The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Sonnox Dynamic Equalizer
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 
John Moran's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Verified Member
Sonnox Dynamic Equalizer

The Sonnox Dynamic Equalizer was released June 6th and the timing couldn't have been better for me as I was about to dive into some restoration work on a couple of Leopold Stokowski recordings.

This was a live recording that had anomalies from modulating low end and level adjustments being made on the fly by the original recordists coupled with modulating high end as result of the recording medium partially losing signal in spots. Throw in the occasional digital artifact from some previous work done by someone else and it was going to be interesting.

The Sonnox DynEQ very simply proved up to the task in a hurry. I will leave the details of the plug-in configurations as they are fully available at the Sonnox site. From a user standpoint, it's a very friendly interface with five bands of dynamic eq; each have all the normal controls you would expect from an EQ plus the necessary dynamics controls usually associated with compressors/expanders.

Installation was pain free as usual and quickly got down to business of sorting out the oddities buried in the recordings. First up was the low end which was addressed by using the Threshold set to Trigger Above so as to control the low freqs that would get pushed and pulled back as the recording got under way.

The spectral graphics helped as you could see a rough level of how much make up gain would be needed at times to keep things consistent and get a ballpark setting very quickly with final adjustments being done by ear and taste. Once getting that under control further EQ balancing was done in Equilibrium and then in my analog chain using the Silver Bullet, Prism EQ, Maselec MLA-3, RND MBP and a Massive Passive and then captured back via the 8X192 Mytek. The producer indicated beforehand he wanted it euphonic, ie, "make this thing sound good". Yes sir !

Similarly, a couple of bands for Mid-Hi and High end in the DynEq sorted out the oddball adjustments and the signal loss issues involved with these recordings. There were parts that were significantly darker than other sections, especially towards the end of Danse Arab where the strings lay out and the woodwinds were predominant. The source tape had issues where there was little high end until pretty strong signal levels were present. Then it would approach some semblance of its usual balance. Other than that, it was like someone was turning the lights up and down.

With both of the high bands set for a Trigger Below and again being able to sight in the ballpark gain range needed, this went surprisingly fast. Adjusting each bands Q setting to clean up overlapping trigger areas was speedy and the graphic display of the gains adjusting in real time let me see where the triggers were hitting each other as well as how much relative gain was being applied. You could also see where more gain was potentially useful as the gain levels would hit against the maximums set. Again, once roughly in the ballpark and then tweaked by ear, getting to final decisions was very easy.

The interesting thing was once the track was getting where it should be tonally, the digital uglies from some previous noise reduction processing in the source file that was delivered to me were now plainly audible. Anyone familiar with the "Space Monkeys" sound from too much NoNoise knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Spectral Editing within Sequoia made short work of that while leaving me free to simultaneously adjust all the DynEQ and static EQ decisions while Spectral cleanup was being done. Exiting to another program to do Spectral cleanup would not have been as expedient as having all this power available in one sitting with all ongoing adjustments immediately available. I could work on the Spectral cleanup edits and EQ simultaneously and find things without having to go back and forth between programs. Time is money in this biz and this saved me time.

Along those lines, the Sonnox DynEQ was not a resource hog at all. The processor usage meter in Sequoia never got out out of the single digits percentage wise for the DynEQ and when the resource hungry Equilibrium and a few other processes that love CPU cycles were brought online (computer is a Dell Xeon T1700 Workstation), everyone played together nicely. Sure is great to have something that works right out of the box, er, download.

Anyway, this is a first look at the Sonnox DynEq in a real working environment with some decent challenges for it to deal with and what can I say, so far, very good.

More later.

Last edited by John Moran; 2 weeks ago at 11:01 PM.. Reason: can'type
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Im enjoying it too within the last days with several quite different mastering projects. A somewhat special one with a kind of liquid and buttery character, but overall the best sounding Dynamic EQ I have worked with so far, I think. I also tested it against some highly praised competitors which are sounding kind of cheap or even broken in direct comparison. Fascinating how different digital tools are still sounding, while everybody claims to fully understand the math...
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 
mirochandler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
... the best sounding Dynamic EQ I have worked with so far, I think.
Which ones did you use before?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
All I am aware of (except Izotope, McDSP and Wholegrain). HOFAs I-EQ was the latest I used.
Which one do you prefer?
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Moran View Post
The Sonnox Dynamic Equalizer was released June 6th and the timing couldn't have been better for me as I was about to dive into some restoration work on a couple of Leopold Stokowski recordings.

This was a live recording that had anomalies from modulating low end and level adjustments being made on the fly by the original recordists coupled with modulating high end as result of the recording medium partially losing signal in spots. Throw in the occasional digital artifact from some previous work done by someone else and it was going to be interesting.

Anyway, this is a first look at the Sonnox DynEq in a real working environment with some decent challenges for it to deal with and what can I say, so far, very good.

More later.
Sounds like an interesting project. When were the recordings done and on what media? Thanks in advance. I am glad the Sonnox is working well for you.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Addict
 
mirochandler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
All I am aware of (except Izotope, McDSP and Wholegrain). HOFAs I-EQ was the latest I used.
Which one do you prefer?
Melda Productions and T.C. Dynamic-EQ or Algorithmix SplitComp (if not needed too surgical).
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
All I am aware of (except Izotope, McDSP and Wholegrain). HOFAs I-EQ was the latest I used.
Which one do you prefer?
Hofa has been my favorite. Need to try this one.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Hofa has been my favorite. Need to try this one.
Curious to hear your thoughts.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 
gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
overall the best sounding Dynamic EQ I have worked with so far, I think. I also tested it against some highly praised competitors which are sounding kind of cheap or even broken in direct comparison.

Finally found the time to test it against Nova and the izotope 7 dyn eq and the Sonnox wins hands down...

Very precise and tight, keeps the depth of the original signal, way less degradation of the overall sound!

I really didn´t expect it to be that good...

(already wrote that on the news forum but I´m pretty exited, so please excuse the double post )
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Placebo...
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Addict
 
gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Placebo...
What´s this ridiculous comment about?
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Addict
 
mirochandler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gorka View Post
...way less degradation of the overall sound!
Every Dyn-EQ should only change the things how I set it up. Check it with a nulltest.
It should never touch any other parts of the signal (frequ+dynamic).
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 
B Elgin's Avatar
 

Per-band sidechain preference and mid/side modes are very good features here.

Looking forward to testing this against Nova GE, which is usually my go-to (in "Insane-" mode).
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 
gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirochandler View Post
Every Dyn-EQ should only change the things how I set it up. Check it with a nulltest.
It should never touch any other parts of the signal (frequ+dynamic).
Of course it should but there are always reasons why not all digital tools sound the same.

I´ve used many dyn eqs over the years (starting with sonalksis and then TC Powercore long ago) and there definitely is a difference in sound and how they react dynamically.

In the last years I was mostly using Nova and izotope because I´ve prefered them to several options I´ve had before.

While working on some difficult mixes yersterday and today I´ve tried all three with (as close as possible) matched settings and I can definitely hear a difference between the sonnox and those 2 (which don´t sound similar as well), especially in the bass range.
It sounds more precise and less phasey/ smeary (for a lack of better expressions) as I wrote. That´s what I meant with degradation (also not the best word, maybe).

Also I´m rather a TDR- than a Sonnox-fanboy, even though I use sonnox for about 15 years, or better don´t use many of them any more.

I´m always critical about new stuff -especially in the me too reign- but open to give it a chance.

PS. I´m especially talking about subtraction in more than one band here (in very dense mixes) -not boosting a single frequency. For sculpting a kickdrum for example, I still use the bx-dyn eq most of the time.
Haven´t compared the sonnox to that one, yet.

Edit: I just used Nova in de-res lf-mode together with the sonnox on an unbelievably muddy mix - polished the turd nicely ;-).
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
John Moran's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Sounds like an interesting project. When were the recordings done and on what media? Thanks in advance. I am glad the Sonnox is working well for you.

Original recording was done in 1926, delivered to me at 24/44 by the client. No idea what the transfer chain was prior to that and it really doesn't matter. I play the cards I'm dealt as we all do.

Yes, the independent sidechain for each band is convenient.

The second piece, Danse Orientale, had all kinds of transfer artifacts best described as physical disc noise/crackles. Treated that as best as possible and then used Equilibrium to set a tonal balance with the Sonnox DynEQ to take care of the modulating high end again with the side chain filter set to reduce remnant noise triggers. Yeah, the thing sounds good but this is belt sander and bondo body work, not a buff and polish job on pristine paint. I'll need to listen to some other material with detail to give a full assessment but it's certainly doing the required job at hand with ease.

FWIW, this project is not about a pristine archival restoration. This is about making it sound as good as it can for a multimedia production by the National Center for Macromolecular Imaging. The producer is an old pal of around 30 years or so and that's why I have as much leeway as desired to be creative and to do whatever it takes. He's pretty happy with the results and is assembling the final program which I then get one more crack at to polish.

just wish he wasn't such a fan of old recordings.....
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorka View Post
What´s this ridiculous comment about?
Its just sarcasm regasrding those dumb comments in the news forum.
I was sure the smilie made this clear. Not meant against you, not at all!

Last edited by JP__; 1 week ago at 08:55 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 
gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Its just sarcasm regasrding those dumb comments in the news forum.
I was sure the smilie made this clear. Not meant against you, not at all!
In fact I really appreciate that you have posted your impression regarding its sonic (which isnt self-evident, even in the mastering forum where I think guys should be sensible enough for those small diffs).
Ok, I totally misinterpreted your comment, then, sorry!

It already made me wonder, as we´ve been basically coming to the same conclusion .

About the competition:
I also have the Melda and like its dynamic response and vast feature set but the overall sound of all Melda plugins I´ve used and tested isn´t up to par.

Nova is a different beast, I´d say.
It can sound terribly smeary on some mixes but can work well on others, especially in de-res mode. I also like to use it on difficult tracks when mixing.

The izotope 7 is rather clean but doesn´t retain depth as much as the Sonnox.

I´ve only tested the Hofa for one day when it came out but it didn´t do anything special for me at the time and honestly, I can´t stand their design .

The Bx dyn-eq sometimes get´s its uses when I just need a single band.
No serious competitor for the sonnox, anyway.

Btw. for sculpting a single band, the dyn eq in the Klanghelm VUMT Deluxe is rather heavy handed but can also work wonders on some signals -kickdrums, for example.

As usual: ymmv


Last edited by gorka; 1 week ago at 03:19 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Yes, its always hard to make those kind of claims in that forum. One has tobe very carefull about posting about sonics, as the audio police (hence that smily) is always lurking. So, I understand your reaction in a way.
Im looking to reduce my comments to a minimum, the current arrogance and ignorance really eats any left motivation to be part of a community (the ignore button is a good help of course)
If you make strong claims regarding personal experiences you get shooted, but if you try to prove it with testfiles youget ignored. Its a really sad development which shows a lot about the business. But I better stop as I can smell the pigs...
Old 1 week ago
  #19
I've been putting it through it's paces over here. The Wholegain Audio and HOFA is the most used, with surpressor at times as well. I find the release on the Dynamic eq to be the most natural sounding, whether tight or smooth. I'm really enjoying the layout as well. If I had a wish list for this, it would contain a "Q" for the low and high shelf, and a wet / dry mix option like on the surpressor.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Yes, its always hard to make those kind of claims in that forum. One has tobe very carefull about posting about sonics, as the audio police (hence that smily) is always lurking. So, I understand your reaction in a way.
Im looking to reduce my comments to a minimum, the current arrogance and ignorance really eats any left motivation to be part of a community (the ignore button is a good help of course)
If you make strong claims regarding personal experiences you get shooted, but if you try to prove it with testfiles youget ignored. Its a really sad development which shows a lot about the business. But I better stop as I can smell the pigs...
I used to let a few people here get under my skin, and somehow also garnered a hater or two. I had one person quote me from Gearslutz on another forum in a derogatory way, leaving out aspects of what I said, I suppose to make me look bad. I mean, whoever is taking their valuable time to misquote someone for the sake of negativity has some baggage.

The funny thing about this is, it's fk'n audio, not politics. I like the black hammer you like the red one kind of stuff. I guess it's good that people get passionate about how they feel, but haters, they can all have a nice day. Like you said, Ignore..
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by engmix View Post
I used to let a few people here get under my skin, and somehow also garnered a hater or two. I had one person quote me from Gearslutz on another forum in a derogatory way, leaving out aspects of what I said, I suppose to make me look bad. I mean, whoever is taking their valuable time to misquote someone for the sake of negativity has some baggage.

The funny thing about this is, it's fk'n audio, not politics. I like the black hammer you like the red one kind of stuff. I guess it's good that people get passionate about how they feel, but haters, they can all have a nice day. Like you said, Ignore..
Yeah!
Passion and curiosity is just important to me. The bookkeeper/accountant attitude in mastering just sounds so boring to me. For me its about those small details which presuppose this passion and those bit better tools just helps to achieve better results in a more comfortable and relaxed way in the end of the day (fighting against your own expectations regarding sound is the worst thing you can to in daily work).

A lot of audio guys take themselfs just to important. We all hear different with different expectations regarding sound. Unfortunately the placebo argument is fast at hand these days as is a smart aleck attitude. A lot of opinions are only based on bias which is leaded by personal knowledge/experiences (which are always limited in a way) and theoretical arguing becomes much more important than just listening (the better argument wins easier than the better sound). I think one big reason for this is continuous confusion and the search for orientation in a (too) complex (audio) world.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorka View Post
Ok, I totally misinterpreted your comment, then, sorry!

It already made me wonder, as we´ve been basically coming to the same conclusion .

About the competition:
I also have the Melda and like its dynamic response and vast feature set but the overall sound of all Melda plugins I´ve used and tested isn´t up to par.

Nova is a different beast, I´d say.
It can sound terribly smeary on some mixes but can work well on others, especially in de-res mode. I also like to use it on difficult tracks when mixing.

The izotope 7 is rather clean but doesn´t retain depth as much as the Sonnox.

I´ve only tested the Hofa for one day when it came out but it didn´t do anything special for me at the time and honestly, I can´t stand their design .

The Bx dyn-eq sometimes get´s its uses when I just need a single band.
No serious competitor for the sonnox, anyway.

Btw. for sculpting a single band, the dyn eq in the Klanghelm VUMT Deluxe is rather heavy handed but can also work wonders on some signals -kickdrums, for example.

As usual: ymmv

I just compared the Sonnox to Melda, TDR and HOFA another time and I really did not expect another invest in a (EQ) plug in.
HOFA (when being very careful with its dynamic functions) is still not bad, just not that open and organic sounding with a bit more edge than the Sonnox.
Melda is indeed better than I remembered, but just cant stand those both in any way.
As TDRs Nova; the more often I try to love it, the more I hate it...
While the Sonnox is smooth as a silk scarf, the Nova is scratchy as steel wool to my ears...
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Nut
 
B Elgin's Avatar
 

Do you hear the sirens? They're coming for you guys!

I'll be very happy if it's working better than TDR's and iZotope's offerings, even if it means suddenly and unexpectedly parting with some money.
I rely a lot on dynamic EQ when mixing, even if it only helps occasionally during a mastering project.

I didn't notice the peak/onset detection toggle and above/below trigger modes until reading through the manual.
This is good news for workflow - as it should be able to do things that required multiple instances of Nova to achieve.
More advanced sidechain configurations and per-band channel (st/l/r/m/s/) setting give it a pretty substantial advantage too.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump