De-essing is a really important thing with mastering now because De-esses cannot just do the vocal. There's a lot of digital noise going on, and it can sound edgy. So, using De-esser for that and the vocal is a perfect way of getting a nice, smooth top.
I'm using a couple of DSs mainly. They're new ones. They've only been out about a year, but they're my favourites now. For a long time, I used a multiband compression and some dynamic EQ, which you can use if you don't want to use these plugins. You can use those just in the area that's around 5,000 up to about 8,000 Hertz, where you'll find the most things in the vocals, and also that kind of high tizzyness in the cymbals.
There are two main things that I use now. The first one is the Soothe from Oeksound, a dynamic EQ that sorts out the high end. It's really good, especially for dance music – anything that has a splashy high end that you want to control and make it sound tight and smooth. The Soothe works well for that, but my favourite at the moment is the Vice. They've released it as a plugin. Its de-esser is impressive because it does a Mono and does it in MS mode. So it means you can do just the mid-channel, or you can do the outside, and there are a few effects you can do with that. It works great: it's so transparent. You can pull things down and take a lot out without even hearing it working.
A little tip if you don't know: if you take too much of a vocal while de-esing, it's going to sound lispy because you're taking the beat off. So you don't want that because a vocalist shouldn't sound like that.
You have to weigh it up a bit, leave a bit in, but not enough, so it's annoying for the singer. Vices have two units, so you can grab the vocals with one and then you can grab the high hats with the other and then move it around and up and down.
So you can work with it a lot of ways. You can use the vocals for them in the midsection and then play around with the symbols on the outside. I suggest you check out the Vice. It's my de-esser of choice at the moment, and it's making De-esing super easy now in 2019.