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Balance Analog Magpha EQ Equalizer Plugins
Old 18th May 2018
  #31
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B Elgin's Avatar
 

Bought it last night. Really enjoy the smooth sound and flexibility of the bandwidth. Tight low bells worked well for bringing focus without mud to kicks or the upper bass range, and the curves can be broad enough to shift energy in a very general way. I'm looking forward to the shelving update.

Those wide cuts with narrow boosts at the same frequency give an interesting sound as well. In fact this technique is particularly well complimented by the lack of roughness from the filter design.

Stepped mode is a nice feature too. I think TDR do it perfectly - right click and turn to operate with steps, left click for total freedom. Steps can also be defined with a text file. This beats a menu option easily for me.

The GUI in its larger setting still felt a bit too small but I'm also stubbornly using my old display at a much further distance since moving rooms. I do like the new color and minimal design though.

Oh, I also just used it alongside the new Weiss Dees on a vocal stem and they sounded fantastic together.

Overall I wasn't really looking for any more non-character/specialist software EQs but this was a really nice surprise - and pairs perfectly as a precision or cleanup tool before my analog gear. Cheers to the team (?) at Balance Mastering.

The into price is good until the end of the month - it's a very good deal IMO.
Old 18th May 2018
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosewood123 View Post
@JP__ How does this EQ compare to your hardware? Obviously you've commented some, especially regarding the Porter, but what about other EQs that you have? Do you mind sharing some thoughts?

I've downloaded Magpha and tested a bit. It sounds very good.
I currently have ADT (bells, shelfs, hicut, locut), Roger Schults EQ, the Porter, the Mini Massive and the Hendyamp MA. But I didnt really compared the Magpha to them. I never felt very confident when using digital EQ in the past, still they have their great uses of course (precise, easy recall, free placement within the chain...). I always felt there is some room for serious improvement still (and I often posted about this here, but no engineers and no developers seems to be interested. They all seem to accept the "digital sound" or couldnt hear it or never uses it?).
PlugIns and analog outboard both have their full eligibility in todays mastering work. One main difference for me is the complete independence from the rest of the chain with plug ins. So you never can be able reconstruct what a great analog chain does, but otherwise you either could reconstruct what a great digital chain is able do with analog gear (so, for me, two completely different approaches. Not only because of quality, but also because way of working/results).
A lot of people use digital for "clean" and analog for "color". This never worked for me, really... A chain is a chain and every single part has its influence and therefore calls for deep attention.
So all in all, a clean and good sounding EQ with the precise and controlled behaviour of a plug in is like a dream comes true to me. It doesnt make my outboard unnecessary in any way (thought my precise EQs stay in bypass more often these days, maybe), but just make me feel less compromised when using digital tools lately and I also feel more flexible in my gear choices at daily work now.
This with the DS-1 (which has a quite distinctive "color" imho) and some limiting feels like a real mastering weapon ITB to me.

Last edited by JP__; 18th May 2018 at 09:26 AM..
Old 18th May 2018
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
and "man, that GUI..."
actually, a simple GUI like this gives, at least to me, confidence this is about sound and not toyish graphic design pissing contest.
Old 18th May 2018
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
I currently have ADT (bells, shelfs, hicut, locut), Roger Schults EQ, the Porter, the Mini Massive and the Hendyamp MA. But I didnt really compared the Magpha to them. I never felt very confident when using digital EQ in the past, still they have their great uses of course (precise, easy recall, free placement within the chain...). I always felt there is some room for serious improvement still (and I often posted about this here, but no engineers and no developers seems to be interested. They all seem to accept the "digital sound" or couldnt hear it or never uses it?).
PlugIns and analog outboard both have their full eligibility in todays mastering work. One main difference for me is the complete independence from the rest of the chain with plug ins. So you never can be able reconstruct what a great analog chain does, but otherwise you either could reconstruct what a great digital chain is able do with analog gear (so, for me, two completely different approaches. Not only because of quality, but also because way of working/results).
A lot of people use digital for "clean" and analog for "color". This never worked for me, really... A chain is a chain and every single part has its influence and therefore calls for deep attention.
So all in all, a clean and good sounding EQ with the precise and controlled behaviour of a plug in is like a dream comes true to me. It doesnt make my outboard unnecessary in any way (thought my precise EQs stay in bypass more often these days, maybe), but just make me feel less compromised when using digital tools lately and I also feel more flexible in my gear choices at daily work now.
This with the DS-1 (which has a quite distinctive "color" imho) and some limiting feels like a real mastering weapon ITB to me.
Thanks very much for the comments! I for one am really interested in plugin improvement.

I'm thinking about purchasing the Hendyamps MA at some point soon as my first hardware piece. The price is more than reasonable and the sound demos are excellent. I think it would be good to couple with my ITB rig and run my workflow as follows: Precise digital EQs and some compressors first for cleanup and prep for DA, and then the MA for the heavy lifting and broad shaping, back to AD and ITB processing to finish up. That's a start, I guess.

What appeals to me about the MA is the general shaping that it can do so well. The curves and circuit sound magical and the aggression knob is there for sterile recordings.

I had no idea there was a DS-1 suite that's a code port! Checking it now. Awesome!
Old 19th May 2018
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastervargas View Post
actually, a simple GUI like this gives, at least to me, confidence this is about sound and not toyish graphic design pissing contest.
Definitly. And it just works here. I also love the stepped behaviour of all values, fast and easy to dial in.
When Im sitting in the acoustic sweetspot here, I do not look at any screen. So, for me these good chosen steps make it much easier to find the right values without being out of focus from staring at a screen..
Old 19th May 2018
  #36
Still really enjoying this EQ. For some reason I tend to prefer its sound after the analogue chain rather than before. I mostly use it for small boosts to accentuate parts of the spectrum that sound “nearly” right but not quite “there”. Occasionally use it for cuts but I tend to prefer the sound of equilibrium before the D/A for those. Not always, but most of the time.

It’s a great plugin, though, and the first (non-dynamic) digital EQ I’ve even been tempted to buy since equilibrium. SlickEQ also sounded good, but I was never really tempted to buy it (despite loving, and buying, Kotelnikov and Limiter6).
Old 20th May 2018
  #37
Hi, I downloaded and used this EQ yesterday, for the first time.
I'm not a pro, only a hobbyist (probably an advanced hobbyist ) and I didn't try tons of plugins but, when I put this EQ after my comp the only thing I said was...Wow!
1-It sounds definitely more natural and open than anything else I tried
2-Instruments remain well defined, no blur, no smearing
3-Even with a strong boost at 10-12KHz doesn't sound harsh or edgy
4-It's the first time I find the "right" eq in only a few moves. And it's the best sounding equalization I've done so far (in my short career)

Now I need only a comp that sounds as good as this eq and I'm ok for many many months

Stefano

PS: sorry for my english, when it comes to very technical topics, sometimes it's hard to find the right way to say things
Old 1st June 2018
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
Still really enjoying this EQ. For some reason I tend to prefer its sound after the analogue chain rather than before. I mostly use it for small boosts to accentuate parts of the spectrum that sound “nearly” right but not quite “there”. Occasionally use it for cuts but I tend to prefer the sound of equilibrium before the D/A for those. Not always, but most of the time.

It’s a great plugin, though, and the first (non-dynamic) digital EQ I’ve even been tempted to buy since equilibrium. SlickEQ also sounded good, but I was never really tempted to buy it (despite loving, and buying, Kotelnikov and Limiter6).
Interesting. I mostly use it for some cuts here (I'm more a "cutting guy" all in all I think). With the Magpha EQ I lately use more extreme gain setting than I was used too normally as I just hear much less side effects here. These side effects (others might call it color) are something that always makes me rather shy using band gain too much.
Another thing to me here is how effective I can work with the Q. Its really a "dial in" button to me.
Old 18th June 2018
  #39
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This thing is amazing!
Old 23rd June 2018
  #40
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Magpha v2.0.0 update – Shelves, AAX & more

Hi all, thank you for your patience on the latest update. It is now ready.



Main updates are high and low shelving bands (with extended frequency ranges) and AAX for ProTools users.

---

Here are the full details...

v2.0.0

- Add high/low shelves with extended frequency ranges.
- Add new presets for shelving.
- Allow keyboard entry of 'k' frequencies e.g. '6.3k' converts to '6300'.
- Optional double +/- 18dB gain range suitable for mixing.
- Improved fix to zero-latency on bypass with some DAWs.
- Bypass buttons now display e.g. "Off" when off.

v1.3.0

- AAX version for ProTools users.

---

New users download demo here:
Balance Analog Magpha EQ plugin. — Balance Mastering

Existing users (demo or purchase), please check your email for the direct link.

---

I really want to thank everybody who's contacted with support and suggestions. Many ideas have made it in to this version and the product is better for it.

Also thanks to all who attended my technical presentation at the Milan AES event.

John.
Old 24th June 2018
  #41
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Excellent, thanks John! This became a staple in my toolkit almost immediately, at a point where I wasn't evn deliberately looking for a clean EQ. V2 is a substantial improvement.

Hoping for some pass filters to complete the package at some point.
Old 7th July 2018
  #42
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Analog Magpha EQ – Last chance for low price

Hi all,

Tomorrow is the last day for the introductory price of

£80 GBP (RRP £110)

that's nearly 30% reduction.

Purchase here

Thanks for all the support and suggestions on Gearslutz, it's really help improve the user experience!
Old 7th July 2018
  #43
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You've done a wonderful job in improving the plugin!! Massive kudos for that.
Old 9th July 2018
  #44
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Is this eq clean? How did it compare to slickeq?
Old 9th July 2018
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevon View Post
Is this eq clean? How did it compare to slickeq?
the slick eq has more to offer functionally - frequency curve display, tilt, automatic level compensation ASO.
I find the sound of the magpha in the mastering context more musical and more "in music" - which is more typical for analog eq's.
the missing display can also be an benefit.

is he clean?
clean yes, but not quite as hip-stiff as most digital ones.
Old 9th July 2018
  #46
Lives for gear
i did a quick shootout comparing this with slick eq M and equilibrium. [email protected] which i know is ridiculous but it was a real dark mix and i figured this was a good test.

the balance and slick eq M sounded very similar and i could get them to null to about -70dbfs.

equilibrium sounded noticeably different, and to me it was much better: smoother, kept the depth better, "more analog". i had it on the 250 curve, IIR.

they all sounded good though!
Old 9th July 2018
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
i did a quick shootout comparing this with slick eq M and equilibrium. [email protected] which i know is ridiculous but it was a real dark mix and i figured this was a good test.

the balance and slick eq M sounded very similar and i could get them to null to about -70dbfs.

equilibrium sounded noticeably different, and to me it was much better: smoother, kept the depth better, "more analog". i had it on the 250 curve, IIR.

they all sounded good though!
maybe it's just the missing display and the minimalist gui that makes me work differently :-)

felt equilibrium (with my settings, IIR mode) sounds "faster" and "more precise", but not "harder" than most other plugin-eq's I know
Old 9th July 2018
  #48
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equilibrium, to me, definitely sounds softer in the highs than any other eq plugs i've tried.

it's what i like most about it!
Old 9th July 2018
  #49
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
i did a quick shootout comparing this with slick eq M and equilibrium. [email protected] which i know is ridiculous but it was a real dark mix and i figured this was a good test.

the balance and slick eq M sounded very similar and i could get them to null to about -70dbfs.

equilibrium sounded noticeably different, and to me it was much better: smoother, kept the depth better, "more analog". i had it on the 250 curve, IIR.

they all sounded good though!
I tested today and found the same. Using the same settings, Balance and Slick EQ M were sounding very similar. Given the extra functionality in Slick then I couldn't justify a purchase even though its very good value. Again, Equilibrium provided something different which I preferred on the particular track I was working on. More 'alive' and less 'flat'.
Old 10th July 2018
  #50
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Verified Member
Finally found time to properly sit down with this EQ.


Pros

- Made by an indie engineer in the field not a developer "crossing over to mastering" and you can tell by the interface and layout
- Love the idea of colour digital EQ and I think it's gonna be a big thing in years to come. You're on the right path!


Cons

- One shelf is not enough, gimme some to cut and boost at the same time
- Gives me a bit of a headache squinting at it still, as much as I appreciate the minimalism
- Steps are not in 0.25 or whatever dBs

Ideas

- Would be nice to see the band is engaged on the knob itself, hard to keep track when you have a few engaged
- If it's steps, maybe steps which match up to a usual mastering workflow


Honestly I couldn't get to a setting I liked anything close to Slick EQ ME because of the interface, but from what I can tell it sounds pretty decent and could turn into something really special.
Old 10th July 2018
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_caithness View Post
- Love the idea of colour digital EQ
What you mean with "colour" here, Joe?
Its imho the cleanest digital EQ I know to date, with less "color" than anything else.

I also tested it against Slick several times and Im not able to hear real similarities, thought. I think we all have quite different expectations and perception when it comes to choosing tools.
Old 10th July 2018
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
What you mean with "colour" here, Joe?
Its imho the cleanest digital EQ I know to date, with less "color" than anything else.
How long you got?
Old 10th July 2018
  #53
Gear Maniac
I had another play with this today and I'm starting to really dig it. Trust my luck that it's the day after the introductory price offer.
Old 10th July 2018
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
What you mean with "colour" here, Joe?
Its imho the cleanest digital EQ I know to date, with less "color" than anything else.

I also tested it against Slick several times and Im not able to hear real similarities, thought. I think we all have quite different expectations and perception when it comes to choosing tools.

in such cases i like to listen to the work of a mastering engineer - this way you get an impression of his "sound cosmos" and feel better whose vision fits better with your own.
joe & jp - do you have spotify-playlists of your work?
Old 10th July 2018
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_caithness View Post
How long you got?
As a not native speaker I havent got a clue whats your questions is about.
Old 10th July 2018
  #56
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he has a long answer to your question.
Old 10th July 2018
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
in such cases i like to listen to the work of a mastering engineer - this way you get an impression of his "sound cosmos" and feel better whose vision fits better with your own.
joe & jp - do you have spotify-playlists of your work?
This idea of a business spotify playlist is a new one to me. Honestly (beside CD masters) I often havent got a clue what artist or project Im working on atm. Curently Im working on a double vinyl album for a thai producer, a italian rap album and some youtube singles from some german artists and from no one I havent got the artist name yet. Hard to achieve ny kind of showreel then. If they like to stay anonym, I respect that.
I once mastered some Ennio Morrricone tracks for a vinyl exclusive compilation, but it took me about a year to get aware of this by accident. This whole idea of having a online mastering showreel looks attractive, but is somewhat nearly impossible to work out in a satisfied way in my reality I think...
May I should change my name to Stealth Mastering instead...

I had youtube clips on my website for some time, but they slowed down the side, so I deleted them. Intetesting topic, which may deserve an new thread.
Old 10th July 2018
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
he has a long answer to your question.
But is far to busy to write it down then, I understand...
Old 10th July 2018
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
This idea of a business spotify playlist is a new one to me. Honestly (beside CD masters) I often havent got a clue what artist or project Im working on atm. Curently Im working on a double vinyl album for a thai producer, a italian rap album and some youtube singles from some german artists and from no one I havent got the artist name yet. Hard to achieve ny kind of showreel then. If they like to stay anonym, I respect that.
I once mastered some Ennio Morrricone tracks for a vinyl exclusive compilation, but it took me about a year to get aware of this by accident. This whole idea of having a mastering showreel looks attractive, but is somewhat nearly impossible to work out in my reality.
May I should change my name to Stealth Mastering instead...
come on, look through your bills and collect the coolest projects - needs an evening. i'm also on it right now, should be worth it in the medium term.
if i don't know what to think of a statement on GZ, i like to go and see what the writer has done and listen to his work - so i quickly get an idea of his aesthetics.

the main reason for such a list is of course that potential future customers can get a picture of my work and I can refer to it for testmastering requests.
Old 10th July 2018
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
come on, look through your bills and collect the coolest projects - needs an evening. i'm also on it right now, should be worth it in the medium term.
if i don't know what to think of a statement on GZ, i like to go and see what the writer has done and listen to his work - so i quickly get an idea of his aesthetics.

the main reason for such a list is of course that potential future customers can get a picture of my work and I can refer to it for testmastering requests.
Do you have artist names in your invoices or just real names...?

Heres a band of whom I mastered the both latest albums, mixed by a fairly reputated engineer. One was mixed quite dry, the other rather wet with heavy saturation/distortion. For both my mastering approach was quite similar, still results are quite different of course. So, Im not really sure what to achieve from those examples...?
YouTube
It's About Time - YouTube

Im with you, knowing more about each other in this forum definitly helps, this is where fb maybe worse a look or just some privat chatting (which I do with several members here on a regular basis).

Last edited by JP__; 10th July 2018 at 05:44 PM..
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