Wholegrain Digital Systems Quartet DynPEQ
4-band Dynamic Parametric Equalizer for Mac
Quartet DynPEQ is a digital audio workstation plugin offering four bands of dynamic parametric equalization along with an interpolating output peak limiter. This plugin supports multichannel stems, which makes it appropriate to reside on the master fader or the end of the processing chain.
A single band is a parametric filter, selectable to peak/dip or shelf, with a corresponding dynamics curve. The RMS energy of the input signal is measured in the band of interest, and the band energy is applied to the dynamics curve to modulate the boost/cut level of the parametric filter. A band can easily be configured to act as a static parametric band or a traditional dynamics processor, in addition to its unique functionality.
Great care has been taken under the signal processing hood so that the operation of this new paradigm is performed as unobtrusively as possible. We realize that the best mastering work is the hardest to detect.
In addition to DynPEQ, Quartet offers other useful processors to the mastering engineer. The input signal is filtered by a DC-blocker that can be tuned all the way down to 0 Hz. An interpolating analog peak detector follows DynPEQ processing. Finally, a peak limiter assures that the analog peaks stay within full scale.
Because of the complexity of this plugin, there are operational features included that assist in your work. There are A/B registers within the plugin itself for comparative listening, along with DynPEQ and limiter cut buttons. There is a persistent store outside of the plugin and workstation for useful DynPEQ band settings, for operations such as de-ess, de-hum, brightness, and your own creations. There is a store with the workstation project for an unlimited number of Quartet patch registers, for aggregating track settings and augmenting the A/B capability.
DynPEQ supports multiple ways to specify a compression curve. Here are three compression methods as specified in a DynPEQ plugin.
Compress1A DynPEQ band dynamics curve contains a compression threshold and an expansion threshold. The two thresholds are connected by a straight line. From the expansion threshold down through lower input levels, the expansion ratio determines the line slope. Similarly, from the compression threshold upwards, the compression ratio determines the slope.
Gain Before Compression
The default compression curve definition follows that of the expansion curve. The threshold parameter places the threshold along the axis of input level. The gain (g) parameter offsets the threshold along the axis of output level. The offset is relative to the dashed diagonal of neutral gain.
Gain Before Threshold
There is a button to the left of the gain parameter. Clicking it toggles the mode between Y and X. When the button reads X, the threshold offset from the diagonal of neutral gain moves along the axis of input level. This method is known as Gain Before Threshold.
Clicking the button on the upper left of the compression fine controls, or the button on the upper center of the compression coarse display, will toggle Rotation Point mode on and off. The compression threshold changes to the rotation point, which is a pivot through which the compression sloped line must intersect.
This method introduces a new parameter. The compression line continues until it meets a level relative to neutral gain, where the compression threshold will be moved. The level parameter is called gain at threshold.
Both the rotation point and the virtual threshold can be dragged on the coarse display via the mouse.
The DynPEQ plugin graphical front end contains several control buttons that do not tune the signal processing but allow for processing evaluation via comparison.
On the upper left of each band’s coarse dynamics display is a band switch. A left mouse click on this button toggles that band in and out of the processing configuration.
Clicking the band switch button with the shift key down enters a special mode called band solo. The special mode swaps all other bands out of the configuration. Further shift-clicks on the band switches will toggle bands in and out of the solo configuration. A regular click on a red solo button turns off the special mode.
Clicking the band switch button with the alt key down enters a special mode called sidechain search, where the plugin output switches to monitor the pre-filtered sidechain for all bands in the mix–i.e. bands with a blue button.
The coarse tuning controls are replaced with pre-filter responses modulated by band levels while in sidechain search. Since the coarse tuning controls disappear, the fine-tuning control segment will open if it is not on entry. While tuning a band in search of a signal of interest, the Q may be too large to render a signal of decent volume. In this case, you may increase the Input Level while in sidechain search, and leaving the mode via a regular click on a blue button will reset the Input Level to that on entry.
A button for toggling all bands in and out of the processing configuration resides below the band tuning area. This button does not bypass the input and output controls.
Directly below that button is a plugin bypass button that works in the same manner as the bypass button on your workstation. The only difference between this button and the workstation is that it is activated by a shift-click and not a normal click.
DynPEQ has A and B registers for storing and restoring tuning parameters for evaluation. The round buttons control storing the current parameters to their respective register. The square buttons control loading the register contents to the current parameters.
Quartet DynPEQ has an extra audition button that toggles in and out the peak limiter in output processing.
- 32 or 64-bit Intel Mac
- Mac OS X 10.6 or above
- Pro Tools 10 or above
- Audio Unit (v2) workstation
- iLok 1, 2, or 3 USB key
- AAX Native
- AAX DSP (requires HDX hardware)
- Audio Units
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