Eplex7 releases Cardiam D-142k - Vacuum tube passive equalizer plugin VST

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Eplex7 DSP
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191 posts since 10 Nov, 2014

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 5:39 am

The Cardiam D-142k is an boutique vst plugin equalizer inspired by classic American coil and vacuum tube equalizers from the 50s and 60s.

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It is characterized by a soft "passive style" sound in the middle, highs and transients. Liquid and warm tones. During its development, we used advanced methods of emulating individual circuits / blocks as well as sampling analog hardware.

The problem with many digital emulations of analog equalizers is usually that, when boosted they often start to sound harsh, sharp, digital, especially in the middle and high frequencies + transients that can be heard especially when the recording is mastered at high volume (increased volume will bring out errors and problems in the mix / magnifies them like a magnifying glass). You can hear it especially on high-quality mastering and hi-fi speakers, headphones or on powerful PA sound systems in clubs or festivals. In addition to higher harmonics, digital emulations often generate annoying aliasing / artifacts.

https://youtu.be/kQeE5ALgTng

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We removed all these common ailments of digital analog emulations to the maximum (known) extent possible using technologies:

Ø - Zero harshness technology

The biggest problem with most digital (and analog) emulations is that they often sound harsh, sharp, digital when amplifying mids, highs and transitions (for example, transiently rich material is drums, percussion). This does not happen with true analog EQs. We have spent over 7 years researching analog circuits, dsp algorithms to eliminate maximum harshness and annoying digital artifacts/sharp transitions.

”We hate harshness, sharp digital highs and transients full of aliasing and artifacts. This often occurs when you boost mids, highs with a digital equalizer or digital analog emulation plug-ins. On ordinary cheap monitors you might not hear it so much when mixing because cheap near-reald monitors don't have enough detail, but after loud mastering everything will show (all mistakes in the mix, dirt, artifacts, harshness) errors and sound problems will come to the fore and will be magnified by loud mastering like under the microscope. You can hear it on high-quality hi-fi and midfield monitors (this is the reason why professional mastering studios do not use nearfield monitors, but top hi-fi such as PMC, Bowers & Wilkins, etc. with amplifiers such as Hypex, Bryston, Rotel, etc.) or top mastering headphones like Senheiser HD600 and so on. The reason is that normal nearfield monitors do not reproduce enough details, resolution, transients, trebles and do not reveal all errors of sound (they are made for mixing so as not to tire the ears during long-term mixing and production). However, if you take the recording to the club on the PA system, at the festival all the harshness is only amplified because the sound is amplified by 100x power amplifiers. When mixing, harshness is created boosted by digital equalizers and colorants. We have been searching for more than 7 years how to eliminate this digital harshness and artifacts and get as close as possible to the quality of analog outboard equalizers or analog mixing consoles. We invented technologies like Golden Aurea technology and Zero Harshness technology. It won't give harshness a chance. Try little experiment: use only equalizers and coloration units with this technology for boosting and coloring the sound, no others EQs for boosting (surgical cutting with linear phase is ok of course) and compare how your mixes improve and become more pleasant even after loud mastering, even in clubs and on top hi-fi sound systems”
Said main DSP Engineer of Eplex7 DSP



Clean Analog Top +Transients technology

Digital audio brings very good sound resolution, a lot of details, but compared to analog recordings, the sound is often too sharp, and in the case of non-linear digital processing, it often happens that unwanted artifacts are mixed into the sound / created by an average algorithm, transients and trebles are unpleasantly shaped, harsh colored etc. Sometimes these ailments are not so pronounced during mixing on cheap near field monitors, but when you go to mastering, all the errors and unpleasantness of the sound are multiplied, subsequently if the recording is played on a PA system in a club, at a festival or on a high-quality hi-fi (For example, PMC , Bowers Wilkins, etc.) or high-quality headphones (e.g. Senheiser HD600), these sound errors/artifacts are so accentuated after mastering that they literally make listening and the experience of music unpleasant for the listener. With non-linear digital processing, it is difficult to remove them, but thanks to our clean analog top+transients technologies, which we have been developing for many years, we managed to do it successfully. Enjoy clean, soft top, no harshness, no digital sharpness, precise analog sounding trebles and transients and no stress or unwanted compromises during mixing.


Hybrid Analog sampling + nonlinear algorithmic circuit emulation

Analog devices are usually made up of individual modules (PCB boards) which are interconnected internally by cables - such as input and output preamplifiers, isolation transformers, a module for equalization of bass, midrange, and treble. These modules are made up of components such as resistors, transistors, capacitors, coils, tubes, etc. Unlike ordinary digital, analog sound is constantly changing - it is as if alive, the values and behavior of individual components fluctuate slightly over time due to, for example, temperature, voltage fluctuations, the effect of sound passing through them as an electrical signal, but also due to their age. They behave very non-linearly, they create a natural saturation not only at the output but also within the individual submodules, there is not only an amount of almost inaudible noise but also coloration, the so-called higher harmonics, the sound gets texture, roundness. Unlike most common plugins, we do not look at emulation as just one code, first of all we try to individually code each sub-module (pcb board emulation) separately, to imitate its behavior in real space including its non-linearities and changes of values over time, to imitate its saturation at the input and output for each individual sub-module, to imitate coloration of every individual pcb board, whether it is an input preamplifier circuit or a treble or bass equalizer circuit. In order to achieve the best possible results, we decided to use a hybrid technology based on non-linear algorithmic emulation of individual modules and, to a small extent, sampling of real hardware. We use advanced mathematical and DSP methods. We believe that this combination provides the best ratio of analog sound quality, software stability, and natural sound.

https://youtu.be/6iDnbiIYq_E

Vacuum tube emulation technology

Electron tube (other names: vacuum tube; obsolete: electron lamp, lamp, Valve) is a glass, metal or ceramic vacuum flask that works on the principle of conduction of electric current in a vacuum.
In tubes, the transfer of electrons between the cathode and the anode is used. Electrons exit the cathode, are emitted, and strike the anode, which surrounds the cathode. Electrons captured by the anode create an anode current.
Tubes are usually used to amplify the signal in amplifiers and pre-amplifiers, they were mainly used before the invention of the cheaper transistor. Despite their higher price and short lifespan, they are still preferred by audiophiles around the world. According to many experts, their sound is more pleasant, warmer, fatter, rounder compared to transistors.
Different tubes sound different and add different timbres to the sound.
In our labs, we've developed a believable tube sound emulation to turn digital crisp sound into a fat, round, colorful and pleasing signal. Judge for yourself / switch the bypass on/off.


At the output of the equalizer there is an amplification unit made up of selection tubes. Depending on drive amount, you can either slightly color the sound or significantly saturate, thicken / fatten and make it louder. This algorithm not only emulates the tubes themselves, but also the circuits around them - which gives the sound a characteristic fatness, the so-called first harmonic and so on.

Vacuum tube warmth parameter can not only add temperature to the sound, but at higher values also beautifully round transients and highs, makes them smoother, removing their digital sharpness.

The equalizer is suitable for mixing from the most modern genres of electronic music that need to add warmth, fatness and rounding/softening to all genres of live music. It is especially suitable for mixing, of course it can also be used for mastering. It sounds great with drums (electronic and acoustic), synthesizers, vocals, pianos, guitars, percussion, on submix tracks, etc.

Cardiam D-142k Equalizer has also emulation of isolation transformers with on/off switch. The isolation transformer is used in analog devices to separate the circuit from the surrounding world - the sound is not transmitted by a cable but by electromagnetic induction between two windings of the coil - it is mainly used to protect against overvoltages, interference, etc. In addition to functional reasons, however, transformers color the sound nicely, softening highs and transients.


TOP FEATURES:

3x passive boost / cut circuits w. selectable bandwidth Q, boost / cut amount and frequency

- Low Frequency boost / cut circuit 10 to 180 Hz
- Mid Frequency boost / cut 800 to 6000 Hz
- High frequency boost / cut 11 to 22kHz

- Low (bass) cut – 0 to 1,5kHz

- Device input (can control amount of color / saturation too)

- Vacuum tube circuit with Warmth, Power and Saturation parameters

- High Frequency cut with very smooth liquid organic tone

- Input / Output Coil transformer On/Off switch - the isolation transformer is used in analog devices to separate the circuit from the surrounding world - the sound is not transmitted by a cable but by electromagnetic induction between two windings of the coil - it is mainly used to protect against overvoltages, interference, etc. In addition to functional reasons, however, transformers color the sound nicely, softening highs and transients.

- Ø - Zero harshness technology

- Clean Analog Top + Transients technology

- Hybrid Analog sampling + nonlinear algorithmic circuit emulation

- Vacuum tube emulation technology

https://youtu.be/wxkH1mDQvo8

Compatibility: Windows 32 bit / 64 bit VST host

Product page / download demo version:
https://eplex7.com/cardiam-d-142k-vacuu ... lugin-vst/

Price: 85 €. There is an introductory price of: 34,90 €.
www.eplex7.com - software developer of VST plugins, effects, VST / AU instruments, samples + Free plugins and samples

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gentleclockdivider
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5434 posts since 22 Mar, 2009 from gent

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 5:28 pm

Zero harshness technology ffs :lol:
Eyeball exchanging
Soul calibrating ..frequencies

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Tj Shredder
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8212 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Wed Dec 07, 2022 3:22 am

How can it be passive and with tube technology at the same time? As soon a tube is in the circuit its active! Throwing buzzwords around without knowing what they mean is the domain of neural nets. It just sounds reasonable but isn‘t at all…

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Eplex7 DSP
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191 posts since 10 Nov, 2014

Post Wed Dec 07, 2022 5:05 am

Tj Shredder wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 3:22 am How can it be passive and with tube technology at the same time? As soon a tube is in the circuit its active! Throwing buzzwords around without knowing what they mean is the domain of neural nets. It just sounds reasonable but isn‘t at all…
Simply, the equalizer circuit itself is passive - that is, it does not contain any amplification elements with power supply (such as tubes, transistors, which affects the sound characteristics), passive equalizers are composed of components such as coils, resistors, capacitors,
the tube amplifier is placed at the end as the output amplifier!

Many passive equalizers are based on this principle.

Here is example: https://masteringmansion.com/pro-audio/ ... equalizer/

"This equalizer uses passive LC circuitry with class-A triode vacuum tube stages for the input and output."
www.eplex7.com - software developer of VST plugins, effects, VST / AU instruments, samples + Free plugins and samples

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Plajia
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152 posts since 12 Jun, 2006 from Montreal, Canada

Post Thu Dec 08, 2022 8:51 pm

Tj Shredder wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 3:22 am How can it be passive and with tube technology at the same time? As soon a tube is in the circuit its active! Throwing buzzwords around without knowing what they mean is the domain of neural nets. It just sounds reasonable but isn‘t at all…
yes passive eq have tube for output like Pultecs, Manley. la2a is not a tube compressor its optocell but tube output and most of them dumdum.
Musician/Composer/Mixer based in Montreal, Canada. Acustica Audio Nebula / Acustica Audio Tulip, Rust, Sienna. Latest mix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mTQmE7S-ZM

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jens
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22163 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Post Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:26 pm

normal nearfield monitors do not reproduce enough details, resolution, transients, trebles and do not reveal all errors of sound [...]However, if you take the recording to the club on the PA system, at the festival all the harshness is only amplified because the sound is amplified by 100x power amplifiers
:lol: :lol: :lol:

After reading that there is zero chance that I'll ever go even just as far as demoing one of your products. :-D
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Eplex7 DSP
KVRist
Topic Starter
191 posts since 10 Nov, 2014

Post Fri Dec 09, 2022 12:54 am

jens wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:26 pm
normal nearfield monitors do not reproduce enough details, resolution, transients, trebles and do not reveal all errors of sound [...]However, if you take the recording to the club on the PA system, at the festival all the harshness is only amplified because the sound is amplified by 100x power amplifiers
:lol: :lol: :lol:

After reading that there is zero chance that I'll ever go even just as far as demoing one of your products. :-D
What is wrong? We are speaking about classic monitors in price range up to 300 eur per speaker. (of course not speaking about hi-end monitors like PSI etc., please read complete text) Why do you think top mastering engineers are not using nearfield monitors but expensive hi-fi systems like Bowers and Wilkins, PMC, etc.? Every mastering engineer will tell you because of frequency range and amount of details, transients, precise high frequency range. And yes power amplifiers at clubs are amplifyng signal many times X. Signal is X times louder than input signal from players, these high power amplifiers produce distortion (THD), also PA speakers produces distortion = more harshness. (Usually music played at audiophile room on expensive hi-fi system is much more pleasant than in loud club with medium quality soundsystem, do your own test)
www.eplex7.com - software developer of VST plugins, effects, VST / AU instruments, samples + Free plugins and samples

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jens
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22163 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Post Fri Dec 09, 2022 6:38 am

lol... you are only making it worse...
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Prototech
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37 posts since 12 Feb, 2021

Post Fri Dec 09, 2022 6:58 am

jens wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2022 6:38 am lol... you are only making it worse...
They told you the truth! Cheap near-field monitors show just a little bit of information comparing to high end mastering speakers, go to professional mastering studio and compare, or ask pros mastering engineers at gearspace why they are not using basic nearfield monitors.

Also big PA soundsystem at loud levels produce lot of THD.

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jens
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22163 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Post Fri Dec 09, 2022 7:23 am

Prototech wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2022 6:58 am
jens wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2022 6:38 am lol... you are only making it worse...
They told you the truth! Cheap near-field monitors show just a little bit of information comparing to high end mastering speakers, go to professional mastering studio and compare, or ask pros mastering engineers at gearspace why they are not using basic nearfield monitors.

Also big PA soundsystem at loud levels produce lot of THD.
:dog: :cry: :dog:

And how is this supposed to be relelevant to their claim that PA systems reveal "harshness, sharp digital highs and transients full of aliasing and artifact" caused by EQ plugins which nearfield-monitors don't, due to the high wattage of said PA-systems?

If you can't comprehend/follow the actual argument.... then uhm... perhaps just stay out of it?

But then again the OP can't follow his/their own argument either, which of course doesn't help in
reducing this absurd, nonsensical and entirely clueless argument, pseudo-discussion and off-topic wannabe knowledge.

It's talking shit, then talking more shit, then talking more shit - intermixed with hints of irrelevant facts... that's just sad.
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jens
KVRAF
22163 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Post Fri Dec 09, 2022 7:28 am

Oh, and btw.: not that this was any relevant here, but modern professional PA amplifiers produce very low amounts of THD!
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Prototech
KVRist
37 posts since 12 Feb, 2021

Post Fri Dec 09, 2022 7:32 am

jens wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2022 7:23 am
Prototech wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2022 6:58 am
jens wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2022 6:38 am lol... you are only making it worse...
They told you the truth! Cheap near-field monitors show just a little bit of information comparing to high end mastering speakers, go to professional mastering studio and compare, or ask pros mastering engineers at gearspace why they are not using basic nearfield monitors.

Also big PA soundsystem at loud levels produce lot of THD.
:dog: :cry: :dog:

And how is this supposed to be relelevant to their claim that PA systems reveal "harshness, sharp digital highs and transients full of aliasing and artifact" caused by EQ plugins which nearfield-monitors don't, due to the high wattage of said PA-systems?

If you can't comprehend/follow the actual argument.... then uhm... perhaps just stay out of it?

But then again the OP can't follow his/their own argument either, which of course doesn't help in
reducing this absurd, nonsensical and entirely clueless argument, pseudo-discussion and off-topic wannabe knowledge.

It's talking shit, then talking more shit, then talking more shit - intermixed with hints of irrelevant facts... that's just sad.
NO, you probably didn't understand it correctly, they write that:

professional mastering speakers (Bowers Wilkins, PMC) and below reveal a lot of problems, details, have more resolution, show more details, sharper transients, more detailed mids and highs

and at the same time (this is something different/different theme) that problems such as harshness, unpleasant frequencies, digital artifacts and distortion are amplified and multiplied on the PA sound system, which itself creates THD, but because the signal is amplified 100 times and reported errors in the mix, as well as harshness seem to be even more pronounced. They amplify signal, and loud signal is usually less pleasant and problems in mix/resonant frequencies etc are amplified too = seems more problematic. Try to listen your music at low volume and compare with maximum possible volume.

Big loud sound systems and power amplifiers will always produce far more THD than smaller audiophile hi-fi sound systems, that's a fact and physics. Read articles from the founder of Funktion one as educational literature!! He says that just woofer itself mechanically produce lot of distortion at these high volumes!

This is true and I have tried it many times in clubs!

And please read carefully, they said that Mastering speakers reveals, not PA:

"You can hear it on high-quality hi-fi and midfield monitors (this is the reason why professional mastering studios do not use nearfield monitors, but top hi-fi such as PMC, Bowers & Wilkins, etc. with amplifiers such as Hypex, Bryston, Rotel, etc.) or top mastering headphones like Senheiser HD600 and so on. The reason is that normal nearfield monitors do not reproduce enough details, resolution, transients, trebles and do not reveal all errors of sound (they are made for mixing so as not to tire the ears during long-term mixing and production)."

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jens
KVRAF
22163 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Post Fri Dec 09, 2022 7:47 am

It's absurd hogwash in its entirety.

The TDH - if present at significant levels - if anything - mask other artifacts, rather than pronouncing them. And the high wattage a) has nothing to do with anything. It amplifies everything to equal amounts i.e. the artifact/signal ratio stays exactly the same. If anything however a loud PA system will create resonances within physical objects of the environment of the sound reinforcement and thus again tends to mask other artifacts much rather than pronouncing them.

What might be relevant of course is the frequency response of the speaker-system, which you guys didn't even mention.

I really need to have a look over at Gearspace - there tend to be some seriously knowledgeable guys over there so this should be fun. :lol:
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Prototech
KVRist
37 posts since 12 Feb, 2021

Post Fri Dec 09, 2022 7:55 am

jens wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2022 7:47 am It's absurd hogwash in its entirety.

The TDH - if present at significant levels - if anything - mask other artifacts, rather than pronouncing them. And the high wattage a) has nothing to do with anything. It amplifies everything to equal amounts i.e. the artifact/signal ratio stays exactly the same. If anything however a loud PA system will create resonances within physical objects of the environment of the sound reinforcement and thus again tends to mask other artifacts much rather than pronouncing them.

What might be relevant of course is the frequency response of the speaker-system, which you guys didn't even mention.
Do you know what is Fletcher-Munson curve?

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It clearly shows that just different volume levels are perceived differently at different volume levels. It is also about psychoacoustics and decoding by brain. For example bass frequencies are same pleasant at low and high volumes but harsh mids are much more ok at low volumes, but creates pain at very high volumes, this cannot be measured unlsess you put electrodes in your brain by elon musks new project. But ask /test 100 people and 98 will tell you the same.

You can do also tests with measurment devices and compare THD of audiophile speakers and loud PA system (THD generated by amplifier+speaker resonances itself)

Funktion one founder told in article something like that they are using max 30% of maximum possible volume of mid/high woofers because it mechanically produce distortions while other manufacturers use it at higher capacity like 80% of possible maximum if I remember it correctly, it is simplified of course because article was so long.

Next fact is that ear is sensitive for different frequencies. For example women are more sensitive for specific mids, louder = more painfull, because of evolution! Why? Because when small baby was crying in cave or forest it could save him, crying of baby is in same mid range. There are some tests made for that and it is known fact by many mix engineers.

But did you tried your problematic mix in studio and then loud in big club? I did many times and smaller problems in mix were even more bigger at loud PA.

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