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Author Topic: whats the best way to test a EQ  (Read 3432 times)

aivoryuk

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whats the best way to test a EQ
« on: July 04, 2005, 01:44:51 pm »

this may seem like a stupid question

but i'm the quest to find the eq plugins that i want to use for my mastering. At the moment i can't afford hardware so they are not a option at the mo Smile

the problem is there are soo many to choose from. so what i want to do is to narrow them down. You may think that having every EQ under the sun would be great but i think it may hinder having too much choice.
im going for 2 surgical eq's and then 2 more sweeter ones.

so are there are tests that you might do (apart from listening to them) to show the real quality of a plugin. maybe pushing them hard i'm not sure

any advice would be great fully received
thanks

Alex
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bblackwood

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2005, 04:43:07 pm »

Regardless of whether it's hardware or software, if you can't boost more than a dB or two at say, 10kHz without it getting harsh, keep looking. That's an easy test that most seem to fail on, ime...
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Ronny

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2005, 04:47:50 pm »


Give them the EQ-IQ test.  Very Happy

For surgical try the linear phase eq's, for sweetness try to find a way to go analog. Can't have too many eq's though, if you are working on a wide variety of music. If you simply can't afford at least one annie eq the PSP Vintage Warmer may help you get a little sweetness in the digital domain, if you spend some time tweaking it and don't hit the drive too hard. Auditioning the Waves LPEQ broadband, the LPEQ lowband and the PSP, would be a good starting point for your plug-in search, IMO.

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aivoryuk

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2005, 06:11:46 am »

thanks for the replies

I will certainley try what you have suggested brad

Also Ronny thanks for your suggestions Iwould love to go analogue but sadly its not viable at the mo Sad, I do have the waves lineq and these will be part of my surgical eq's as i do think it is good at what it can do. Would love to try the algorithmix ones as i know a lot of good things are being said about these.

I also like the JMS hi resoultion EQ for surgical, this sounds quite clean to me and is quite flexible.

for my more sweeter one im going between below

PSP masterQ, I like the sound of it but its very fiddly to use.

the sonalksis is also very good and not as fiddly as the PSP.

I've tried the vintage warmer in the last few days and have found to get the best out of it is to use it subtley unless im after a pumping effect.

well i shall continue experimenting and if anybody else has anymore suggestions for testing or EQ's to try out then please feel free to suggest

thanks
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OTR-jkl

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2005, 10:22:02 am »

aivoryuk -
What do you find "fiddly" about the PSP MasterQ? and how are you using/setting the VW that makes it pump?

Ronny -
What do you consider "hitting the drive too hard" on the PSP VW?
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aivoryuk

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2005, 10:39:44 am »

Hi OTR

the main thing i find fiddly with the psp masterq is that the when boosting or cutting its not done in 1/2 db increments so when moving the mouse it takes more time to get the exact amount of boost/cut that i want.

regarding the VW, i've not had it long so have not had time to really experiment but i would prob use it as the last thing as it is consider a limiter as well as a compressor. even on the default settings as soon as i move the knee dial i can hear it pumping even when i back the drive dial off,
if im using it wrong then please enlighten me Smile
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jlapointe

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2005, 12:50:32 pm »

aivoryuk wrote on Tue, 05 July 2005 07:11

 if anybody else has anymore suggestions for testing or EQ's to try out then please feel free to suggest



For a colourful plugin eq, try the Hydratone.  

http://www.tritonedigital.com/hydratone.htm#lowdown

Noiseflaw

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2005, 01:11:55 pm »

JLaPointe wrote on Tue, 05 July 2005 17:50

aivoryuk wrote on Tue, 05 July 2005 07:11

 if anybody else has anymore suggestions for testing or EQ's to try out then please feel free to suggest



For a colourful plugin eq, try the Hydratone.  

http://www.tritonedigital.com/hydratone.htm#lowdown




Yes do try it Hydratone  ...for character it is the absolute best - imo, (4 Convolved Eq models to choose from Amek 9098, Avalon 737Sp, API 550b, FocusriteISA 110 - also try Eqium/Firium for precision.
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Ronny

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2005, 01:13:44 pm »

OTR-jkl wrote on Tue, 05 July 2005 10:22

aivoryuk -
What do you find "fiddly" about the PSP MasterQ? and how are you using/setting the VW that makes it pump?

Ronny -
What do you consider "hitting the drive too hard" on the PSP VW?


The drive knob is really the input gain, rather than just a processor input attenuator it allows boosting the input by a tremendous amount, IIRC up to +24dB. The ceiling control is where I can get the most artifact free annie type sound from, as it controls output and saturation algo's. If you hit the drive too hard you are boosting the signal before any processing is performed and if your material is already close to zero, you will be processing the over -0dBFs signal with not much turn of the drive knob past 12 o'clock. While processing over -0dBFS in a 32 float system doesn't really clip the signal until it outputs to a DAC, I find that almost all processors operate better when input level doesn't exceed -0dBFs. Try backing off the drive and making up gain with the ceiling on the post processed signal, for a smoother analog sound. You won't clip the output with the ceiling knob, it will bring the RMS up and not peak up past -0dBFs. They are getting better with the tube and tape emulation programs, but still no cigar compared to real analog, I seldom use the VM, but it's one of the best plugs for adding warmth if you are remaining in the digital realm, IMHO.
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aivoryuk

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2005, 02:21:32 pm »

thanks for that Ronny, I tried what you've suggested and did hear a improvement, although i had to balance the mix output because i still hear the effect. seemed a little unnatural to me and as you say Ronny, no cigar to analog. quite similar to a vitalizer you can get used to the sound

Ronny have you ever heard the Tc-electronics Digital radiance generator (DRG) found on the triple C and possibly the finalizer.
this is about the only thing i use my triple c for nowadays no more than setting 3 so still quite subtle.

regarding the hydratone i am considering this as well as i've heard good things about this one as well

thanks for the recommendations guys
Alex
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OTR-jkl

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2005, 03:45:18 pm »

I must be way off - I don't get that kind of response at all...

When I turn the Ceiling past 0.0 at all, I start getting overs on the Samp peak meters. If anything, what I hear by changing the Ceiling is more of a squashed sound. I almost never turn the Knee past 1.0 and use the Drive to get the necessary gain - usually somewhere in the +3.0 neighborhood...

???
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Ronny

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2005, 07:11:37 pm »

OTR-jkl wrote on Tue, 05 July 2005 15:45

I must be way off - I don't get that kind of response at all...

When I turn the Ceiling past 0.0 at all, I start getting overs on the Samp peak meters. If anything, what I hear by changing the Ceiling is more of a squashed sound. I almost never turn the Knee past 1.0 and use the Drive to get the necessary gain - usually somewhere in the +3.0 neighborhood...

???


You must be inputting at a lower level than I typically do, talking the level of the source material. I also don't try to use it so much to limit, more of getting a warmer tone without trying to squash, I typically use the L2 for final perceived gain after the VW, on the occasions that I do use it. The ceiling control is also supposed to limit the signal so that no matter where you set it you won't go over and the more you turn it up, the less RMS you'll have, but I can hear bad clipping when I set the drive too hot, no matter where ceiling is set. I typically attenuate the input (drive) rather than boost it and it's usually less than -0dB. Try setting the drive at -12dB, the ceiling at +8dB, you should hear no artifacts, than turn up the drive until you hear clipping or see the red light and than back off. Set your output gain on the eq. I often come out with lower gain than I go in and make up gain with the L2, so maybe I'm not hitting it as hard as most people. In light touches it will pull the digititus out of some tunes, but I've never been able to hit it hard for perceived gain and gotten a satisfactory sound.    
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Ronny

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2005, 07:13:51 pm »

aivoryuk wrote on Tue, 05 July 2005 14:21

thanks for that Ronny, I tried what you've suggested and did hear a improvement, although i had to balance the mix output because i still hear the effect. seemed a little unnatural to me and as you say Ronny, no cigar to analog. quite similar to a vitalizer you can get used to the sound

Ronny have you ever heard the Tc-electronics Digital radiance generator (DRG) found on the triple C and possibly the finalizer.
this is about the only thing i use my triple c for nowadays no more than setting 3 so still quite subtle.

regarding the hydratone i am considering this as well as i've heard good things about this one as well

thanks for the recommendations guys
Alex


Can't remember hearing the DRG Alex.
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OTR-jkl

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2005, 09:28:34 pm »

Ronny wrote on Tue, 05 July 2005 18:11

I've never been able to hit it hard for perceived gain and gotten a satisfactory sound.

What kind of GR do you see on the VW meters when you "hit it hard" by your definition? I'm also curious where you set the Sat. knobs...

Regarding turning the Drive way down and the Ceiling up, I think I would rather attenuate the signal somewhere else rather than at the VW. FWIW, I usually use my tube convertor to make up as much gain as I can in the analog realm so when the signal hits the VW, its already pretty hot and I don't have to make it work very hard at all - almost always < 1 dB of GR...
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2005, 11:43:38 am »

aivoryuk wrote on Mon, 04 July 2005 12:44

so are there are tests that you might do (apart from listening to them) to show the real quality of a plugin. maybe pushing them hard i'm not sure


Hey Alex, how about Mastering 3 songs with each of the contender EQs,
listening to the results and making a choice ?

Select 3 songs to Master that need a fair amount of work to sound good.

Seems like a good test to me.
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aivoryuk

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2005, 12:02:18 pm »

sounds like a good idea jerry

i'll try and find 3 songs of a different genre and use the eq's to find which gives the best results

cheers for the suggestion

alex   Smile
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jlapointe

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2005, 08:49:53 pm »

JayTea wrote on Wed, 06 July 2005 12:43


Select 3 songs to Master that need a fair amount of work to sound good.


I would also suggest testing the eqs on a mix that is nearly perfect - just needing a little touchup eq.  See if the eqs can get in and do the job without messing anything else up.

aivoryuk

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2005, 06:34:43 am »

JLaPointe wrote on Thu, 07 July 2005 01:49


I would also suggest testing the eqs on a mix that is nearly perfect - just needing a little touchup eq.  See if the eqs can get in and do the job without messing anything else up.



thanks for that, i did that last night, got a CD in my collection which is more is prob a first generation CD copy literally where the engineer has just played the master mix tape to cd and just inserted track marks, its a perfect mix that just needs a little modernisation.

the results I done were very surprising

I will post them once i've finished my findings as i think it will make for interesting reading
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ammitsboel

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2005, 08:30:45 am »

aivoryuk wrote on Thu, 07 July 2005 11:34

JLaPointe wrote on Thu, 07 July 2005 01:49


I would also suggest testing the eqs on a mix that is nearly perfect - just needing a little touchup eq.  See if the eqs can get in and do the job without messing anything else up.



thanks for that, i did that last night, got a CD in my collection which is more is prob a first generation CD copy literally where the engineer has just played the master mix tape to cd and just inserted track marks, its a perfect mix that just needs a little modernisation.

the results I done were very surprising

I will post them once i've finished my findings as i think it will make for interesting reading


Oh, I kind of like those first generation transfers to CD that hasn't been messed up!
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bobkatz

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2005, 07:45:18 pm »

JLaPointe wrote on Wed, 06 July 2005 20:49

JayTea wrote on Wed, 06 July 2005 12:43


Select 3 songs to Master that need a fair amount of work to sound good.


I would also suggest testing the eqs on a mix that is nearly perfect - just needing a little touchup eq.  See if the eqs can get in and do the job without messing anything else up.



Good test! We want to know two things about an EQ:

1) How transparent it is OR

2) If it is not transparent, how nice it sounds!
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Ronny

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2005, 02:10:26 am »

OTR-jkl wrote on Tue, 05 July 2005 21:28

Ronny wrote on Tue, 05 July 2005 18:11

I've never been able to hit it hard for perceived gain and gotten a satisfactory sound.

What kind of GR do you see on the VW meters when you "hit it hard" by your definition? I'm also curious where you set the Sat. knobs...

Regarding turning the Drive way down and the Ceiling up, I think I would rather attenuate the signal somewhere else rather than at the VW. FWIW, I usually use my tube convertor to make up as much gain as I can in the analog realm so when the signal hits the VW, its already pretty hot and I don't have to make it work very hard at all - almost always < 1 dB of GR...



I don't have gr meters only VU meters and not sure what you mean by Sat knobs. I find the VU meters to be lacking and slow. If you mean Sat = saturation, that's done with the ceiling.
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AndreasN

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2005, 02:15:40 pm »

Theres a "toggle switch" in VW that switches the meters between input, GR and output.
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Ronny

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2005, 06:23:48 pm »

AndreasN wrote on Sat, 09 July 2005 14:15

Theres a "toggle switch" in VW that switches the meters between input, GR and output.


Ok, thanks I'll check it out next time that I use the VW.
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OTR-jkl

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2005, 09:04:34 am »

Ronny wrote on Sat, 09 July 2005 01:10

not sure what you mean by Sat knobs. If you mean Sat = saturation, that's done with the ceiling.

On the "back panel" of the VW, there are more controls and fine adjustment parameters including Saturation adjustments for each of the 3 bands when using the VW in Multiband mode. These Sat. adj. knobs are used to adjust the Saturation characteristics of each band. I find them more useful than the Ceiling knob. (At least I understand them more than I do the Ceiling knob.)

I'd still like to know more about the Ceiling knob and how to use it...
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Ronny

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Re: whats the best way to test a EQ
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2005, 03:48:04 pm »

OTR-jkl wrote on Mon, 11 July 2005 09:04

Ronny wrote on Sat, 09 July 2005 01:10

not sure what you mean by Sat knobs. If you mean Sat = saturation, that's done with the ceiling.

On the "back panel" of the VW, there are more controls and fine adjustment parameters including Saturation adjustments for each of the 3 bands when using the VW in Multiband mode. These Sat. adj. knobs are used to adjust the Saturation characteristics of each band. I find them more useful than the Ceiling knob. (At least I understand them more than I do the Ceiling knob.)

I'd still like to know more about the Ceiling knob and how to use it...



You obviously use it more than I do, Jeff and are more experienced with it. I had to pull out the manual to even find  the sat knobs.  Laughing

Maybe I'm not getting as good of results as you are by putting the drive low and the ceiling higher. Everything that I've related is keeping all controls on the back panel at default. When I try to use the drive up and the ceiling low, I get to a point where the overs bark, really bad clipping. I'll work with it some when I get the time.

This is what the manual says about the ceiling knob:  

The Ceiling knob allows Vintage Warmer to operate at a maximum level other than 0dBFS. This control prevents 0dBFS signals exceeding 0dBFS even if the Ceiling is set at more than 0dBFS. The Ceiling control interacts with the low, mid and high saturation level adjustments in the back panel. The default value is 0dB.

A clear case of me NRTFM (not remembering the fu*king manual) and mastering using the Dave Collins method of using my ears and not wearing my eyeglasses to see these little numbers and switches.  Laughing

No wonder why I get less clipping and more saturation when I turn the drive down and the ceiling up, though.  
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