Featured Sonimus Burnley 73 by joe_04_04
Plugin: Burnley 73 Equalizer
Formats: AU/VST/RTAS/AAX - Win/Mac, 32/64-bit
DRM: Authentication script
Demo Restrictions: Settings are not saved with session, no output control, higher CPU
Website: Sonimus: Music is our language
Sonimus have announced their emulation of a classic EQ - the Neve 1073. Highly anticipated, Burnley 73 (to be referred to as ‘Burnley’ from here on out) is Sonimus’ follow up to their previously acclaimed equalizer, SonEQ Pro. While Sonimus is still considered to be a very ‘young’ company, we have grown to have very high expectations whenever discussions arise of them developing something new. If you are familiar with them at all, you’ll know they pride themselves highly on their ability to code plugins that are CPU efficient, have zero latency, sound excellent, and are extremely accessible via their friendly price tags. Burnley is no deviation from this standard.
Many of the emulations of this classic EQ that exist in the digital audio world have been changed or modified, but Burnley stays true to the original design. In Burnley, you will find:
- A high pass filter (Off, 50 Hz, 80 Hz, 160 Hz, or 300 Hz)
- A low shelf (+/- 16 dB at 35 Hz, 60 Hz, 110 Hz, or 220 Hz)
- A mid band bell (+/- 16 dB at 360 Hz, 700 Hz, 1.6 kHz, 3.2 kHz, 4.8 kHz, or 7.2 kHz)
- A high shelf (Fixed frequency) (+/- 16 dB)
- Two different forms of saturation, one modeling the line input, one modeling the mic input
- An output volume knob
- Phase flip option
Disclaimer - To begin with, Burnley imparts ‘character’ the moment it is inserted on a track. This is vital to know because Burnley is a character EQ, it is not meant to be your clean/sterile/digital/surgical EQ for mastering (you will want to reach elsewhere if that is what you are looking for). Burnley is meant to add distinct coloration to your tracks and change their tones right off the bat.
The Filter - The filter does just what you’d expect, it rolls of anything below the desired frequency. It should be noted that the frequency values seem to be carefully chosen. For instance, you can remove everything from 50 Hz and down on a kick and still keep that 60 Hz weight that we all love.
The Low Shelf - The low shelf is great for adding heft to thin sounding sources. A snare with plenty of attack, but no bottom will benefit from a boost at 220 Hz. This band will instantly beef up just about any source.
The Mid Band - This band seems to be the star off the show to me. In my experience, I’m finding myself cutting frequencies with it more than boosting, but it also boosts frequencies nicely too. Using a setting of 360 Hz and cutting a few dB can really pull some excessive mud and ‘boxiness’ out of recordings. This will clean up a vocal with a ‘murky’ quality of emphasize the low and high end of a tom. Cutting at 700 Hz can really pull room resonances out of vocal tracks also. Boosting at 4.8 kHz will add some edge to a vocal, so that it can cut through a mix.
The High Shelf - The best way I can describe the high band is to call it ‘aggressive.’ The slightest amount of gain will instantly inject life into what was a dull recording. You must be conservative with this knob, it is very easy to push it too far. I find that a lot of people tend to have some negative feelings towards the high shelf band with any Neve 1073 emulation, but I personally enjoy it. It instantly adds some crispness to any track.
Saturation - There are two different forms of saturation, the line input (turning the knob counter-clockwise) and the mic input (turning the knob clockwise). The line input is extremely subtle, so subtle it may even be hard to perceive if you aren’t listening carefully. This option might be good if you are looking to add a little flavor, but not wreck the original tone. The mic input, however, is where things start to get fun. Cranking this knob will give your tracks a distinctive ‘crunch.’ It will also start to greatly reduce dynamics as the saturation starts to shift into a form of distortion, which varies on the knob depending on the gain-staging of your audio going into Burnley. I find myself using the mic input saturation much more than the line input, but I try to be conservative with it - pushing it up until the signal starts to break apart, then backing it down a few notches.
In my opinion, one of the most important aspects of using Burnley is its design. While I can’t give credit to Sonimus for the design, I can give them credit for staying true to it. All of the frequency knobs are detented, which force you to pick the best option and move forward, reducing the amount of time you tweak. You won’t be second guessing your choices with Burnley as much as you might with any standard EQ with fully sweepable parametric bands. On a standard EQ, you might spend 30 seconds or more finely sweeping around the high pass filter to find the perfect setting, with Burnley, you have four choices, and you’ll most likely already have one or two eliminated in your head before you even grab the knob (you wouldn’t choose 300 Hz or even 160 Hz on a bass guitar, you’d probably pick 80 Hz or 50 Hz). This will greatly speed up your decisions and help you to move onto more mixing.
Burnley has a few extra goodies:
- Each band is bypassable by clicking their respective symbol above (I.E. clicking the low shelving symbol will disable/enable the band)
- “EQ IN” option works like a bypass, but keeps the saturation intact, so you can still use Burnley just to drive your sources for added ‘mojo.’
- “Show Labels” option allows you to turn on and off the numerical readouts that pop up when dialing in settings. You can turn it on to see exactly what you’re doing or leave it off and ‘adjust with your ears.’
- You can freely click on each of the frequency labels to have the knob instantly jump to that choice, in other words, you don’t have to grab the outer ring to adjust the selection if you don’t want to.
- Low CPU - 50 instances took up about 23-24 percent CPU on my 2.5 gHz quad core i5, so you can load it up all over your tracks
- Zero Latency - You can track with Burnley in real time.
- Handsome price tag - 59 USD
- The only cons at the moment are a few V1.0 hiccups (present in Pro Tools only at the moment), but that is to be expected with any brand new release. Sonimus should be addressing these slight hiccups in an upcoming update. (EDIT: Fixed in updates)
While Burnley is not going to replace your standard surgical EQ (it is not intended to), in my opinion, it is an excellent EQ addition for speedy adjustments. If you are looking to add some color to your tracks and want to have some broad-stroke control over the frequency spectrum, I think this just might be the ticket.