BAX eq vs. TC 6000/similar shelving plugin
mixerguy
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#1
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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BAX eq vs. TC 6000/similar shelving plugin

Hi all.

I mix and master a wide variety of music.

I own some nice hardware EQs - including Lil FrEQs, Hammer, EM-PEQ, API 5500.
I also own a TC 6000 with Mastering license, and some decent plugins. (Massenburg MDW, MAAG, etc)

Due to reasons I won’t go into here... much of my work is mastered by ME. It does NOT go a separate mastering person.

I always have a nice analog hardware EQ and hardware analog compression chain on the mix buss.

Yes I have read threads on the BAX.... yes I read the *entire* informative review(s) in TapeOp here
Tape Op Magazine > Reviews > BAX EQ

Yes I know what a Baxandall curve is. Yes I know what a BAX does. Yes I have seen the charts. Yes I know that it has really nice sounding filters (HPF & LPF) in it.

My questions are philosophical, in a way....

If the BAX is super clean..... with little phase shift or distortion .... why wouldn’t the TC 6000 or a really good plugin be able top get close to the sound of it?

Has anyone compared the BAX to a TC6000 / Massenburg MDW / similar... in a blind, level matched test?

I’m tempted to get the BAX just to have it at the end of my analog mix buss / mastering chain.... (pre-peak limiting, of course) .... for workflow reasons that would be great...


Discuss.
mixerguy
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26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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p.s. yes I know I could demo it... but I first wanted to get mastering engineers thoughts on it - those who have actually spent quality time with it.... who have compared it to other stuff.

thanks

lowland
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27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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I have a 6000 and a Bax - true, I don't have the MDW EQ license, but I haven't heard a digital EQ that does quite what the Bax does.

There's a freeware plug-in called Baxter (haven't heard it - no need!) which emulates the Bax, that may be worth a try -

BaxterEQ – released today – Variety Of Sound

You can also get in the ballpark high end-wise by taking a parametric to, say, 20k with a wideish Q for half a bell, sounds different to a standard shelf.
mixerguy
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27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowland View Post
I have a 6000 and a Bax .... I haven't heard a digital EQ that does quite what the Bax does...
Hey Nigel

and how would you describe exactly what the BAX does, in your own words?



i assume you like it?

cheers

lowland
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27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixerguy View Post
Hey Nigel

and how would you describe exactly what the BAX does, in your own words?



i assume you like it?

cheers

Yes, I like it. It's all the stuff that's already been well chewed over by others: subtle, clean, a little goes a long way, not for every project etc.

Two points I also like about it are 1. the quality of the L and HPF, the latter gets used quite a bit, and 2. the way the high shelf can address mid frequencies - see Greg Calbi's comments (scroll down) -

Tape Op Magazine > Reviews > BAX EQ
mixerguy
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27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowland View Post
Yes, I like it. It's all the stuff that's already been well chewed over by others: subtle, clean, a little goes a long way, not for every project etc.

Two points I also like about it are 1. the quality of the L and HPF, the latter gets used quite a bit, and 2. the way the high shelf can address mid frequencies - see Greg Calbi's comments (scroll down) -

Tape Op Magazine > Reviews > BAX EQ
cool - thanks!

and here are Greg's comment about mid frequencies copied directly from Tape Op (the link above)

".....Upper-midrange frequencies (labeled on the BAX as 3.4, 4.8, and 7.1 kHz) are usually problematic, but the BAX handles these better than any equalizer I have heard in 35 years of working on records. Adding in this area is oftentimes a minefield, as things usually get instantly too harsh or focused in a bad way. The BAX is extremely smooth in a usually-not-too-smooth area. I can add a certain musical presence to the mids without adding harshness, and this is extremely important, especially when mixes are done in-the-box and have a grating edge to begin with. On the other hand, the BAX rolls off harshness in these frequencies without killing the attack of those same mid frequencies. All in all, this is my favorite aspect of the BAX...."
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27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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I agree with all of the comments so far on the BAX, it really has simplified how much I need to EQ tracks.

When it works, it eliminates what I would need to use two other EQs for. I get a lot of tracks that are either dull or super harsh and usually for me the BAX is great for just setting up the initial balance of the track before digging deeper with the Buzz REQ, Massive Passive or Ibis. It is usually only half or one dB at most. As mentioned earlier, the high pass filter is great. It is usually the BAX or a digital eq when I need to high pass.

I currently use the BAX second in my analog mastering chain, but I think it would be great to have one towards the end, when you just need that little extra lift.

I haven't had the opportunity to use the TC, so I can't comment on it, but I do use the sonoris mastering eq, flux epure and psp neon hr often. I think one of the great things about the BAX is the simplicity of the controls/user interface. You could create a similar effect of what the BAX does using plugins, but it would be tricky and not intuitive to re-create. Generally with the BAX, what I'm looking for is only one or two clicks away.

I hope that helps!
#8
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt@Oracle. View Post
I agree with all of the comments so far on the BAX, it really has simplified how much I need to EQ tracks.

When it works, it eliminates what I would need to use two other EQs for. I get a lot of tracks that are either dull or super harsh and usually for me the BAX is great for just setting up the initial balance of the track before digging deeper with the Buzz REQ, Massive Passive or Ibis. It is usually only half or one dB at most. As mentioned earlier, the high pass filter is great. It is usually the BAX or a digital eq when I need to high pass.

I currently use the BAX second in my analog mastering chain, but I think it would be great to have one towards the end, when you just need that little extra lift.

I haven't had the opportunity to use the TC, so I can't comment on it, but I do use the sonoris mastering eq, flux epure and psp neon hr often. I think one of the great things about the BAX is the simplicity of the controls/user interface. You could create a similar effect of what the BAX does using plugins, but it would be tricky and not intuitive to re-create. Generally with the BAX, what I'm looking for is only one or two clicks away.

I hope that helps!
Oops, I had a client using my iPad today and he has obviously logged into to his own account while I was mastering and i have accidentally posted using his account. I'm sure he feels the same way though, as the BAX is often used on the projects he brings to me! Cheers!
mixerguy
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27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Thanks everyone for the thoughts. :-)
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