eQuality

January 1, 2010

Here are some of the ideas that eQuality is based on:

1) Software should remove the need for pointless manual tasks.
2) Information is king.
3) EQs can, and will, sound better than the current generation.

You get a huge graph; you might have noticed that. High-res spec analyser.
4 bands of mid. If you don’t need them, leave them switched off, and you don’t pay a CPU cost.
If you do need them, you’ll be really glad of them. ;)

Most shelves are useless. If you could move the shelf resonance to where you need it, you’d be winning right?
Guess what those %age knobs in the shelf columns do… ;)

By now, I think we probably all know that the difference between, say, a Neve and an SSL is the Gain-Q interaction.
Turns out there’s actually an equation that allows you to specify it. You’ll find the control for that on the bottom-left.

Tell me.. why can’t I just hit a button to compare linear/minimum/analogue phase against what the normal EQ sounds like?
Why do linear phase EQs cost so much more?
No reason. Click on “Digital” on the menu to pick how you want it. Use whichever sounds best.

Ever wondered if you’re overbaking your EQ, but don’t want to have to write down what your settings were and test scaling it back, or even reversing the EQ shape? There’s a fader to the right of the graph that lets you do that.
The unexpected benefit of this turns out to be that if you set your EQ range to, say, 3dB, you get real easy, precise control (for mastering, for instance), or you could set the range to 48db and do something nuts.

Why do you always have to instance another plugin to automate filters? Surely that’s an EQ task?
I quite agree. So you get adjustable slope/resonance filters high and low.
Also, I know a lot of people who always keep a HPF on (nearly) every channel.. it’d be a pain if that interfered with your filter automation… so you get two HPFs; one for creative use, one for keeping the channel clean.

Ever repitched a sample and found that your EQ sounds weird now? Please use the fader under the graph to shift the response left<->right to tune it back in. Saves a lot of time…

All these things might make you worry about CPU usage, but it uses a regular high-efficiency filter topology under the hood, so CPU usage is nice and low. This won’t hurt your channel counts.

What about the high-end response? Is it “cramped”?
This is a deep topic, and I might post something lengthy about it. If you’ve followed this in detail, you’ll know about Bilinear Transforms (which are crap) and the Orfanidis technique, which is much better (although not perfect), and is used in most “pro” EQs.
… but you might also be aware that there are some EQs (AirEQ, Digidesign EQ3, Focusrite d2, Focusrite Forte) which do something… else… which sounds even sweeter. I wrote Forte nearly a decade ago. Turns out you can go further still. I’m confident that you will be extremely pleased with the sound of eQuality.

However, no digital EQ can be perfect, using low-cpu topologies. There are cases (center frequencies above 19k, high Q) which just can’t be done digitally… It would have been really annoying if that was the end of the story. Rather than accept defeat to the maths, you’ll find that eQuality has “digital+” mode which patches in a VERY small FIR filter which eats up any error. In general usage, you won’t find a difference, but if you torture test eQuality, you’ll find that switching in the “digital+” mode will, for a very small CPU cost (about 3 bands worth), the error is gone, and you’re back in the world of lush analogue curves.

Also, do you find that you either open your EQ and automatically change a few settings before you even start using it? Or you have a preset that you always open on instancing? eQuality has a button to save the default state (it’s in setup).

I want to have eQuality in your hands by the end of January, which will give me about 4 weeks of beta. In a perfect world, we’d go for February, which will give me time to add in any suggestions you have.

A new UI is on the way too, so it will look as good as it sounds. :)

I’m going to link to this post from KVR and Gearslutz (or find someone to do it for me :D ). I need feedback! :D

Oh, nearly forgot to mention… not only can you switch your shelves to be parametrics, if you need that, you can also switch your parametrics to be notches. When you actually need a Q=50 notch, not much else will do; so now you can have it. :)

OH! Also, it does M/S processing. Instance, and pick whether you want to process the Stereo image, or the Mid, the Side, the Left or Right channels. Instance two and have M on the left and S on the right of the screen; no clutter to the interface. :)

I’m probably forgetting something, but I think those are most of the key features.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Dave.

4 Responses to “eQuality”

  1. Forgot to mention… the plan is that it will be initially AU and VST for Mac and VST for Win. I’ll do an RTAS and a TDM version if there’s interest. ;)
    64bit is certainly possible too if people want it.

  2. Dave, will it be possible to edit the frequency and Q on the graph itself (a la, Electri-Q, IIEQ, the new Fabfilter one)? I find the click+drag left/right for frequency, click+drag up/down for gain, and right-click up/down for Q to be the quickest way to work with these types of EQs.

  3. You’ve got left-right frequency and up-down gain right now, and alt-left-right for Q and alt-up-down for shelf shifting.
    For the bands, I’ll set alt-up-down to work for Q, and then set right-click to be equivalent to alt-click… is good?

  4. Sounds good.

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