Check also tips & tricks by Herbert <http://varietyofsound.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/tipstricks-with-slickeq/>
Part 1. SlickEQ free version
1.1. Listen to your favorite music through SlickEQ
SlickEQ is good enough to be used as hi-fi equalizer. On Windows you can use <George Yohng’s VST Wrapper for Foobar2000 player> to listen to your favorite music through it!
- Set output level to -3 dB to prevent clipping
- Set “calibrate” to 0 dB to leave harmonics added at the edge of hearing threshold
- Don’t over-EQ the music. Keep gain values below 3 dB.
1.2. Save your CPU cycles when mixing!
SlickEQ is a bit CPU heavy. We performed optimizations for Sandy Bridge architecture but for modern energy saver simplified CPUs in thin notebooks or for old CPUs the CPU load may be too high.
- Turn EQ Sat off and set Out Stage to Linear. If non-linear processing is not used, SlickEQ may consume 3 times less CPU cycles! If you already have some saturation on a track you may choose to turn off the saturation in SlickEQ.
- Turn stereo mode to “Mono” if you’re processing a mono audio signal. In this case SlickEQ will consume 2 times less CPU cycles! NOTE: some DAWs report that they have a mono track and in this case stereo mode button is grayed and SlickEQ operates in mono mode automatically.
1.3. M/S processing with SlickEQ…
…is possible using 2 instances of SlickEQ set in “Sum” (M) and “Diff” (S) processing. It’s better to turn any saturation off (at least on S channel).
1.4. SlickEQ slider modes
If you experience troubles when adjusting knobs (like I am) try to change slider/knob mode to “Linear” in plugin settings. The settings are global for all plugin instances.
1.5. HPF quick on/off
There’s no On/Off button for high-pass filter (HPF). If you use HPF and you want to perform quick A/B test with and without HPF you may use the following trick:
- Double-click on HPF knob to reset it to “Off”.
- Press “undo” button to return it to previous position.
- You may use “redo” button now to return it back to “Off”.
1.6. Using SlickEQ before a compressor/limiter
It’s better to turn auto-gain off if you use SlickEQ before a compressor or a limiter. In this case you can “drive” compressor/limiter with SlickEQ by boosting bands.
1.7. EQ models
- “American” is the most versatile model. You may dislike its UI color but it works great in 99% of situations!
- “British” model is the king of mid-scoops. If the sound tends to be mid-scooped in a mix (drums or heavy guitars for example) use this mode.
- “Soviet” model has the sharpest settings (high Q value) on small boost/cuts (less than 2 dB). You may use it like a very precise instrument for such small gain values. For large boost/cuts it’s the smoothest mode.
- “German” model is the king of mastering and tilt-like shelves.
“Japanese” model (GE version only) is the most aggressive one! It works well on dirty drum loops, screaming feedback guitars and so on. This model has pretty sharp shelving filters with fixed resonance of 0.2 dB (except high-shelf boost) and peaking filters, which are narrow enough to cut off resonances from a track.
Part 2. SlickEQ GE
2.1. HPF bump
Second HPF mode in SlickEQ GE has a small +0.6 dB bump located exactly at twice of cut-off frequency.
- Set HPF filter in “bump” mode at a half of lowest fundamental of a track. For example for lowest fundamental of 60 Hz set it to 30 Hz.
2.2. Close frequency magnitude plot window by clicking anywhere outside it
- To “peek” the current EQ curve in a very very fast way click on “Frequency Magnitude Plot” button and then click this button again without any mouse move.
2.3. Automate EQ bypass
SlickEQ GE version has crossfade/clickless bypass button so you may automate it to enable/disable EQ in necessary moments.
2.4. Tilt filter in SlickEQ GE
Tilt filter in SlickEQ GE is absolutely unique (I never saw EQs with such curve). The curve is very straight across entire audio range! That’s why SlickEQ GE tilt section has different sound from another tilt-capable EQs. You may use HPF/LPF filters to “bend” this straight line at its edges.
(on the picture there’s purple SlickEQ tilt curve against a typical tilt equalizer orange curve)
That was my tips & tricks. Hope you liked it!
<SlickEQ page at Tokyo Dawn Labs>
<SlickEQ GE page at Tokyo Dawn Labs>