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Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

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Re: Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

Postby Brian » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:26 am

For absolute top sound quality and transparency, Nebula programs are going to offer a few benefits over Acquas at the moment.

Many of the 3rd-party releases are done by people using very high-performance clean AD/DA loops, with freshly-serviced HW units to sample (even modified or with custom power supplies for improved sonics in some cases). Some Acquas have a kind of coloration in the upper mids, which may be due to the AD/DA conversion (Prism Lyra I believe...not entirely sure about this).

EDIT: to be clear, this is just a guess on my part, and I noticed the coloration specifically with Amber, Green, and Magenta.

You also have the choice to load the SE/ND (no harmonic program versions) for a cleaner sound, selectable on a band-by-band basis. You may also mix and match bands from multiple EQs without having too much coloration build up.

*It's worth noting that with Nebula4, you should be able to load Acquas and directly access program parameters (for example, to only use 1 kernel for an EQ band, which would omit it's sampled harmonics component). So, the previously mentioned advantage is only temporary.

I'm a big fan of Alex's Ely-X and MMeQs working together, using the MMeQ specifically for the mids. It seems to always sound great in that range, and has a more versatile bandwidth range on it's filters. Both units have good, usable HP/LP filtering on offer.

Ely-X has already been mentioned a few times in this thread - and for very good reason. It's also crazy cheap.

Also, grab your own M/S matrix helper plugin such as Voxengo's MSED. You can have any combination of EQ bands working on the mid or side signal, and others working on the full L/R content. Essential for mastering. It's not always necessary, but there's no substitute when it is.
Last edited by Brian on Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

Postby RJHollins » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:43 am

Acqua bands are 'clean' as far as we understand.

It is the PREAMP that contains the harmonic structure.

Just as with NEBULA, if you read the documentation from 3rd party Devs, they say, to replicate the hardware harmonics, the LAST in the chain should be the full preset with preceding presets CLEAN.

What's nice about NEBULA ... we can customize it.
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Re: Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

Postby Breen » Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:29 pm

I think Nebula is not the best choice to suit your requirements. Something like Eiosis AirEQ could be more flexible.
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Re: Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

Postby Brian » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:06 pm

RJHollins wrote:Acqua bands are 'clean' as far as we understand.

It is the PREAMP that contains the harmonic structure.


Ok thanks for the info, that's interesting ... are you certain that none of the bands include more than 1 kernel for Acquas?

Also do you happen to know where in the signal flow the preamp program is located? I assumed it was: input trim > pre > filter bands in series > output

Back on topic, if looking at Acquas, definitely try Scarlet with the preamp off for maximum transparency. For your requirements, it only lacks HP/LPF. As others have mentioned, an update will be out soon, but it comes with a (likely small) price increase.
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Re: Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

Postby kindafishy » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:12 pm

jfjer379@gmail.com wrote:wouldn't Scarlet qualify as a really good and clean acqua,
and now it will get even better because its going core8 very soon
Potentially, yes. I shall add it to my list of trials, thanks. Have you spent time with it?
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Re: Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

Postby kindafishy » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:34 pm

Brian wrote:For absolute top sound quality and transparency, Nebula programs are going to offer a few benefits over Acquas at the moment.

Many of the 3rd-party releases are done by people using very high-performance clean AD/DA loops, with freshly-serviced HW units to sample (even modified or with custom power supplies for improved sonics in some cases). Some Acquas have a kind of coloration in the upper mids, which may be due to the AD/DA conversion (Prism Lyra I believe...not entirely sure about this).

EDIT: to be clear, this is just a guess on my part, and I noticed the coloration specifically with Amber, Green, and Magenta.

You also have the choice to load the SE/ND (no harmonic program versions) for a cleaner sound, selectable on a band-by-band basis. You may also mix and match bands from multiple EQs without having too much coloration build up.

*It's worth noting that with Nebula4, you should be able to load Acquas and directly access program parameters (for example, to only use 1 kernel for an EQ band, which would omit it's sampled harmonics component). So, the previously mentioned advantage is only temporary.

I'm a big fan of Alex's Ely-X and MMeQs working together, using the MMeQ specifically for the mids. It seems to always sound great in that range, and has a more versatile bandwidth range on it's filters. Both units have good, usable HP/LP filtering on offer.

Ely-X has already been mentioned a few times in this thread - and for very good reason. It's also crazy cheap.

Also, grab your own M/S matrix helper plugin such as Voxengo's MSED. You can have any combination of EQ bands working on the mid or side signal, and others working on the full L/R content. Essential for mastering. It's not always necessary, but there's no substitute when it is.
Great idea on the M/S helper plugin.

I spent time with the demos of Ely X (AlexB EXeQ) and Massive Mix yesterday (AlexB MMeQ). It's a bit of a shame that the demos are so limited, but I understand the reasoning of course*. With these limited demos and on the song I was testing with, I preferred MMeQ. Hard to put my finger on why because within their limited function, they both sound great. It felt, at least with this demo, that MMeQ seemed to infuse the audio rather than affect it. Not sure that makes any sense, but it is the best I can do to explain what it sounded like to me. The mids though, yes. There is only one mid band at 3200Hz, but even engaging that a little brought out incredibly nice mid range detail in my song. Moved it forward in the mix a little.

Both of these meet my most important criteria though, which is not to negatively affect my image.

*On a side note, it would be very cool and I hope that Acustica can build in a way for people to preview fully functional 3rd party libraries for a couple days with N4. Not sure if he has thought about that. I'll send him a note.
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Re: Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

Postby kindafishy » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:38 pm

Breen wrote:I think Nebula is not the best choice to suit your requirements. Something like Eiosis AirEQ could be more flexible.
Luckily I am "with iLok", so I will get the demo and give it a run. I am skeptical at this point because I used another EQ from this same developer (under a different company) on an earlier test and to my surprise it collapsed my image. I couldn't rip it off my mix bus fast enough. I am told that not all algos "play well" with Nebula/Acqua. All EQs are different though of course, so I will definitely get the demo and try. Thanks.
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Re: Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

Postby kindafishy » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:45 pm

RJHollins wrote:...snip...Just as with NEBULA, if you read the documentation from 3rd party Devs, they say, to replicate the hardware harmonics, the LAST in the chain should be the full preset with preceding presets CLEAN.

What's nice about NEBULA ... we can customize it.
This is very interesting. I have never noticed this in any documentation. You are referring to the "le" programs in the AlexB nomenclature?
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Re: Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

Postby RJHollins » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:02 pm

correct. 8-)
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Re: Looking for mix bus EQ recommendations

Postby waffleneck » Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:28 am

Magenta
Amber, Aquamarine, Blue, Coral, D361, Emerald, EQP1, Green, Honey, Ivory, Lime, Magenta, Navy, Nebula, Ochre, Orange, Pearl, Pink, Pink Compressors, Purple, Red, Rose, Sand, Scarlet, Silk, Tan, Titanium, Trinity, Ultramarine, White
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