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Re: EQ audio plugin

Subject: Re: EQ audio plugin
From: "Rob Danielson" danielson_audio
Date: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:03 am ((PDT))
At 9:43 AM +0000 6/22/09, justinasia wrote:

>Rob wrote:
>  > I'm sorry that I can't remember who it was at the moment, but one
>>  alert list reader suggested an EQ app that had unlimited bands of EQ
>>  (or many) that sounded very similar to Eqium to me.
>I searched. Was it apulSoft apEQ ?
>US$74.88. Seems to be good. You can also zap really narrow sections
>of frequency - they call it "band reject". I expect that can be
>useful. Does anyone have opinions of this plugin? Perhaps it is "the

That's it, Justin. Thanks for searching down Paul's discovery.

I've been wanting to compare apEQ to Eqium 2.0 (now sold as
UNIQUEL-IZER for considerably more than ApEQ)

To conduct an A/B test, I made a recording of the dusk interactions
in a rural setting including car traffic and hubbub from a village a
mile away in order to create a sample of a recording that would
likely benefit from EQ.

As I've mentioned on the topic of field recording equalization
before, "I never met a lower octave I did not like." I rarely use
"roll-off" filtering of the type Justin is experimenting with because
I feel that I can better address the most exaggerated frequencies,
individually, with narrow-ish parametric EQ "curves." Its
time-consuming, but I feel this technique preserves more of the
fundamentals of the sound waves that are helpful in recreating useful
overtones in the lower mid-range.

Here's the comparison as a 7mb QuickTime movie. Click on the image to jump right to the
movie. The soundtrack is full resolution (16 bit/48K).

A few observations:

(1) I'm really surprised at how differently the two EQ plugins affect
the recording-- especially within the range of 80 Hz to 500 Hz. The
result of attenuation made with a single apEQ "peak" curve has more
impact. Even with very careful "Q" or width settings, apEQ tended to
remove a little more of the "body" and adjacent tones than I'd prefer
at times. However, the difference is subtle and only shows up after a
more complex curve is in effect. With a wider boost/cut range of 40
dB, its easier to use a + dB "peak" in apEQ to audibly locate an
offensive tone or bandwidth than with Eqium. Recordists who like to
attempt to "remove" man-made drone sounds as might like the greater
expediency of apEQ. I found that I could get impressive improvement
in the field recordings I experimented with as few as 5 to 8 curves.
apEQ might be preferable when needing to quickly but effectively
equalize a recording. I'll probably stick with Eqium when I'm trying
to coax "space" out of an ambience recording, but the sound quality
differences are curious and worth more experimentation for sure.

(2) The controls of apEQ are fantastic. After you create a Peak EQ
curve by clicking anywhere on the master curve, you can click on one
control variable in the floating box to drag-change that setting
without affecting the others. This is very handy for fine tuning Q
and the Gain after you find the frequency. I also like the "bypass"
button for A/B comparing just one setting. I didn't find a "B" buffer
option for comparing two sets of EQ's; maybe I missed this.

(3) The superimposed FFT display of apEQ is also fantastic-- I found
that I referred to it a lot. (I have to open a separate FFT window
when I used Eqium and this clutters the screen and is not as visually

(4) I could not find a master gain knob in apEQ. Also, I couldn't
find a global balance setting. Stereo mic pairs usly need some
tweaking. Of course, both of these corrections can be achieved with
the plug setting document. Or, maybe I missing them too?

(5) I'm not sure how many bands of EQ one can create with apEQ but it
seems like plenty. (One can create 99 bands with Eqium.) apEQ
probably taxes the CPU more than Eqium but the preview audition mode
seemed very responsive on my 2004 model 2GHz Dual G5 PowerPC Mac.

I would definitely give the free demo of apEQ a try if you are
contemplating spending some money on EQ. Rob D.


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