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I recently watched a video with Andrew Scheps, where he talks about the use of "dynamic" ( also referred to as "active") EQ - this is NOT the same as Multi Band Compression. It actually allows you to take certain frequencies out of the compression detection circuit, and it works in a process very similar to if you would be manually working an EQ for certain parts - such as if you were countering proximity effect, or perhaps using a de-esser; temporarily rolling off low's, or notching 4-6k for sibilance... "dynamic" EQ allows you to find certain frequencies and attenuate them ( or leave them alone) without the use of gain reduction, and you can be as specific or as general as you like in your frequencies or ranges.

The difference between "active EQ" and MBC is best explained by my friend Cass Anawaty from Sunbreak Mastering... he uses it often. He says, "You're not reducing the dynamic range with a ratio, it's just like riding the boost or cut on an EQ, only very quickly, measured in milliseconds, so ultimately, it's more transparent..."


Scheps explains more about "active" or "dynamic" EQ here: ( at 18:54)

As he mentions, he uses a McDSP plug for this. I don't have McDSP, so I went searching, and asking around with my colleagues, and found this: ( it's free, BTW, and supports all major formats).

I've only worked with this plug for a short time, but I have to say I'm really digging it. Besides being incredibly transparent, it also doesn't have the same kind of odd "phasey" response that I've always encountered with MBC's, because of their odd frequency crossover / roll offs... especially when using them with parallel GR. This "dynamic" EQ is much more linear than an MBC, because it works like any typical EQ, and you aren't forced to separate the bands into "sections", which, when using an MBC, can all be using different ratios, different attacks and releases, and at different times, often creating a muddy mess, as MBC's so often present sonically, sucking the life out of tracks and mixes, because they are always compressing, whether you want them to or not... so, too often, you end up losing that which you'd rather preserve, because an MBC is only looking at the frequency/range in "general" terms.
Samplitude users: ( audiokid, JohnTodd, kmetal, DigitaLWizarD, rjuly, Boswell, and any other Samp users I've left out):

For those who use Samplitude and Object Based Editing, this EQ would be somewhat similar to if you were to split an audio file on a particular section ( or even on a note) and EQ just that section or note.
Now, for those who do like to use compressed EQ, this plug allows that too, offering a good, transparent sounding compressor, that is detailed and well designed. but you don't have to use it for this EQ to be incredibly affective.

Actually, in the short time I have used it, I've gotten great results not by using compression per se', but by actually removing certain frequencies from the compression detection circuit, allowing for very nice, smooth, and natural-sounding response.

I'm still working with this, getting acclimated to it, but I have to say that, upon early initial use, I'm quite impressed by what it does, but I'm also just as impressed about what it doesn't do.

(And the price is right, too. ;) )

Here's a "quick and dirty" video explaining how this EQ works:

If anyone else here is using "active EQ", I'd like to hear from them; what they use and how they use it.
So far I've only used it on vocals, but I'm sure it could be used on anything.



Sean G Tue, 12/22/2015 - 16:18

Thanks for the review DonnyThompson,...I did see something about this new EQ from TDR, I haven't had a chance to DL it as yet, but after reading your review decided its time.

pcrecord, post: 434653, member: 46460 wrote: Also, Izotope has a good Dynamic EQ in Ozone 6

Absolutely pcrecord,...I love the dynamic EQ in Ozone 6, its a great plug-in all round, like just about all of the products Izotope do.

Can't wait to put this TDR EQ to the test. I know Vlad G had a hand in developing their Kotelnikov Master Compressor, I wonder if he was involved in the development of this also?:confused:

Sean G Wed, 01/06/2016 - 20:11

I downloaded this a few weeks ago, then over the christmas break forgot that I had.

On perusing threads I came across this one again which made me remember that I had DL'd the free version of it and thought that I would have a play with it.

I must admit, like all TDL plugs its pretty impressive. I really like it.

At first I dropped it on a vox track that is a WIP, and clicking through the presets I came across the de-esser (linked) which immediately had an effect on the track.

The vox track was recorded with a new Rode NT2-A on its first outing, the Nova EQ immediately tightened any simblance the pop-filter failed to eliminate.

You could immediately hear the difference, even with the preset without making any adjustments...subtle but cleaned it up immediately.

Ironically, I found it easier to use and more effective than the de-esser on a very expensive, well-known brand name plug-in I shelled out many a hard-earned dollar for.:rolleyes:

Like all TDL plugs the GUI is simple to navigate, its all there in front of you making it easy to use.

Thanks for the heads-up DonnyThompson, this is a great plug to add to the stable, and you can't beat it on price !

Kudos to Tokyo Dawn Labs for developing another really good plug-in...AND offering a free version too !!(y)

Rating : 5 Stars *****

DonnyThompson Fri, 01/08/2016 - 03:43

Sean G, post: 434992, member: 49362 wrote: I did notice though that it chews power on the cpu...glad there is an eco button...

I noticed the same thing. It didn't crash me or anything, but my DSP meter did show a pretty good hit, using 8 separate instances.

But it is very effective, noticeable but nicely uncolored, and I was not able to hear any obvious difference between the "precise" and the "eco" modes.

The only downside is the limit to the number of 4 bands ( this limit applies to the free version), but that's not a deal-breaker for me, not for what and how I'm using it, which is mostly limited to 2 bands or so at a time on a track.
I'm finding it to be a great tool for vocal, snare, kick, bass and crunchy electric guitar.

I'm not - and never really have been - a fan of multi band compression, but I do like that this plug gives you the choice of using it as either just an active EQ or as an MBC.

And yeah, for the price (free) it's an incredible plug in. Even if it was priced at, say, $ 75, it would still be worth it, IMO.


Sean G Fri, 01/08/2016 - 04:26

Me thinks I may have to look at the Gentlemens' Edition down the track...its only 50 US DeNiros...

I'll have to check it out and see the difference between GE and the free version and decide whether or not theres' justification spending the cash on the upgrade

- That vid above is pretty informative, Adam from RHR does some pretty good vids on YT...but his, they could have played a loop of it to prisoners in Gitmo

Sean G Mon, 03/21/2016 - 17:18

An update for the TDR Nova EQ to version 1.1.0 came out overnight with some fixes listed below -

# Attack and release ranges increased
# Added EQ auto gain switch (standard edition)
# Release automation can now be deactivated (GE)
# UI performance substantially improved
# Fixed wrong "greyed out" states
# Various inline help corrections
# Manual updated
# Fixed rare PT related race-conditions
# Mouse handling improved

You will need to re-install for the can be found here -

Standard Edition

For customers of the GE:
Gentleman's Edition:

Happy EQing !

AODEF Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:44

I use active eq on vocals often.
Sometimes I get projects to mix where
the artist may have moved farther from the mic in a take/recording pass.
The take was recorded with different tone, or at another time from another part.
Active eq pretty much eliminates automation of eq for this task.

Sean G Fri, 05/13/2016 - 17:33

For fans of TDRs' Slick EQ, a new Mastering Edition has been launched.

I received an email with the information below this week.

TDR Slick EQ M

Here is a description

TDR SlickEQ – M (Mastering Edition) extends SlickEQ's proven concept into
a fully-fledged stereophonic equalizer. Specifically developed for the audio
mastering engineer, no compromises have been made to deliver an exceptional
musical flexibility and audio fidelity.

Behind an intuitive user interface hides as staggering array of
possibilities: A set of musical high-pass and low-pass filters, including a
low frequency "monoization" section offer detailed control over the signal
bandwidth. Six powerful parametric filter bands can precise access over
tone, timbre and the stereo image, and a sophisticated meta-filter offers
direct and intuitive access to the brightness, hardness or equal loudness
curve of a music signal.

All filters except HP and LP operate in a parallel EQ configuration. The EQ
bands in particular include an elaborate nonlinearity inspired by the
musically beneficial side effects found in inductor filter technology. An
effective auto gain mechanism automatically compensates for changes of
perceived loudness while operating the EQ and last but not least,
semi-intelligent signal analysis options allow matching the input signal's
spectrum against a pink noise reference; or automatically setting the HP and
LP filters according to the signal's audible bandwidth.

As with SlickEQ Standard and SlickEQ – Gentleman's Edition, a multirate
processing scheme (a.k.a. "internal resampling") combined with elaborate
signal processing techniques ensure the highest signal integrity is
maintained throughout the processing.

Key specs and features:

# Intuitive, ergonomic user interface with a focus on musical
# State of the art audio processing algorithms in a parallel EQ
# Six full parametric EQ bands offer spectral control over stereo width
and balance.
# Advanced filter nonlinearities inspired by inductor EQ technology.
# Powerful HP and LP filters. Each with four distinctly musical slopes.
# Dedicated low frequency mono filter.
# A Meta Filter with direct control over brightness, hardness or equal
loudness contours.
# Semi-intelligent equalizer actions Auto EQ and Auto HP/LP.
# Highly effective loudness compensated auto gain control.
# Expandable EQ display including a realtime spectrum analyzer.
# A comprehensive documentation, toolbar with undo/redo, A/B, advanced
preset management and much more.

I haven't tried it yet, I was a little deterred by the € 50 pricetag...but for those that may want to check it out it can be found here below