Download The TDR SlickEQ here
The TDR VOS SlickEQ is a collaborative effort from the likes of Variety of Sound (Herbert Goldberg) and Tokyo Dawn Labs (Vladislav Goncharov and Fabien Schivre).
The SlickEQ is a mixing/Mastering EQ that was designed for ease of use and of course great sound. It’s arranged in a LOW/MID/HIGH semi parametric layout for a fast and intuitive workflow when mixing. It also comes with access to four distinct EQ modes, each one having a set of pre-defined EQ curves and behaviors.
The SlickEQ also comes equipped with a switchable EQ non-linearity and an output stage with 3 saturation models to add some additional harmonic content (analog color). These options, however, are meant to be subtle and interesting but not obvious distortion. These are the types of character that are often associated with analog audio gear.
There is an interesting auto-gain function on the SlickEQ that will automatically compensate for changes in perceived loudness or potential peak overloads.
Another great feature is that the SlickEQ can be processed in stereo, Mono and Sum and Difference (which represents Mid/Side)
Breakdown of the SlickEQ
1. HP Filter
– This controls an 18db/Oct Butterworth filter. To disable turn this knob counterclockwise (or left) until it greys out.2. Low Frequency
– There are two options to choose from, a bell and a low-shelf filter. Frequency controls the center frequency of the filter shape and GAIN controls the amount of boost or reduction in gain.***There is no Q function so the shape of the filter will be determined by the model selected and the amount of boost or reduction in gain.
3. Mid Frequency – Consists of a bell filter. FREQUENCY controls the center frequency of the bell. GAIN controls the amount of boost or reduction in gain.
***There is no Q function so the shape of the filter will be determined by the model selected and the amount of boost or reduction in gain.
4. High Frequency – There are two options to choose from, a bell and a high-shelf filter. Frequency controls the center frequency of the filter shape with a high range of up to 40khz. GAIN controls the amount of boost or reduction in gain.
5. EQ Models
- There are four different EQ models to choose from: American, British, German, Soviet. The background colour changes depending on the model
- Each model represents a specific set of curves and EQ behaviors providing their own musical “feel”. Although we would like to have each model associated with our facourite analog gear, they have no deeper meaning beyond the color and name. They are meant for memorization and identification of each model.
6. EQ Saturation – EQ Saturation button which generates musical amounts of harmonic distortion which purely effect EQ boosts. Simply put, If you don’t boost than you get zero saturation[/toggle]
7. Process – The plugin can be processed in Stereo, Mono and Sum and difference mode (which is Mide/Side mode)
8. Output stage
Controls the type of saturation in the output stage. There are 4 models to choose from:
- Linear – This is a clean setting
- Silky – A dymanic type of saturation with an “open” character. Generates low order, even and odd harmonics.
- Mellow – Subtle warming. Generates a very low level of odd harmonics
- Deep – Dynamic odd order distortion with a distinct frequency dependent touch for increased depth and dimension
9. Calibrate – This controls the “drive” of THE OUTPUT STAGE model in dB’s. It controls the amount of generated harmonics.
10. Output Gain
- Adjust the output gain in decibels
- There is also a red overload-hold LED that illuminates when the output signal exceeds 0dbfs and remains until it is reset.
11. Auto – The Auto button activates the auto-gain mode. While this button is engaged the EQ will try and preserve the subjective loudness while operating the EQ. The idea is to try eliminate some of the “hype” associated with boosting a frequency because a boost in perceived volume can often skew our opinion into thinking it sounds better.
Here’s some other great features associated with the plugin:
- 64bit multi-rate processing (oversampling)
- Advanced preset management
- Quick A/B comparison
- Copy & paste
- An online help
- Editable labels
- Mouse-wheel support
My Thoughts on the SlickEQ
Really Nice Layout
I felt like the the design and layout was very well done. It’s simple to understand once you familiarize yourself with features.
The plugin is set up with an analog style workflow so if you don’t like graphs, like myself, than this plugin is a for sure winner. The controls are simple and to the point so navigating from 3 bands becomes more about the musicality and less about the technicals.
At first I wasn’t really liking the background color scheme but little did I know that the makers of the SlickEQ were much smarter than I. As I was using the plugin and started working my way through, it was actually a blessing to have the colors. They are easy to see and understand and there is really no mistaking the EQ curve that you are using. It really does help that they are bright and stand out.
This plugin really is much more than just an EQ, it’s probably like 30-40 different EQ’s. That’s because there are 4 diferent EQ curves, 4 output stages to choose from and also the ability to adjust the output drive which will vary the output color. Although the plugin itself has a distinct sound, there really are multiple ways to use it and to change the tone of the track you are working on.
Sonic Color and Tone
This is something that I like vary much. Herbert over at VOS has definitely put in the time to get his stateful saturation to the point it’s at now. It’s very musical and doesn’t just ad color to the sound but it also adds some vibe. A +
If you haven’t already downloaded the plugin than please go here and do it now, it’s FREE – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Video Source: TDR VOS SlickEQ – FREE Plugin [Review]