Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a digi

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HimanshuVikal
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Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a digi

Post by HimanshuVikal » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:05 pm

I searched and analogue eq is said to add that analogue warmth. Is that warmth nothing more than analogue saturation?
In a video on youtube (see below) a guy says analogue eq works the audio in a higher bit-rate (24-bits) so it has all 20hz-20khz to work with. Where as a digital eq has only 10khz (e.g. 200hz,202hz,204hz, and so on). That's why analogue eq sounds more warm and hence is better.

Is that true and does an oversampling feature in a digital eq does the same thing? if yes than why does some eqs have upto 16x oversampling? What does that mean?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8vWbq6w9EE

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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by fragments » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:19 pm

he wasn't talking analog EQ VST emulations versus "digital" EQ VSTs he was talking about actually analog equipment versus digital (digital could be hardware or software, they work the same essentially whether its a rackmount digital EQ or a VST).

Yes "warmth" is generally the harmonic distortion you get from analog circuits. The video author absolutely did not say (unless I missed it) that analog EQ works in a higher bit rate. AFAIK analog equipment doesn't have bit rates, only digital. He was explaining why a digital EQ with a higher bit rate would give you a more accurate representation of the frequency spectrum.

Analog EQ is only "better" subjectively. A 200 dollar hardware analog EQ is probably not going to sound better than say a FabFilter EQ (whatever they call it).

FWIW the only difference between a "digital" VST EQ and Analog EQ VST emulations are that the "analog" ones have programed in harmonic distortion. All VSTs are digital at the end of the day.
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by nowaysj » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:12 pm

It is still being debated whether the analog has a bit rate. It may all be digital, all be it the actual physical world we call analog has a truly huge bit and sample rate.

But that is neither here nor there. I've heard analog equipment that is truly warm, and I don't think it is purely harmonic distortion. I don't know what it is. The sound is just rounder, cleaner actually, more present without any harshness. It is so hard to pin down. But it operates at that level, of when you hear the sound, it just sounds better, I don't think I've ever heard a vst emulation that sounds like that. I've heard vsts that sound good, that have a character that I like, but never what is actually analog warmth.

With that said, op, I don't think analog eq warmth et cetera is something you need to concern yourself with. Your loose usage of the terminology and failure to understand key points of that video suggests that you are just starting out, and as such, don't need to be worrying about the esoteric world of analog warmth, ie, you're trying to win the race, but you don't know how to tie your shoes.

Stick with the fundamentals, and it will pay dividends. Truss.
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by djdizzy » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:53 am

the closest many of us will ever be able to get to high dollar hardware EQ's, compressors, ssl consoles, etc, is to give Acustica Nebula a try. the results really depend on which library you're using, it's very hit and miss. basically it's software that emulates the hardware.... in a much different way than typical "analog style" vst's. it takes modeling of analog circuitry to the next level. some libraries i can't really hear a difference and other libraries make me giddy to hear the difference. when you're using really good nebula libraries it's still not quite as good as high-dollar hardware but it's way beyond what the best software can do IMO.

i've had great luck with AlexB's nebula libraries - his consoles, tape simulation, EQ's, i did some side-by-side tests with some of his nebula EQ's versus fabfilter and izotope, it sounded way better. for some reason, the result sounded more multi-dimensional and even with frequency cuts (high-pass filters) the sound was more lively than before. http://www.alessandroboschi.eu/html/ale ... lizers.htm

the libraries are really cheap but the downside is that nebula is a tremendous CPU hog, the libraries take up alot of space and the GUI sucks. since it's a CPU hog, i only use nebula after i've finished a song and have bounced everything to audio. i use it pre-mastering. do some side-by-side tests with AlexB libraries versus your fav software EQ/saturation/etc. amazing quality. now imagine it being twice as good as the difference you've noted and you'll have an idea of what it's like to subject your material to that high dollar hardware. running your audio through hardware will color the sound in a good way and that's not even touching any parameters. now make a small EQ boost, it'll make software EQ's seem like destructive garbage in comparison. it's no magic bullet though. there's no substition for making or working with good audio to start with and getting the mixdown right, but it definitely gives that extra little gloss to your songs that make it sound better.

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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by Sharmaji » Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:18 pm

fragments wrote: Analog EQ is only "better" subjectively. A 200 dollar hardware analog EQ is probably not going to sound better than say a FabFilter EQ (whatever they call it).
different tools for different purposes. Even the $10,000 massenburg EQ can't do what the Fabfilter pro-Q can do. And don't even get me started on multiband stuff. For surgical EQing, that plug is stunning.

for basic eq'ing you're honestly better off with plugs.

I use my orban EQ's to ADD freq content-- they can thicken up kicks and toms, add body to sounds, add a nice, believable high end to guitars... that kind of thing. The only plug i know that does additive EQ well are the pultec emulations... though the api graphic from waves is quite nice as well. people currently dig the maag eq's for additive high-end. People LOVE the eq's in neve 1073's because they sound really, really natural.

the best EQ's are made for a different workload than what most folks need in electronic music. High-end mastering EQ's, things like the manley massive passive... they are made to NOT SOUND LIKE ANYTHING. you put them on an element, add and take away stuff and, ideally, the instrument doesn't "sound" eq'd. it just sounds warmer, brighter, fuller... No phase smear, no brittle high end or flabby low end, etc.
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by knobgoblin » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:47 am

the Massive Passive definitely has a"sound"to it tho, even when set flat, just by virtue of the transformers and tube make up gain. It's just that its a great color, that works for most(but not all) material. When it comes to high end analogue eq, there's tons of flavors to choose from, from clean to colored.

But as others have stated, unless you are willing to drop some serious money on an eq, plugins will be a much better option, especially at the stage of the learning curve the OP is in. I'd rather have my brainwork digital eq as my only option than an analog option that costs 3-4 times as much.

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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by nowaysj » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:30 am

Agree, but!

I personally found it easier to learn on hardware. It really is stupid and simple, but adjusting a knob with nothing really to look at gives me different results. I use hardware devices differently, I set things differently. The sound should be the master, so I should set each the same, but I find I make more reasonable moves in software, while in hardware, when all is said and done, I end up with some out there settings.

I don't think this is apropos to the thread, so disregard, just saying.
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by Banesy » Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:16 pm

HimanshuVikal wrote:I searched and analogue eq is said to add that analogue warmth. Is that warmth nothing more than analogue saturation?
In a video on youtube (see below) a guy says analogue eq works the audio in a higher bit-rate (24-bits) so it has all 20hz-20khz to work with. Where as a digital eq has only 10khz (e.g. 200hz,202hz,204hz, and so on). That's why analogue eq sounds more warm and hence is better.

Is that true and does an oversampling feature in a digital eq does the same thing? if yes than why does some eqs have upto 16x oversampling? What does that mean?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8vWbq6w9EE

I don't think he was talking about the analog systems when mentioning bit-rate. I am no engineer but an anolog signal doesn't have a bit rate (unless the EQ equipment is converting it maybe?). A digital signal has to be in chunks so there is a resolution between chunks that is important aka bit-rate.

I am totally talking out of my arse at this point but I envision digital eq's just like video game graphics. Caution: I haven't looked anything up either so this could all be a lie. Digital images are made of of squares so they apply anti-aliasing to smooth out the squares that way, when you look at a line, it doesn't have obvious jagged edges. I think the engineers behind equalization have to do the same thing to blur the edges between two frequencies since they are "pixilated" just like graphics. Oversampling in the video game realm means how many times the image passes through the anti-aliasing filters which results in less jagged lines so I imagine it is the same with the audio oversampling? Just a guess. That should give you stuff to go look up to come set me straight.

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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by AxeD » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:50 pm

You can actually have really precise parameters in digital.

To understand this kind of stuff, you need the basics on digital audio and ad/da converters.
You do have anti-aliasing filters in converters, that's right. In digital audio, these are used to limit the bandwidth of the signal that's going through the converter. Let's say we want go up to 22,05kHz.. Nyquist's theory tells us that we need at least double that upper limit for our sample rate(44.1kHz). This is because very high frequencies tend to mirror back as lower -and sometimes audible- 'ghost frequencies'. Why this happens is hard to explain without being able to draw it out :)
So we want high resolution, or a high sample rate, but we do not want very high frequencies to reach the actual converter because it causes undesirable distortion.
This is where the low-pass, aa filter comes in. Now to effectively get rid of the distortion riddled high frequencies entering the system, you need a very steep filter, which is hard to achieve and this filter would create a lot of phase problems..
Finally, this is where oversampling comes in. As soon as we have our 44.1kHz sampled digital signal, we multiply the samples by 4, 8, or 16 etc.. This puts the upper limit of our bandwidth outside the audible range. Together with a simple low-pass filter, this converter is for the most part, free of undesirable high frequencies and phase distortion.

Now a digital EQ can work in the same way. It has an input and an output and you can make alterations between the two. It can make sense to apply oversampling in your EQ, when you use steep filtering.
Some people say this creates it's own problems though.

Not sure if anyone wanted to know any of that. I also wrote it to test my own knowledge of digital audio :P
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by nowaysj » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:14 pm

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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by AxeD » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:21 pm

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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by nowaysj » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:23 pm

100% saw that coming.
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by knobgoblin » Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:39 am

I just recently found these:

http://store.diyrecordingequipment.com/ ... lette-kit/

I'm building a pair right now, but it looks like a great way to get analog color on any kind of processor; eq, compressor, even delay sends! All for seriously cheap. So long as you have even halfway decent converters, this box could augment any plugin with tons vibe. I always cringe when people say that they bounce their tracks to cassette or VHS for color, this seems like a MUCH better option.

I'll post some samples when a few missing parts arrive next week and I can finish the build!

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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by nowaysj » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:03 am

Listen to me you punk ass, this better not be an internet I'll post it later. Post it later.

What colours are you using?

And so you've got to build two of these to do stereo?

And what brand of 500 rack are you using, don't tell me you diy as well?
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by nowaysj » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:04 am

Oh and Tereket who is always talking about hair, holy fuck, these are hairy. Hehe.
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by knobgoblin » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:05 am

I've built two of the cinemag transformer modules, two of the 15ips modules and then on jfet module and the TM79 module with two small transformers on it. The idea is that I have two flavors that work in stereo and then two other options when working in mono. I didn't go with the stepped switches over pots, but should still be easy to set up for stereo.

The modules are super quick builds, like 20-30 minutes each. The motherboard module was also very easy and quick, maybe 45 minutes each. It's gonna go into one of my purple audio 10 space racks(only two slots left), but these are so addicting that I may go the diy route on another case and power supply! Just waiting on a few IC's and I'll be able to calibrate and test next week

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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by nowaysj » Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:15 am

Very nice dude. I like what I was hearing from their demos, and I'm on laptop speakers. :lol:

I've put off buying a 500 rack for the longest time... it is like the hump, after that, you're kind of gravy. Alas, I'll have to put it off, further. :lol:

But I really really do want to hear these guys in action. They might jump way up in my list of stuff I really want.
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by AxeD » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:53 am

nowaysj wrote:100% saw that coming.
I didn't know what the cookie meant, so that's the way I dealt with it.

I like that transistor coloring thing btw. Guy I know always built those kinds of things. Like an SSL comp clone with 4 different types of sound coloring circuits. Very neat.
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by outbound » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:44 am

Oh boy :)

http://www.evolutionmastering.com/analo ... mastering/

I know this is titled specifically for mastering but It can be applied to mixing as well the differences between digital vs analog processing + touches a little on emulation. I've literally just finished this yesterday so thought it would make more sense to link to that than type twice :)
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Re: Why is an Analogue-type eq vst considered better than a

Post by lojik » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:33 pm

I read a very interesting aritcle the other day over on Gearslutz talking about how all digital EQs can be made to sound the same as long as you have a precise enough parametric EQ and a saturation plugin.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much- ... ost3522499

It even included tests such as getting Ableton's stock EQ to null with the Waves SSL emulation which to be fair I was quite suprised with. I wonder how EQs like the Maag EQ4 emulation would fare seeing as it's main selling point is the 'unique' air band.

Of course this only applies to Digital EQs, I don't think the same would apply for analog EQs.
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