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Maat SantaCruzEQ (thEQblue with less features but got ride of the Wibu dongle!)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Maat SantaCruzEQ (thEQblue with less features but got ride of the Wibu dongle!)

There is a new Maat EQ: SantaCruzEQ https://www.maat.digital/santacruzeq/



It's seems to be the same Blue EQ with less features (no spectrogram, etc), and doesn't require Wibu dongle!.

• SantaCruzEQ12; MSRP: $259, Introductory Price: $209
• SantaCruzEQ6; MSRP: $189, Introductory Price: $149

I'll demo it.

Wonder about the cramping thing in the highs :/

Daniel.

-------------------------------

Yes, Your Blueness
Why develop yet one more minimum phase parametric equalizer (PEQ) when there’s already hundreds on the market? The answer is simple…’Cuz there was room for improvement! It was customers of the original LinearPhase PEQ Red and Orange who asked Algorithmix to develop a classic EQ, for recording and mixing tasks, with unparalleled purity and transparency. Over several years, our Dr. Christoph closely analyzed many of the best out there, and compiled a vast knowledgebase of analog EQ best practices. Cherry picking from that, he implemented not just one or two, but an entire collection of trad minimal phase EQs. The result? A distillation of analog antecedents, while others are based on new ideas. We know you’ll enjoy our dozen variations of blue, newly revised by MAAT, and find your favorite sound.

The Not So Dirty Dozen
We wanted to lift analog to another level, so we reverse engineered a variety of well respected hardware EQs, creating idealized digital versions from that inspiration. Rather than models or simulations that carry analog baggage, SantaCruzEQ has no noise, distortion or other secondary effects inherited from analog.

SantaCruzEQ12 is the most complete collection of classic equalizer architectures ever assembled into one package. You get precise, idealized examples of legendary analog equalizer circuitry, complemented by progressive new models. Whether it’s vintage, modern, or experimental, SantaCruzEQ is a sonic sandbox for every mixing and mastering engineer to mess around in.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
Questions that I had were 1. other than the absence of the weird dongle, what is the difference between this and Blue, and 2. specifically are there any sonic differences between the two.

Taking a wild guess that other people might be curious about the same things…*1. the only obvious difference is that Blue has their elaborate and visually impressive analyzing. The marketing copy is identical. Thus, you're paying $100 for some cool but relatively untested analyzing functionality.

As for 2… There is a chart on the site that lists the differences. No mention is made of the sound specifically. I don't think anybody on this site has a MAAT Blue license, so I don't think we're going to get an independent confirmation that they are sonically identical. I could only assume – or hope – that this would mean that they share the same sound.

I'm interested enough to download the demo! Looking forward to hearing what other people think of it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 

...and what is the differences between this and SSL X-EQ (which I own and is supposedly developed by Algorithmix and very similar to Blue)?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Nut
Why not to implement free phase eq, intermediate phase eq etc for full flexibility to adjust phase per band etc?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Nice to have an EQ that can be demoed.
The different architectures might actually be a selling point as it can speed up the workflow.

As far as I understand the description, the filters should be the same between blue and SantaCruz.

Maybe someone from MAAT is reading here and comment on that. Also, I found a few minor bugs when testing the EQ:
  1. the thEQblue manual opens from the plugin (on the homepage the link to the SantaCruzEQ won't work either)
  2. when enabling Oversampling the node and the frequency curve fall apart for high freqeuncies. To reproduce, simply activate oversamping and move a boosting bell filter to 20kHz
  3. when switching to Parallel FF-FB or Parallel LC-Asy a noise burst can occur. To reproduce, boost 15dB @ 50 Hz with a high Q and run some audio (bass line etc) while switching the architecture
  4. when measuring the EQ curves with a dirac pulse (using VST Plugin Analyser) the frequency response for Parallel FF-FB and Parallel LC-Asy architecture look rather broken.

Issues 2 (band 3) and 4 (band 2) can be seen in the attached screenshot.
Attached Thumbnails
Maat SantaCruzEQ (thEQblue with less features but got ride of the Wibu dongle!)-maatsantacruzeq.png  
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Macaroni's Avatar
 

How does this EQ compare with DMG's Equilibrium, which also has the curves of all classic EQs, plus IRs, etc. Pretty hard to beat IMO.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Head
 

I'm really liking the GUI (and the sound!), but I'm still not sure if I like it significantly more than the DDMF IIEQ Pro. I don't tend to use huge numbers of bands in one instance, but still, the DDMF has up to 24 bands along with 20-something different filter types...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
So – apparently – after your computer has been on for "too long," attempting to load a session containing SantaCruzEQ causes CodeMeter to crash the DAW.

MacOS 10.13.6, Pro Tools 2018.4.0.317, and Ableton Live Suite 9.5.

Tweaking via the graph and the keyboard commands to change Q has a small but annoying quirk to it; after dragging the mouse to change the Q, you must release the mouse button; if you release the mouse button before you release the option key, the frequency will jump to wherever the mouse ends up… ruining whatever configuration you were trying to create. This is in contrast to every other curve-dragging EQ I can think of.

Trying it on mixes and vocals, it sounds about as good as Equilibrium in IIR mode. SantaCruzEQ may be a bit "smoother" somehow. I'll have to try it against Equilibrium in Analogue and Full Minimum modes to see if SantaCruzEQ is still smoother.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Tested this today on some vocals for cutting and boosting.

It has a natural sound, but a bit boomy IMO, so not for me, i'm looking for the most transparent surgical EQ in the market.

Also tested Crave EQ in transparent mode, and sounds pretty clear and modern, but just doing an ON/OFF test with no bands enabled i can feel it changes the sound. Same thing with AOM Tranquilizr G2, but it sounds even more HiFi-ish :/

Haven't tested EQuilibrium yet. Any other recommendation to compare?.

Best,
Daniel.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Addict
 

...everything changes the sound.

...with this in mind, please try Sonnox Oxford Dynamic EQ. It is really pure.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deff J View Post
...everything changes the sound.

...with this in mind, please try Sonnox Oxford Dynamic EQ. It is really pure.
Thank you, have it already, it's very good, but it can't make narrow cuts :/

Daniel.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
OMU
Lives for gear
 
OMU's Avatar
 

Pretty unstable here, wibu protection is a mess on sierra, mac pro 6.1.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
filterfreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deff J View Post
...everything changes the sound.

...with this in mind, please try Sonnox Oxford Dynamic EQ. It is really pure.
Agree. Hofa IQ eq is equally great.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Head
 

Demoing SantaCruzEQ at the same time as Crave, mostly testing on mixbus/mastering scenarios and not individual tracks. I’m liking Crave a lot for boosts but I do feel like the MAAT might be smoother somehow. Not decided yet, though, sometimes Crave wins out.

I will say, sometimes with SantaCruzEQ I end up clicking on one of the bands at the bottom of the screen in just the wrong way and it all of a sudden changes to a different filter type. Lots of surprise high pass filters at 3k...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgbeats View Post
I will say, sometimes with SantaCruzEQ I end up clicking on one of the bands at the bottom of the screen in just the wrong way and it all of a sudden changes to a different filter type. Lots of surprise high pass filters at 3k...
Same here, all the time, pretty annoying behavior.

Daniel.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielbest1 View Post
Also tested Crave EQ in transparent mode, and sounds pretty clear and modern, but just doing an ON/OFF test with no bands enabled i can feel it changes the sound. Same thing with AOM Tranquilizr G2, but it sounds even more HiFi-ish :/
Regardless of your final EQ choice.. that subjective observation with Crave EQ likely wasn't right. I tested it quite thoroughly some time ago, because I was quite curious what it does at all of its modes. It's completely transparent even if there is enabled peaking band but with 0 dB of gain.

You can always easily check what's going on, if you do simple null test between two summed tracks.
Just duplicate some source track, put suspicious plugin at one of them, flip the polarity at one of track (the flip is either directly on DAW mixer or in some built-in utility plugin like in Pro Tools) and sum those tracks at master bus.
If the sum is silent, the plugin doesn't affect audio in any way.
You can also put some FFT spectral analyzer (say Voxengo SPAN) at master bus to check spectrum of residue. It's even more insightful than plain level meter, sometimes such level meter shows say -60dB of residual level, but if you look at the analyzer, you can find all the difference lies above 20k (say in case of some oversampled plugins) and mostly irrelevant, because you can't hear that. Also in case the difference is somewhere bellow -120dBFS (RMS), it's likely also irrelevant for any practical outcome.

Michal
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Regardless of your final EQ choice.. that subjective observation with Crave EQ likely wasn't right. I tested it quite thoroughly some time ago, because I was quite curious what it does at all of its modes. It's completely transparent even if there is enabled peaking band but with 0 dB of gain.

You can always easily check what's going on, if you do simple null test between two summed tracks.
Just duplicate some source track, put suspicious plugin at one of them, flip the polarity at one of track (the flip is either directly on DAW mixer or in some built-in utility plugin like in Pro Tools) and sum those tracks at master bus.
If the sum is silent, the plugin doesn't affect audio in any way.
You can also put some FFT spectral analyzer (say Voxengo SPAN) at master bus to check spectrum of residue. It's even more insightful than plain level meter, sometimes such level meter shows say -60dB of residual level, but if you look at the analyzer, you can find all the difference lies above 20k (say in case of some oversampled plugins) and mostly irrelevant, because you can't hear that. Also in case the difference is somewhere bellow -120dBFS (RMS), it's likely also irrelevant for any practical outcome.

Michal
Hi Michal,

These couple of days i've been testing lots of EQ plugins for surgical cuts, every one has a sound. In the case of Crave i found it to be "clear/modern" (nothing wrong with that!), and it's the case of all LP EQs i've tested, this is very audible to me when i change between modes on Sonarworks Reference for example.

Compare Crave to ApulSoft apQualizr2, found the later to be more natural/organic/smoother to my taste.

Best,
Daniel.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
poshook's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielbest1 View Post
Tested this today on some vocals for cutting and boosting.

It has a natural sound, but a bit boomy IMO, so not for me, i'm looking for the most transparent surgical EQ in the market.

Also tested Crave EQ in transparent mode, and sounds pretty clear and modern, but just doing an ON/OFF test with no bands enabled i can feel it changes the sound. Same thing with AOM Tranquilizr G2, but it sounds even more HiFi-ish :/

Haven't tested EQuilibrium yet. Any other recommendation to compare?.

Best,
Daniel.
Try OvertoneDSP AF2-10/M, I love it

https://www.overtonedsp.co.uk/downlo...210/index.html
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Head
 

I'm still trying this one out with a couple other EQs that I kind of WANT to like more, but I'm still really loving the Maat...it just holds up the best to me overall. Other EQs I'm trying sound awesome, too, lots of great options out there and I certainly haven't tried them all, but I'm finding some others start to sound thinner and "filtery" before the Maat does. I'm just testing it on the 2bus, so not sure if I would perhaps feel differently using it as a workhorse mixing EQ, but as a mastering EQ I've been really impressed. Really glad it's not tied to that weird dongle!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielbest1 View Post
Hi Michal,

These couple of days i've been testing lots of EQ plugins for surgical cuts, every one has a sound. In the case of Crave i found it to be "clear/modern" (nothing wrong with that!), and it's the case of all LP EQs i've tested, this is very audible to me when i change between modes on Sonarworks Reference for example.

Compare Crave to ApulSoft apQualizr2, found the later to be more natural/organic/smoother to my taste.

Best,
Daniel.
Hi Daniel,

I can see, you might find, different EQs could give you different outcome, especially if they implement various EQs types (minimum phase, linear phase, employs oversampling or various techniques to correct phase response in passband etc.).

But I tried to address just what you wrote about some apparent change in sound signature, which is imparted even when Crave EQ plugin is not doing any change (either in bypass or when gains at enabled bands are at zero).
If you do such null test, which I suggested, you can verify, whether particular plugin is doing any change to audio.
This clearly isn't the case with Crave EQ.

With regards to organic, smooth and similar adjectives.
If you don't intend to compare different types of EQ, then it's very important to test same type of EQs (EQ in particular equivalent mode, when there is choice.. like in Crave, Fabfilter, Equilibrium).
If you also manually match curve (not just by entering common Q values, formulas can differ among EQs, but manually with help of analyzer and make it as close as possible), it will be IMO/IME right way to do fair comparison.
In vast majority of cases, if you fulfill those, a sound of EQs can be indistinguishable from each other with real world material.
There can be still lot of other decisive factors about picking of favorite EQ, maybe it's faster to work with, has some extra feature (like special tilt curve, emulation of vintage EQ curves, hybrid-transparent mode), has better built-in analyzer.. whatever really.
But to be honest, when I read about inherent sound signature or some strong opinion about particular EQ compared to another, then most of the time it's because those were different types of EQs (it's IMO pointless to do shootout between say linear phase EQ and minimum EQ) or because there wasn't any attempt to precisely match EQ curves.

In this particular case of ApEQ (or say Overtone) vs Crave, you need to set Crave to digital mode to have equivalent type of EQ.

Sorry for derail here.. Also selection of tools is naturally subjective, I don't know what will be better for you. Just it seems to me, you're quite serious about that and I'd like to just remind one of general pitfalls for those evaluations.

Michal
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Hi Daniel,

I can see, you might find, different EQs could give you different outcome, especially if they implement various EQs types (minimum phase, linear phase, employs oversampling or various techniques to correct phase response in passband etc.).

But I tried to address just what you wrote about some apparent change in sound signature, which is imparted even when Crave EQ plugin is not doing any change (either in bypass or when gains at enabled bands are at zero).
If you do such null test, which I suggested, you can verify, whether particular plugin is doing any change to audio.
This clearly isn't the case with Crave EQ.

With regards to organic, smooth and similar adjectives.
If you don't intend to compare different types of EQ, then it's very important to test same type of EQs (EQ in particular equivalent mode, when there is choice.. like in Crave, Fabfilter, Equilibrium).
If you also manually match curve (not just by entering common Q values, formulas can differ among EQs, but manually with help of analyzer and make it as close as possible), it will be IMO/IME right way to do fair comparison.
In vast majority of cases, if you fulfill those, a sound of EQs can be indistinguishable from each other with real world material.
There can be still lot of other decisive factors about picking of favorite EQ, maybe it's faster to work with, has some extra feature (like special tilt curve, emulation of vintage EQ curves, hybrid-transparent mode), has better built-in analyzer.. whatever really.
But to be honest, when I read about inherent sound signature or some strong opinion about particular EQ compared to another, then most of the time it's because those were different types of EQs (it's IMO pointless to do shootout between say linear phase EQ and minimum EQ) or because there wasn't any attempt to precisely match EQ curves.

In this particular case of ApEQ (or say Overtone) vs Crave, you need to set Crave to digital mode to have equivalent type of EQ.

Sorry for derail here.. Also selection of tools is naturally subjective, I don't know what will be better for you. Just it seems to me, you're quite serious about that and I'd like to just remind one of general pitfalls for those evaluations.

Michal
Hi Michael, i understand that you want to avoid bias, thanks for that.

In my personal test i tried different EQ and EQ modes (many on Equilibrium!) that sound best to me for a given task. In this case i was looking for surgical cuts.

The test was pretty simple, 1 band -10 dB @ 180 Hz with something similar to Q = 16.

In the case of Crave, it has a Hi Fi ish sound to my ears (specially in LP or Digital mode).

Maybe you can share the null test you did with Crave EQ in LP mode with a band enabled at 0 dB. I haven't done this test.

Best,
Daniel.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by poshook View Post
Try OvertoneDSP AF2-10/M, I love it

https://www.overtonedsp.co.uk/downlo...210/index.html
Thank you!, going to do!.

Daniel.
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