outboard EQ /reverb suggestions

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by pmolsonmus, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Hey Gaff and others,

    I've taken the cheap eq out of my signal chain (and am very happy as a result) but am looking to replace it with something that will serve me well in the future.
    I am guilty of the cardinal sin of mastering my own stuff ( but these are primarily school recordings (with little or no budget and done several times every year) They're also pretty simple classical type or jazz type recordings where most of the stuff is done live, so forgive me father.....etc.. I'm not shooting for a grammy- demo quality of good musicianship is my goal.

    What I would like to know is your recommendation and why. I've searched eq in this forum and its usually mentioned without explanation. Speck,DBX..
    How many band/ octaves would you recommend and what brands? Not necessarily what can I get away with, but what's overkill for this type of project studio in your estimation

    I'm coming out of a DIGI 002r and am considering coming out analog into outboard eq, possibly into a pre (Sebatron) and reverb to get closer to the sound I'm currently missing by bouncing to disk. I haven't been able to find a plug-in that doesn't harm as much as it helps.
    The overall eq is to help the problems with the room that will always be beyond my control- Carpeted floor w/ acoustic tile ceiling and Wenger reflection preventing panels on the walls.

    I'm also considering an outboard reverb. I know people are pretty happy with the Waves stuff but I haven't spent enough time to know if that would work in these settings or should I buy quality outboard new or used?
    ( I know you've recommended some in the past)
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. My budget is about $1500-2k max for eq/reverb.

    RO Vocal Booth Moderator
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Hey Phill.

    I think you need to define what it is in the eq you have available that you don't like first. You may need to send or insert more than just one eq plug on your mix. The requirements for mix eq is usually much different than it is for tracking eq. I wouldn't use anything less than a 4-band full parametric. The speck is a nice and clean eq but you still may find that it won't make as much as difference to finished mix as a few instances of very good / great eq plugs.

    As for reverb, I'm not a reverb plug fan at all. I'm also not the type who uses it on the finished mix but have done so a few times. Don't go cheap here. I would only do so with a great reverb such as a Lexicon PCM90 or above model or a TC M2000, M3000 or M5000 and above. Great value in used gear. Keep in mind that the digital I/O can often sound much different than the analog I/O in gear that has both.
  3. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Thanks Gaff,

    I pulled a cheap ART graphic out of the loop because as it was helping to bring out some frequencies I wanted, it added noise all over the audio spectrum that I didn't want. I'm currently using the DIGIs 4 band parametric eqs on the channels but have had no luck putting them on a aux bus or the main (same w/ global reverb). I was trying the ART to compensate but my mixes were better without. Hence the question.
    If I stay in the box for eq are the Wave plug ins the way to go? or is that question better answered in the DAW forum?
    Any other thoughts with what I'm describing? The TC M3000 would be in my price range and offers some nice features. I'll do a bit more research.



    RO Vocal Booth Moderator
    recently returned from the North Woods where none of this is terribly important
  4. Fruition2k

    Fruition2k Active Member

    I'll second the recommendation on the Lexicon PCM90 and even the 81 which I've managed to tweak some amazing spaces out of.
    Clicking through the presets some programs are ok, you have to get into the pro edit mode and dig in. Another great box is the Quantec Yardstick, for jazz and more acoustic mixes its the one you need..well defined rooms and spaces, early reflections and density that cant be matched by the PCM 80's/90's. Its only digital I/O though which may be what your looking for.

    As for eq....invest in better or broader ranger of mics- (dynamics especially), they'll give you the best eq curves yet.
    Changing mics, patterns, and or placement gets me closer to the what I'm to accomplish than most eq's could.
    Close friend of mine loves his BFE 3 band eq's, fairly cheap too.
    Theres quite a few found in Europe like Neumann 491/2, Filteks,
    Telefunken's, NTP's, etc... Anyone found any of those to be useful as well?
  5. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Phill. I think the waves stuff is about as good as it gets for 002 (RTAS) plugs. I would avoid trying to do your mix in real time and your stereo eq at the same time. Do your best mix dry and save/export that as a 2-track file then open that as a new project and try to eq just that. You can play with the eq as inserts and/ or as an aux send/return .
  6. tomtom

    tomtom Guest

    I agree with you all and in that price range, I would strongly suggest the Wave Renaissance EQ plug in. It will beat any cheap EQ...
    Not to mention that you can burn a disc, listen to your work in various places, come back the next day or week or month and fine tweak accordingly.
    For reverbs, stick with the TCs and the Lexicons. For Lexicons, do use the digital i/o as they keep noise away from your signal path.

  7. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all your help!

    I do have some very nice mics( dynamic and condensers) decent pres, etc.. the problem is my deadened room (uggh)

    I will definitely look into the above and begin w/ the wave stuff( that was my gut, but I like to get some confirmation beforehand)

    Your help is invaluable.


    R.O. Vocal Booth Moderator
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member


    Are you using the EQ on the aux send and then returning it on an aux return?? EQ should be an inline patch, on a channel (in the insert loop) or a bus ...
  9. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Sorry Kurt,

    I meant signal path - not loop - I was speaking english instead of engineer. "out of the loop" - line of communication. I do that too often. I was trying to come out of the 002r as an analog/digital signal into the eq, outboard compressor and reverb into the analog/AES/EBU or SPDIF inputs of a CD burner because I wasn't happy with my tonal results bouncing to disk. I was going to try all of the above. I was also going to try the suggestion putting the Seb in the signal chain to the recorder. But I think Gaff's suggestion is a better one. Saving as a seperate file

    I am currently using the eqs on individual channels as plugs but have not had luck putting them on a bus or the mains as a plug in.

    Sorry, I'll try to be more clear


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