SSL Native X-EQ 2

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
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KVRAF
4644 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:26 pm

I picked this up during this short sale. It's pretty nice. I bought it because of the anti-cramping and the parallel mode. both work as advertised. its nice to be able to have a parallel/serial option for certain track EQing. I also like the integrated phase chart to help identify EQ tweeks to try and fix some band phase issues.

$300 on sale for $40 until sept 20
https://store.solidstatelogic.com/produ ... ive-x-eq-2

Anti-cramping seems to be effective!

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KVRAF
3706 posts since 29 Jun, 2011 from USA

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:55 pm

So tempted. I don't *need* an EQ like this, but it was very nice to use when I demoed it.
Aiynzahev-sounds
Sound Designer - Soundsets for Repro, Diva, Virus TI, Nord Lead 4, Serum, DUNE2, Spire, and others

User avatar
KVRAF
32950 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:03 pm

What is anti cramping?

KVRAF
1824 posts since 6 Nov, 2006

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:22 pm

aMUSEd wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:03 pm
What is anti cramping?
i looked in the manual.
What is anti-cramping?
You will have noticed the phrase 'anti-cramping' in our references to X-EQ 2 and may be wondering "what is this and why should I care?" Well let us explain...
All digital audio systems have a finite frequency bandwidth dependant on the sample rate. The upper limit of this frequency bandwidth is known as the Nyquist frequency.
At the most commonly used DAW session sample rates of 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz, the upper limit of the frequency bandwidth is close to audible range of the human ear (22.05kHz /24kHz). In a traditional digital EQ design, as you approach this upper limit a phenomenon called ‘cramping’ or 'wrapping' occurs, whereby bell-shaped boosts or cuts at the upper-end of the frequency spectrum (around 15 - 20 kHz) begin to suffer and become affected. The effect of EQ cramping may not
always be immediately obvious but listen more carefully and you will hear distortion, ringing and other artefacts that make an EQ sound unpleasant e.g. lack of smoothness in the top end. This can be particularly frustrating when trying to get some nice 'air' out of a vocal to name one real-world example. Or perhaps, you are trying to add some overall brightness/air to the whole mix.
The solution that most manufacturers use to get around this issue is to implement ‘oversampling’; the audio entering the digital processor (in this case, the plug-in) is upsampled to a higher sample rate, processing is applied without the
audible cramping issue as the upper bandwidth limit has moved further away from the audible frequency range, and then downsampled back to the original sample rate. Whilst this works, it’s often at the expense of CPU usage for the user in their DAW and therefore ‘costs’ a lot more processing power. X-EQ 2 uses SSL's own proprietary 'anti-cramping' algorithms to prevent the unpleasant artefacts of EQ cramping,
particularly those which cause asymmetrical response curves for bell boosts at around 15 -20kHz. Unlike standard digital anti-cramping, SSL’s proprietary solution achieves this without any additional CPU cost. How do we do this? Well, you'd have to ask our DSP experts and I think they are quite keen to keep this one a secret...

KVRian
1002 posts since 30 Jun, 2014 from Pacific NW

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:08 pm

No way to demo it unless you use Gobbler. That rules it out for me. I'll continue to enjoy and use ProQ3 everywhere.

If you don't have ProQ3 or similar, this might be a nice option for $40.

User avatar
KVRAF
32950 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:11 pm

It seems to have a lot more filter types than Pro Q 3 though including some classic ones (bit more like DDMF IIEQ in that respect - also the parallel processing option)

User avatar
KVRAF
3706 posts since 29 Jun, 2011 from USA

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:43 pm

dayjob wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:22 pm
aMUSEd wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:03 pm
What is anti cramping?
i looked in the manual.
What is anti-cramping?
You will have noticed the phrase 'anti-cramping' in our references to X-EQ 2 and may be wondering "what is this and why should I care?" Well let us explain...
All digital audio systems have a finite frequency bandwidth dependant on the sample rate. The upper limit of this frequency bandwidth is known as the Nyquist frequency.
At the most commonly used DAW session sample rates of 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz, the upper limit of the frequency bandwidth is close to audible range of the human ear (22.05kHz /24kHz). In a traditional digital EQ design, as you approach this upper limit a phenomenon called ‘cramping’ or 'wrapping' occurs, whereby bell-shaped boosts or cuts at the upper-end of the frequency spectrum (around 15 - 20 kHz) begin to suffer and become affected. The effect of EQ cramping may not
always be immediately obvious but listen more carefully and you will hear distortion, ringing and other artefacts that make an EQ sound unpleasant e.g. lack of smoothness in the top end. This can be particularly frustrating when trying to get some nice 'air' out of a vocal to name one real-world example. Or perhaps, you are trying to add some overall brightness/air to the whole mix.
The solution that most manufacturers use to get around this issue is to implement ‘oversampling’; the audio entering the digital processor (in this case, the plug-in) is upsampled to a higher sample rate, processing is applied without the
audible cramping issue as the upper bandwidth limit has moved further away from the audible frequency range, and then downsampled back to the original sample rate. Whilst this works, it’s often at the expense of CPU usage for the user in their DAW and therefore ‘costs’ a lot more processing power. X-EQ 2 uses SSL's own proprietary 'anti-cramping' algorithms to prevent the unpleasant artefacts of EQ cramping,
particularly those which cause asymmetrical response curves for bell boosts at around 15 -20kHz. Unlike standard digital anti-cramping, SSL’s proprietary solution achieves this without any additional CPU cost. How do we do this? Well, you'd have to ask our DSP experts and I think they are quite keen to keep this one a secret...
So.. it's just a free way of doing what oversampling does on other digital eq's
Aiynzahev-sounds
Sound Designer - Soundsets for Repro, Diva, Virus TI, Nord Lead 4, Serum, DUNE2, Spire, and others

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

4644 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:50 pm

Aiynzahev wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:43 pm
dayjob wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:22 pm
aMUSEd wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:03 pm
What is anti cramping?
i looked in the manual.
[TL;DR]
So.. it's just a free way of doing what oversampling does on other digital eq's
It's more complicated than that. On over-sampling internally to extend the bandwidth to effective give more space for the EQ filter band, once it under-samples back to the lower rate of the DAW, it will still cramp at nyquist. The trick is to get the EQ filter band to extend out to the DAW rate without abberation. In analogue it wouls usually just slowly taper off to the bandwidth limit of the gear. Can't do that with digital beecause of the brick wall. Is it audible? Does it matter? YMWillV

User avatar
KVRAF
2674 posts since 31 Dec, 2004 from People's Republic of Minnesota

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:12 pm

Friday-brain question. What is the purpose of parallel in an eq?

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

4644 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:38 pm

masterhiggins wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:12 pm
Friday-brain question. What is the purpose of parallel in an eq?
In an EQ like this each band output feeds into the next band and so on - they are arranged in series. With a parallel set up the audio is split into each band and then the band outpus are mixed together - the bands are in parallel. Parallel is how passive EQ's are configured for various reasons including to mitigate interactions across bands in a series set up. This has to do with the nature of the circuitry used (passive vs active). Passive has a slightly different sound to it than the ubiquitous series and also the phase shifts are different giving and over-all different vibe and series. One may be better than the other and sometimes they sound the same. it really depends on the band parameters and source material. It's just a "vibe" option.

User avatar
KVRist
359 posts since 17 Sep, 2020

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:17 pm

I'd say this is a fantastic EQ and a total no brainer at that price. I used the old duende plugins back in the day, and they were top of the range back then.

User avatar
KVRAF
3706 posts since 29 Jun, 2011 from USA

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:47 pm

plexuss wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:50 pm
Aiynzahev wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:43 pm
dayjob wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:22 pm
aMUSEd wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:03 pm
What is anti cramping?
i looked in the manual.
[TL;DR]
So.. it's just a free way of doing what oversampling does on other digital eq's
It's more complicated than that. On over-sampling internally to extend the bandwidth to effective give more space for the EQ filter band, once it under-samples back to the lower rate of the DAW, it will still cramp at nyquist. The trick is to get the EQ filter band to extend out to the DAW rate without abberation. In analogue it wouls usually just slowly taper off to the bandwidth limit of the gear. Can't do that with digital beecause of the brick wall. Is it audible? Does it matter? YMWillV
Oh nice thanks, now I need to find out how they do it.
Aiynzahev-sounds
Sound Designer - Soundsets for Repro, Diva, Virus TI, Nord Lead 4, Serum, DUNE2, Spire, and others

User avatar
KVRAF
3706 posts since 29 Jun, 2011 from USA

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:48 pm

Effectsworks wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:17 pm
I'd say this is a fantastic EQ and a total no brainer at that price. I used the old duende plugins back in the day, and they were top of the range back then.
They are great. I love the bus comp. I'm waiting for the day the channel strip goes on sale
Aiynzahev-sounds
Sound Designer - Soundsets for Repro, Diva, Virus TI, Nord Lead 4, Serum, DUNE2, Spire, and others

KVRist
424 posts since 1 Jul, 2009

Post Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:32 pm

Aiynzahev wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:55 pm
So tempted. I don't *need* an EQ like this, but it was very nice to use when I demoed it.
I didn't need it either, but at this price, it's hard to pass up. Just do it. :hihi:
For me it was an easy decision; I don't own Pro-Q3 and my "workhorse" EQ's are Bitwig's EQ-5 and EQ+. Also, I got the bus compressor and channel strip bundle when it was on sale for 50$, and SSL were so generous to gift us with the new versions and SSL360 for free, impressive.

v1o
KVRAF
3046 posts since 2 Oct, 2004

Post Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:55 pm

This doesn't appear to have the flat top bell EQ type like the Izotope suite? It also doesn't have EQ demasking like the stock Cubase EQ or Izotope. Also doesn't have dynamic EQ bands, or a feature to capture an EQ profile from a source audio file and then match it.

On sale it's not far off in price to both Crave EQ £49 and Toneboosters EQ4 $39. Is it the better of the 3?

edit: Has anyone done automation testing with X-EQ 2s EQ bands, does it make zipper noise?
Orion Platinum, Muzys 2

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