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Balance Analog Magpha EQ Equalizer Plugins
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
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Balance Analog Magpha EQ

This looks interesting...

Balance Analog Magpha EQ plugin. — Balance Mastering

Not sure what constitutes 'true analogue phase' but I'm willing to give it an audition.

Definitely like the reduced interface philosophy, I tend to turn off graphic bells and whistles anyway.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Head
 
balancemastering's Avatar
 

Hi all,

Here's some more info on our EQ from a discussion on another forum (see below).

If anyones demo'd or purchased I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks,
John.


Quote:
The plugin uses a hybrid technique to design the filter coefficients that capture the phase (as well as magnitude) of analogue. I might prepare a blog post to explain in more detail if I have time but here's a graph where we compared against a well regarded competing plugin (a maker I respect). You can see our plugin matches analogue phase very well...



This is a 9dB boost a ~6.3kHz and soundwise the difference is subtle but very audible. Basically our eq sounds smoother and more open than the competing plugin. Like it has removed a lid on the sound.

Zooming in on the magnitude we see some deviations of about 0.2dB. While it's hard to tell if a slight magnitude curve deviation like this would sound bad per se, it's good to know ours matches even more precisely to analogue vs. the competing plugin.

Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Head
 
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Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Anyone checked it out already? Yeah, I know; "do we really need another EQ plug in" and "man, that GUI..." and "Im able to great work with what I have already" and all that other stuff people love to say here. But to all naturally curious people and those with a open mind and those who believe in sonics not in look I really recommend to give it a try. John did deliver something special here. Digital plug ins slowly (ok very slowly) comes to a point, I think.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Just demo-ing it now. It's certainly got something, that's for sure. I find EQ plugins the hardest things to demo because, when working on clients' music, you obviously reach for the tools you know first - you never get the first 15 minutes working on a piece of music back. So the EQ you're demo-ing ends up being used for "supplementary" EQ only - not really a fair comparison, but there you go.

I do really appreciate the way the demo is structured - unlimited time but no saving of settings - as this will allow a proper period of reflection before deciding whetether to pull the trigger. Either way, on first impressions this is definitely a contender.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Anyone else hears the same "analog buttery smoothness" without loosing tighness, better retained depth and without the added harsh greyness that most other digital EQs add? Or am I alone here? At first listen in direct comparisons it might sounds a bit soft, but I think its just that we are so used to that "typical digital artefacts" (which btw also comes from converters, so going analog isnt really helping here...)...
I need some more testing within the next days, but I think this is another contender to me helping to get away fighting artefacts in daily work (a bit like the DS1 plug in, but in a quite different way). ITB masters me coming...
Any opinions?
Old 1 week ago
  #7
I'm still testing. I definitely hear that "buttery" quality that you refer to. I've used it on one master since I started testing, the rest of the time it has remained bypassed, but that's not necessarily an indictment.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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My testing practise is maybe a bit different then; I always do some direct comparisons to others first, incl. some trys to match values etc or use it a some older stuff I have mastered. If a tool fits my expectations here or even surprises me, I will use it with real work over a longer period of time, partly incl. shootouts back to back against my other go-to-tools (could took hours, or days or even a year). Before that I wanted to be really sure the tools worth the hassle. I really hate to try new tools when really working as this just distracts my focus (and confuses my chain). Most tools even never make it to this second real life round here...
So, I normally distinguish strictly between testing and working.

BTW: I get it nulled to around -75dBfs (yeah, yeah, I know pure perception bias then...) with a well regarded EQ, but to me it offers a quite different presentation of the music compared to other EQs. We might be still very sensible when it comes down to subtle phase distortion, I think.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Yeah, I do a bit of formal "testing" too, but I just can't ever get a real handle on how much I like something without using it on real sessions.

Also, I'd have to do the testing either at the beginning of the day when my ears are at their most fresh, which seems like a waste, or at the end of the day when there are often administrative tasks to do (invoicing, revisions, childcare!). For a product with a demo period like this there's no possibility of "losing" anything (at least in the medium term) - I can just note down settings in the same way I do for the analogue chain.

Anywway, I'll continue to demo the plugin and see if it warrants a purchase.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
My testing practise is maybe a bit different then; I always do some direct comparisons to others first, incl. some trys to match values etc or use it a some older stuff I have mastered. If a tool fits my expectations here or even surprises me, I will use it with real work over a longer period of time, partly incl. shootouts back to back against my other go-to-tools (could took hours, or days or even a year). Before that I wanted to be really sure the tools worth the hassle. I really hate to try new tools when really working as this just distracts my focus (and confuses my chain). Most tools even never make it to this second real life round here...
So, I normally distinguish strictly between testing and working.

BTW: I get it nulled to around -75dBfs (yeah, yeah, I know pure perception bias then...) with a well regarded EQ, but to me it offers a quite different presentation of the music compared to other EQs. We might be still very sensible when it comes down to subtle phase distortion, I think.
I'm glad this eq is catching on. I'm not a mastering engineer but my two ears and similar testing concur with this.

ITB, outside of Acustica, I've never experienced "buttery" from a digital eq null or not. This was puzzling after my usual tests. Equilibrium can definitely have an analog vibe, but not this smooth imo. I'm interested in reading what you guys and gals conclude.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
Yeah, I do a bit of formal "testing" too, but I just can't ever get a real handle on how much I like something without using it on real sessions.

Also, I'd have to do the testing either at the beginning of the day when my ears are at their most fresh, which seems like a waste, or at the end of the day when there are often administrative tasks to do (invoicing, revisions, childcare!). For a product with a demo period like this there's no possibility of "losing" anything (at least in the medium term) - I can just note down settings in the same way I do for the analogue chain.

Anywway, I'll continue to demo the plugin and see if it warrants a purchase.
Curious to hear your further thoughts.

Last edited by JP__; 1 week ago at 01:14 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Bay View Post
I'm glad this eq is catching on. I'm not a mastering engineer but my two ears and similar testing concur with this.

ITB, outside of Acustica, I've never experienced "buttery" from a digital eq null or not. This was puzzling after my usual tests. Equilibrium can definitely have an analog vibe, but not this smooth imo. I'm interested in reading what you guys and gals conclude.
Im not much into their Aqua plug ins, cool for certain colors, but with their own strange sonic signature in my ears.
This sounds just clean to me, but in a positive way. Not that "clean" thats so boring and annoying (and the reason people tend to add a lot of color in mastering to overcome it).

Last edited by JP__; 1 week ago at 02:14 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Head
 
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Update v1.1.0 – GUI options



Hi all, thanks to everyone who's auditioned the demo or purchased.

In response to some constructive criticisms I've added some GUI options.

v1.1.0 is now available and has

- Optional smaller, more compact user interface.
- Optional knob markers for extra visual feedback.
- Option to truncate textbox values to 2 decimal places.
- Fix issue where sometimes default JUCE widget controls display.

See the 'Settings' page just below the main bypass button for the GUI options.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Head
 
balancemastering's Avatar
 

Thanks all for the feedback and comments, much appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
This sounds just clean to me, but in a positive way. Not that "clean" thats so boring and annoying (and the reason people tend to add a lot of color in mastering to overcome it).
As a bit of a tangent...

In creating this I was influenced by the shifting tastes in the film/tv industry (an area I used to work in). When early digital cameras were used in Hollywood they didn't look great (e.g. Collateral 2004 w/ Cruise & Foxx??). They were rough looking especially in scenes of high contrast. 35mm still was hard to beat in terms of look.

However, technology moved on and cameras such as the Arri Alexa (2010 onward) give great images that don't look like 35mm, but do look good in their own way. It's clarity was something I didn't like initially, but it grew on me. It has an aesthetic that's pleasing. Now it seems the majority of films are shot on the Alexa or similar, and when I now see a modern 35mm production, it looks stylised.

If this all sounds familiar, it's probably because production preferences and, correspondingly music tools have followed a similar path in the past 20 years. Like the film world, I think there's definitely room for analogue and good sounding digital to co-exist.
Old 5 days ago
  #15
I'm 90% sure I'm going to buy this now. I've mostly been using it for upper midrange boosts - it often handles this area better than any other EQ I own, analogue or digital.

I do occasionally wish the stepped values could be defeated - I love them for speed of workflow, but occasionally I do wish I could set, for example, the gain of a band "in between" two prescribed values. Perhaps this could be an option in a future update? Being able to manually (by keyboard) enter any value but all mouse movement snapping to the previously defined steps would work perfectly for me.
Old 5 days ago
  #16
In fact, I just bought the plugin (writing the above made me realise I may as well pull the trigger as I'm using it quite a lot now), and I see my suggestion has already been implemented!
Old 5 days ago
  #17
Gear Head
 
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Update v1.2.0 – GUI & non-stepped



Hi all,

We've taken a lot of the feedback on board to improve usability (and still fit with the original idea). Here's the new look, a bit more tactile but still minimal.

v1.2.0 is now available

- Optional non-stepped, continuous knobs/textbox values (in settings)
- Improved user interface:
- More tactile buttons & knobs.
- More usable in low light conditions.

New users:
Balance Analog Magpha EQ plugin. — Balance Mastering

Existing users (demo or purchase), please check your email for the direct link.
Old 5 days ago
  #18
Gear Head
 
balancemastering's Avatar
 

Thanks for purchasing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
I do occasionally wish the stepped values could be defeated - I love them for speed of workflow, but occasionally I do wish I could set, for example, the gain of a band "in between" two prescribed values. Perhaps this could be an option in a future update? Being able to manually (by keyboard) enter any value but all mouse movement snapping to the previously defined steps would work perfectly for me.
We've added a new option in 'Settings' to fully turn on/off stepped controls.

I like the sound of the behaviour you've described. I'll look into this as an option at some point, but for now I felt it was best to be able to fully turn off steps. Since there seems to be a lot of people who don't like working in steps at all.
Old 5 days ago
  #19
Ah, I didn't realise you couldn't do that already. Yeah, I think it would be a great way of working, personally - I don't want to turn off the steps completely (though I appreciate that I now can if I really need to) as working with stepped controls is so much quicker, workflow-wise.
Old 5 days ago
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Excited to give this a try!
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