Recommendation for neutral-sounding broad strokes EQ (no curves view)

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Havok
KVRist
355 posts since 22 Nov, 2015

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 5:41 am

+2 for SlickEQ

metamorphosis
KVRAF
Topic Starter
3976 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 3:04 pm

imrae wrote: Mon Sep 26, 2022 11:40 pm
metamorphosis wrote: Mon Sep 26, 2022 9:05 pm
imrae wrote: Mon Sep 26, 2022 2:20 am For fixed-frequency I also like Luftikus (which is free and again has options for both stepped controls and gain compensation).
Ah yes, the MAAG eq clone. Unfortunately lack of adjustable freq makes this a no-go, but thanks for reminding me of it. MAAG eq was overrated.
For broad shaping it’s less restrictive than it looks; because of the heavily overlapping curves you can get various corner frequencies by using neighbouring bands in different ratios. The gain-compensation, missing from the hardware and Maag plugin, makes it much easier to do this without being fooled by overall volume.
Oh wait shit it has gain compensation? Colour me sold!
I wish every plugin had a-weighted gain compensation - particularly steve slate compressors - would make finding the right sound - as opposed to the louder sound - so much easier.

metamorphosis
KVRAF
Topic Starter
3976 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 3:41 pm

Okay, roundup:
I like slick EQ more than Luftikus in terms of the variety and the presense of a HP filter, though I get roughly equivalent (but slightly different) results from both. Neither of them have a-weighted gain compensation, but the gain compensation they have still helps.
I tested both blindEQ and IQ505 - didn't do the others - both are 64-bit only, unfortunately, since I have a lot of 32-bit-only plugin projects. Blindeq I didn't get good results out of compared to Slick and Luft because of the lack of gain compensation and how easy that made it to fool yourself. Once the gain was adjusted to match SlickEQ/luft subjective output volume, result were worse.
IQ505 has a-weighted gain compensation and sounds nice, but ultimately I didn't get as-good results out of it as lft and slickeq.

So the winners are: SlickEQ and Luftikus. SlickEQ by a hair, due to the ability to change from neutral to coloured response and the presense of the HP filter.

[EDIT: side-note, I am still able to get better results than all of these, at least for slightly more coloured work, with vibe - perhaps that's because I'm more used to how it works, but still]

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Halonmusic
KVRAF
7399 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Post Tue Sep 27, 2022 7:59 pm

+3 for SlickEQ
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Vortifex
KVRAF
2905 posts since 1 Sep, 2016

Post Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:14 am

You could try the free Blend EQ from Analog Obsession. No auto gain though: https://www.patreon.com/posts/blendeq-67460087

sinkmusic
KVRAF
6760 posts since 28 Apr, 2004 from france

Post Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:49 am

Vortifex wrote: Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:14 am You could try the free Blend EQ from Analog Obsession. No auto gain though: https://www.patreon.com/posts/blendeq-67460087
Oh, about Analog Obsession, I like Fiver :
https://www.patreon.com/posts/fiver-48483719
Image

It sounds good, is quite neutral, you can bypass each band...

metamorphosis
KVRAF
Topic Starter
3976 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Tue Oct 04, 2022 3:12 pm

sinkmusic wrote: Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:49 am
Vortifex wrote: Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:14 am You could try the free Blend EQ from Analog Obsession. No auto gain though: https://www.patreon.com/posts/blendeq-67460087
Oh, about Analog Obsession, I like Fiver :
https://www.patreon.com/posts/fiver-48483719
Image

It sounds good, is quite neutral, you can bypass each band...
Both look good but no 32-bit.
In practice over the past 2 weeks that Vibe EQ is still my go-to for first-pass, but then using the other two above post-effects is very useful, in terms of adjusting for how effects adjust the eq.

Azbest
KVRist
210 posts since 17 Oct, 2020

Post Wed Oct 05, 2022 7:19 am

NoiseAsh Rule Tec. You can turn off the "analog" behaviour.

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legendCNCD
KVRian
1379 posts since 23 Sep, 2004 from Kocmoc

Post Thu Oct 06, 2022 4:00 am

SlickEQ and SlickEQ M
Soft Knees - Demoscene - Live 10 - Diva - Omnisphere - Slate Digital VSX - TDR - Kush Audio - Fabfilter - PA - Valhalla - Fuse - Pulsar - NI - OekSound etc...

metamorphosis
KVRAF
Topic Starter
3976 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Thu Oct 13, 2022 1:16 pm

Azbest wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 7:19 am NoiseAsh Rule Tec. You can turn off the "analog" behaviour.
64-bit only but got me interested in the 'pultec trick' so will have to find a 32-bit pultec clone

Unaspected
KVRAF
3039 posts since 4 May, 2012

Post Thu Oct 13, 2022 7:57 pm

I would also recommend Tokyo Dawn Labs' (free) "SlickEQ": https://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-vos-slickeq/

metamorphosis wrote: Thu Oct 13, 2022 1:16 pm
Azbest wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 7:19 am NoiseAsh Rule Tec. You can turn off the "analog" behaviour.
64-bit only but got me interested in the 'pultec trick' so will have to find a 32-bit pultec clone
You can do this with any parametric EQ. Just make sure the slope of the low shelf continues rolling off into the negative so it starts to cut. You could do this with an additional bell/peak filter and adjust to taste.

metamorphosis
KVRAF
Topic Starter
3976 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Tue Oct 18, 2022 1:39 pm

Unaspected wrote: Thu Oct 13, 2022 7:57 pm I would also recommend Tokyo Dawn Labs' (free) "SlickEQ": https://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-vos-slickeq/
... might want to read through the thread
Unaspected wrote: Thu Oct 13, 2022 7:57 pm You can do this with any parametric EQ. Just make sure the slope of the low shelf continues rolling off into the negative so it starts to cut. You could do this with an additional bell/peak filter and adjust to taste.
No, the curves of the pultec clones are very specific, and as far as I understand it, non-linear. Not worth my time to try and emulate with another plugin. Certainly based on my experience of playing with the pultecs so far, they do achieve something you can't with a regular parametric. Having used paras for 25 years.

Anyway, as far as free & 32-bit-capable pultec clones go, pteq-x is great. The interface is pretty wonky, but it gets the job done.
Sonimus's soneq is also worth a mention - I'd say it's not as good as the above, but it's WooW/saturation mechanic can give an interesting stereo effect. I wouldn't use it as a general-purpose eq, more as a post-effects bump

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Halma
KVRian
1070 posts since 9 Apr, 2012

Post Wed Oct 19, 2022 3:30 am

Aside from using SlickEQ Ge I still like SonEQ
https://sonimus.com/products/soneq and DDMF’s 6144 https://ddmf.eu/6144-equalizer-plugin/ .

The Midband from the SonEQ sounds pretty great on Bass.

The 6144 can be pushed pretty extreme and still sounds awesome.
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imrae
KVRAF
2215 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Wed Oct 19, 2022 3:39 am

I believe the trick to achieving Pultec-like workflow/curves using a parametric EQ is to have two competing low-shelf filters (with cut higher than boost),
not a low shelf boost and low peak cut.

Unaspected
KVRAF
3039 posts since 4 May, 2012

Post Wed Oct 19, 2022 7:35 pm

metamorphosis wrote: Tue Oct 18, 2022 1:39 pm
Unaspected wrote: Thu Oct 13, 2022 7:57 pm I would also recommend Tokyo Dawn Labs' (free) "SlickEQ": https://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-vos-slickeq/
... might want to read through the thread
I just did a second time - not sure what I missed.

I appreciated your write up on it - not many people give such detailed replies.

metamorphosis wrote: Tue Oct 18, 2022 1:39 pm
Unaspected wrote: Thu Oct 13, 2022 7:57 pm You can do this with any parametric EQ. Just make sure the slope of the low shelf continues rolling off into the negative so it starts to cut. You could do this with an additional bell/peak filter and adjust to taste.
No, the curves of the pultec clones are very specific, and as far as I understand it, non-linear. Not worth my time to try and emulate with another plugin. Certainly based on my experience of playing with the pultecs so far, they do achieve something you can't with a regular parametric. Having used paras for 25 years.
Same. It's mostly down to the interaction between the filters. So, indeed, if you are automating the response, this might be a difficult thing to achieve with a parametric EQ - but if you're using static settings - as one would expect with this type of EQ - then you should be able to match the required curve easily enough. As long as you don't want the vibe - which I read as saturation/distortion. Otherwise, you could follow this with some from of subtle tube emulation.

The Pultec is a passive EQ so it loses gain in that section of the circuit. To make up for this, a tube amp is used to bring the level back up so all is balanced. I've not used the unit myself but a friend worked in a studio that had a couple and their only use there was to run signals through without any EQ applied. It added a certain something at the end of the mixing stage.

As far as curve interaction goes, it's mostly because you can both boost and cut the low end simultaneously (as imrae states, using two low shelves) which isn't recommended. However (as all rules must be broken) it turns out that this configuration still boosts the deep low end whilst cutting around the bass frequencies. Which looks something like this:

Image

So if you were emulating the motion using a low shelf and bell filter, the bell would have to have its gain, cutoff and Q modulated in sympathy with the gain of the shelf: The cutoff inversely proportionate as both the gain and Q increase. In other words: The greater the boost, the tighter the cut.

Whilst I definitely wouldn't class the Pultec as being without vibe, it very much is for broad strokes. Along similar lines, maybe Fuse Audio Lab's VPQ bundle would be of interest: https://fuseaudiolabs.de/#/pages/product?id=300910246
It's not a Pultec emulation but might be a viable alternative and offers a 32bit version if you're running a Windows system. A sale is probably also around the corner, though it's very fairly priced anyway.

Getting more vibey though definitely offering broad strokes would be Fuse's (free) Baxandall RS-W2395C: https://fuseaudiolabs.de/#/pages/product?id=300965965

Though probably my favourite broad stoke EQ (right now) is the Lindell 80s Series channel strip emulation: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/prod ... eries.html

imrae wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 3:39 am I believe the trick to achieving Pultec-like workflow/curves using a parametric EQ is to have two competing low-shelf filters (with cut higher than boost),
not a low shelf boost and low peak cut.
That's correct - but if I were emulating it with a parametric EQ, I'd probably use a low shelf and a bell as I think this would afford greater control, might be more intuitive and easier/quicker to match the response.

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