Due to Dropbox changes on 15 or March my public folder became private and now I must mark all files as public explicitly. I updated all links on [Downloads] page but there are hundreds of links on this site. If you have troubles to download something, please write in comments and I’ll refresh the links required.
As you know most mastering equalizers offer stepped Q control with Q value optimized for mastering applications. SlickEQ M follows this way too. But instead of copying famous mastering equalizers we developed our own Gain/Q interaction scheme and it was fine-tuned and then approved by real mastering engineers.
Check this example picture for peaking filter graphs:
As you can see it’s symmetric proportional Q behavior but besides, it’s not only Gain/Q interaction but it’s actually Gain/Freq/Q interaction. The picture is for “Normal” Q mode but don’t forget, we have 2 steeper and 2 shallower modes too.
Tip: Instead of clicking on “Normal” to open menu allowing to change the mode to “Steep” or “Shallow” just drag the value by the mouse (like gain or frequency value), mousewheel works too.
Now check shelving filters Gain/Freq/Q interaction yourself. Enjoy!
Create new project, add you track and use SlickEQ M in mastering chain.
Render the project.
If you reopen the project all changes for SlickEQ M demo version will be lost (no persistence) so either forget this project and use the settings from scratch for next time or go “true analog experience” and use recall sheet like on hardware EQ.
Here’s recall sheet for SlickEQ M. But you also can find it on the last page of the [manual].
As I’m not professional mastering engineer it always pretty hard for me to get starting points for mastering EQ. Neither using common points (for example 6k for clarity and so on) nor searching the frequencies by boost and sweep work for me. But in SlickEQ M its “learn” ability gives pretty nice starting points!
Add SlickEQ M to your track
Rewind to most representative part of the track (usually chorus works best)
Press “Learn” in SlickEQ M.
Wait until “Learning” becomes “Action” and select “AutoEQ”.
You may open the display to inspect the resulting curve.
If the result is too much, play with “Range” control to reduce it a bit.
If you dislike the result, try another parts of the song and press “Re-learn”.
Now close the display to shift your focus on listening and use just “Gain” knobs as on simple graphical equalizer! To reduce your freedom you may even turn on stepped mode and apply stepped gain changes!
And finally add some of “analog” touch by randomizing “pan” controls for 0.1..0.3 dB in both sides.
PS. Well this year was really unattractive (from my point of view) and the first half almost killed me but in the 2nd half we finally created Nova dynamic equalizer reissue and also we have lots of ideas and creativity for the next decade! Thanks for your support! 🙂
Well, TDR Nova 1.0.5 update was out some time ago and now it seems the plugin is somehow working. The CPU usage is higher than average but we slowly dealing with it. UI is CPU heavy too due to software rendering used but we’ll fix it in some further update.
But let’s talk a bit about differences between TDR Nova and original Nova 67P:
Overall sound. In “Eco” mode roughly matched original Nova 67P.
Parallel filters. Mostly the same. In “Precise” mode slight non-linearity added. Frequency range extended to 10 Hz .. 40 kHz.
High-pass filter. Different. Optimized for sharp curves but maintaining smoother sound at the same time (unfortunately we excluded 48 dB/Oct, 72 dB/Oct, 96 dB/Oct and 120 dB/Oct filters from freeware version). Added 6 dB/Oct HPF slope but removed 18 dB/Oct.
Low-pass filter. Different. The same as high-pass. Original Nova 67P had fixed 6 dB/Oct slope only.
Compressor. Different. Has smoother leveling filter, built-in gain reduction limit and hidden release automation. The compressor supports attack values down to 0.1 ms now (or even to 0.01 ms in GE version if “Insane” mode is on). Stereo implementation is 100% linked. Original Nova 67P had 50% stereo link but we changed it to 100% due to lighter CPU usage and wideness added by filters non-linearity. The main advantage of TDR Nova compressor is the ability to have different attack/release and ratio settings for each band. Also GE version supports upward expansion.
Sidechain filter. Fixed to 200 Hz, 3 dB/Oct. Original Nova 67P had variable sidechain filter taken from Molot.
Dynamic modes. To streamline the workflow only 4 dynamic modes left: 1) the band follows wideband gain reduction (default), 2) the band doesn’t follow gain reduction (“sticky”), 3) the band has its own compressor, which uses attack/release and ratio settings from wideband compressor (“split” is off) and 4) the band has its own compressor with its own settings (“split” is on). We removed “emphasis” and “50%” modes.
Analyzer. Based on 1/2 octave bandpass filters (it’s not FFT). We found that such analyzer implementation provides very precise representation of dynamic aspects of the sound. Original Nova 67P had 1/3 octave bandpass filters.
Stereo modes. We added mid, side, left and right modes but removed unlinked stereo mode.
CPU usage (on my old Athlon 7750 bought in 2009): Original Nova 67P, “Mastering example”: 5% (plugin window is closed), 35% (plugin window is opened). TDR Nova (“precise” mode), the same settings (see below): 14% (plugin window is closed), 25% (plugin window is opened). Original Nova 67P was planned as some kind of a channel strip but in TDR Nova we shifted the focus to mastering usage, which explains higher CPU usage and smoother sound. Both plugins use 64-bit floating point internal processing. TDR Nova has 32-bit floating point inputs/outputs due to JUCE framework specifics but this restriction doesn’t affect the audio quality and the difference lies below any reasonable audible threshold (output wav files are 32-bit floating point anyway and audio interface receives 32-bit floating point too).
And finally the UI. Original Nova 67P had minimalistic “paper draft” look. While TDR Nova UI looks more 3D, we tried to keep the colors used and also the amount of curves on the display to minimum. So it’s minimalistic in some sense too.