeEsser 2 Logic Pro X Download

The DeEsser 2 plugin comes included with Logic Pro X. But if you haven’t downloaded all of the plugins and audio library for the app, you might need to download it onto your Mac before you can use it. 

If you try to place the DeEsser 2 plugin on a channel following the steps above but notice that the plugin isn’t there or is grayed out, you need to download it.

There should be a downward-facing arrow button that you can click on to begin downloading the plugin. You might see a prompt asking you if you are sure you want to download and might need to plug in your system password. 

As long as you are connected to the internet, downloading the DeEsser should only take a few seconds. Once you have it on your Mac, you can then insert it onto any track and follow the tips and steps above to use it. 

Final Thoughts

If you plan on recording any type of vocals in Logic Pro X, knowing how to use the DeEsser 2 plugin can help you make them sound great. You can reduce sibilance with this and eliminate those unwanted S sounds that can dominate a mix. 

I think the presets in the DeEsser 2 plugin work really well, and I don’t often make too many manual adjustments. If you are just learning to use the DeEsser, consider sticking to these presets to make things easier and more effective. 

Have you used the DeEsser in Logic Pro X? Did you use the presets or adjust things manually? Let me know in the comments below.

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