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Old 19th December 2019
  #211
Gear Head
 

Despite the hurdle of having to buy a CMStick just for a demo, I finally decided to pull the trigger and to give it a go. Delivery of the dongle took a bit of time, 12 days for a DHL delivery between Germany and France is a bit long if you ask me, but I was finally able to test drive the Orange & the Blue against my reference EQ (DMG Equilibrium).

My first impressions with the Orange:

Pros:
- The sound: that was a surprise as I expected Equilibrium (Linear Phase mode) to be on par, maybe just a different flavor. I was wrong, and despite some natural resistance to change I had to admit the Orange won most of the time. The Orange is both tight and transparent, whereas Equilibrium feels softer and slightly veiled in comparison, acting like an FFT EQ (transients softening), think Algorithmix Red for those who tried the ancient version. The Orange is very transparent and only affects the frequency bands it's supposed to treat, and it worked very well on a wide spectrum of sources and music genres.
- Communication: most of my questions were answered by Oliver A. Masciarotte (co-founder of Maat), and he was both very responsive and very nice to deal with

Cons:
- Price : Premium has a cost and I respect that, but 635€ is a lot 'just' for an EQ. Mind you, I think I paid almost the same money for Weiss Saracon which is 'just' an SRC, but anyway...
- Only one host licence, meaning I can run the plug only on the computer hosting the dongle. I have a mixing setup here requiring 2 computers, but no way I can run the Maat EQs on both PCs. I would have liked the possibility to allow for 2 or 3 concurrent installations on different computers, like you can do with a good bunch of plugs.
- Time for delivery of the dongle


Of course I need to spend more time with the plug just to be sure it's not the usual honeymoon period, but what I heard was enough to make me buy it ; Equilibrium is not going, I still keep it for its nice softening properties, and for its impressive free phase FIR mode (phase equalizer).
Old 20th December 2019
  #212
Here for the gear
 

Sequenza, do you have any possibility to test Orange against Sonoris Mastering EQ? They both are 'forward-backward' type linear EQs, so theoretically they should have similar 'sonic signature'.
I still can not imagine that up to this date only 1-2 companies have managed to produce the 'right' EQ. Yes, it is math, but it's not a rocket science after all.
Old 20th December 2019
  #213
Gear Head
 

Provided Sonoris allows for an easy demo, I can give it a try. Can't promise anything in the short term though
Old 20th December 2019
  #214
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sequenza View Post
Despite the hurdle of having to buy a CMStick just for a demo, I finally decided to pull the trigger and to give it a go. Delivery of the dongle took a bit of time, 12 days for a DHL delivery between Germany and France is a bit long if you ask me, but I was finally able to test drive the Orange & the Blue against my reference EQ (DMG Equilibrium).

My first impressions with the Orange:

Pros:
- The sound: that was a surprise as I expected Equilibrium (Linear Phase mode) to be on par, maybe just a different flavor. I was wrong, and despite some natural resistance to change I had to admit the Orange won most of the time. The Orange is both tight and transparent, whereas Equilibrium feels softer and slightly veiled in comparison, acting like an FFT EQ (transients softening), think Algorithmix Red for those who tried the ancient version. The Orange is very transparent and only affects the frequency bands it's supposed to treat, and it worked very well on a wide spectrum of sources and music genres.
- Communication: most of my questions were answered by Oliver A. Masciarotte (co-founder of Maat), and he was both very responsive and very nice to deal with

Cons:
- Price : Premium has a cost and I respect that, but 635€ is a lot 'just' for an EQ. Mind you, I think I paid almost the same money for Weiss Saracon which is 'just' an SRC, but anyway...
- Only one host licence, meaning I can run the plug only on the computer hosting the dongle. I have a mixing setup here requiring 2 computers, but no way I can run the Maat EQs on both PCs. I would have liked the possibility to allow for 2 or 3 concurrent installations on different computers, like you can do with a good bunch of plugs.
- Time for delivery of the dongle


Of course I need to spend more time with the plug just to be sure it's not the usual honeymoon period, but what I heard was enough to make me buy it ; Equilibrium is not going, I still keep it for its nice softening properties, and for its impressive free phase FIR mode (phase equalizer).
Out of curiosity, what were your settings on Equilibrium?

Thanks,

Alistair
Old 20th December 2019
  #215
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Out of curiosity, what were your settings on Equilibrium?

Thanks,

Alistair
Linear phase of course, and using the default DMG bell/shelf/cut. My default impulse length is 32k samples, but when I want to filter the low end (below 100Hz), I don't mind increasing to 131k or even 262k samples and adjust to taste.
Maybe I should have, but I haven't played much with the overlapping or windowing parameters.
Old 20th December 2019
  #216
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sequenza View Post
Linear phase of course, and using the default DMG bell/shelf/cut. My default impulse length is 32k samples, but when I want to filter the low end (below 100Hz), I don't mind increasing to 131k or even 262k samples and adjust to taste.
Maybe I should have, but I haven't played much with the overlapping or windowing parameters.
Ah yes. I suspected as much. By using large Impulse Responses your are causing large pre-echo in Equilibrium.

Included is an example of a kick drum with two narrow cuts at 70 and 130 Hz. The first half of the sample is done with an IR of 1K. The second half with and IR of 65K. (All other settings in Equilibrium are exactly the same). The pre-echo should be clearly audible in the second half as a zoom at those frequencies that comes before the kick. Your settings are actually the exact opposite of what they should be for low frequency work. (Well it all depends on intent of course, but those large IR settings are causing woolliness and lack of focus).

I hope this helps clarify the issue. It is not a problem of quality with Equilibrium. This is a classic case of bad settings. Admittedly that is one of the dangers of a tool as powerful as Equilibrium: It is easy to shoot yourself in the foot.

Alistair
Attached Files

LP_EXAMPLE_1K_vs_65K.wav (2.69 MB, 1028 views)


Last edited by UnderTow; 21st December 2019 at 12:23 AM..
Old 21st December 2019
  #217
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Ah yes. I suspected as much. By using large Impulse Responses your are causing large pre-echo in Equilibrium.

Included is an example of a kick drum with two narrow cuts at 70 and 130 Hz. The first half of the sample is done with an IR of 1K. The second half with and IR of 65K. (All other settings in Equilibrium are exactly the same). The pre-echo should be clearly audible in the second half as a zoom at those frequencies that comes before the kick. Your settings are actually the exact opposite of what they should be for low frequency work. (Well it all depends on intent of course, but those large IR settings are causing woolliness and lack of focus).

I hope this helps clarify the issue. It is not a problem of quality with Equilibrium. This is a classic case of bad settings. Admittedly that is one of the dangers of a tool as powerful as Equilibrium: It is easy to shoot yourself in the foot.

Alistair
First I would never fight a kick resonance with a Linear Phase filter in the first place, that just doesn't make sense and it's not the right tool for the task, really.

Second the Orange was set to 'Xtra' DSP resolution which leads to a ~32k samples latency, which I reasonably assumed corresponds to the same order of magnitude of the filter IR ; having said that I don't think I'm comparing apples to oranges (haha).

Simply put, the lower the filter center frequency / the higher the Q, the longer the significant part of the IR will be. So if you want to fight a resonance in the low end with a linear phase filter (which again is not the proper tool) there's a price to pay in terms of IR length and its inherent ringing.

The thing is, contrary to what you imply, truncating the IR just to reduce the pre-ringing will simply leave you with a filter which is not doing what's it is supposed to do.
Proof:
Look for yourself, for a sharp cut at 77Hz, compared to its 32k equivalent , your 1k linear filter is no more than a simple low shelf!




Lesson learned: either you increase IR and the inherent ringing (both pre and post, they are symmetrical in a LP context), or you don't filter as intended despite what the GUI tricks you to believe. It's up to the user to decide the trade-off between ringing and the strength of the filtering.
Have I shown enough of my ability to drive an LP filter? Can I now see your driving licence?

So coming back to the Equilibrium / Orange comparison, then how would you explain the difference in terms of blurring/clarity knowing that Orange was also set at high latency (32k)?
Old 28th December 2019
  #218
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sequenza View Post
First I would never fight a kick resonance with a Linear Phase filter in the first place, that just doesn't make sense and it's not the right tool for the task, really.
Indeed. I wouldn't use it for that either. My point was to use extreme settings to make the pre-echo blatantly audible.

Quote:
So coming back to the Equilibrium / Orange comparison, then how would you explain the difference in terms of blurring/clarity knowing that Orange was also set at high latency (32k)?
Good question, can you post samples?

Cheers,

Alistair
Old 29th December 2019
  #219
Gear Head
 

Well every filter has its side effects be it ringing, phase rotation, stability, so you'll always find a test signal that will emphasize those 'flaws'.. Not a very exciting exercise if you ask me, except for education purposes.

Likewise I don't think applying the same parameters on both contenders is a proper way to compare those plugs, because in a real life situation their different sonic signature would influence my choices, and I would end up with different settings for each filter. And in such case, you would rightly argue the comparison is pointless.
I'm not sure exactly what you were asking for, but posting audio files wouldn't make sense to me for the above reasons..

My suggestion if you are really interested : put 35€ on the table and get a cmstick to try for yourself. Spend time testing in your own studio with your own material, and share your experience with us as I did a few posts above, I'm genuinely interested.
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