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Thread: Outboard Digital EQ vs Analog EQ

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    Outboard Digital EQ vs Analog EQ

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    Anyone have experiences/opinions with outboard digital vs analog eq units?

    Terry
    May the baby Jesus shut your mouth and open your mind - Don Van Vliet

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    I have owned outboard digital eq and I don't think it really makes a lot of sense in this age of plugins. My feeling is that if I want to use digital eq I might as well just go with a good plugin. Live sound is a bit different, if you need an eq that's recallable then outboard digital eq makes sense.

    The eq's I owned were the Yamaha DEQ7 and the Roland E-660. Of the two I far preferred the Roland unit. Actually pretty nice sounding and easy to work with due to its "analog" style user interface.

    I have a few outboard eq's now, but they are all analog.

    One of the main issues with using outboard digital eq is that if you are using their analog I/O it adds another DA/AD conversion, something I prefer to avoid when possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SonicAlbert
    I have owned outboard digital eq and I don't think it really makes a lot of sense in this age of plugins. My feeling is that if I want to use digital eq I might as well just go with a good plugin. Live sound is a bit different, if you need an eq that's recallable then outboard digital eq makes sense.

    The eq's I owned were the Yamaha DEQ7 and the Roland E-660. Of the two I far preferred the Roland unit. Actually pretty nice sounding and easy to work with due to its "analog" style user interface.

    I have a few outboard eq's now, but they are all analog.

    One of the main issues with using outboard digital eq is that if you are using their analog I/O it adds another DA/AD conversion, something I prefer to avoid when possible.
    SonicAlbert,

    Is the additional DA/AD something that can be heard?

    Terry
    May the baby Jesus shut your mouth and open your mind - Don Van Vliet

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    Cheesy conversion can mess things up... If you're going to go through extra conversions, they'd better be up to the task.

    I'm on the fence on digital (plugin) EQ's... Some of them are really excellent, some suck ass completely.

    UAD is far ahead of the curve IMO... Their new PEQ and especially the Pultec emulations are the finest plugs of any kind, period (again, IMO, YMMV, etc.).

    Compressors on the other hand... Well, that's for another thread.

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    Is the additional DA/AD something that can be heard?
    IME yes. More or less depending on the quality of the converters. What converters are you using?

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Lawler
    IME yes. More or less depending on the quality of the converters. What converters are you using?

    Tim
    For converters I'm using a Delta 1010. The reason for asking about this, I have an MAudio Tampa, which is a mic pre with compressor. It would be nice to have the option to eq during recording, so I'd like to put an eq between the Tampa output and the Delta 1010 input.

    Terry
    May the baby Jesus shut your mouth and open your mind - Don Van Vliet

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    For converters I'm using a Delta 1010. The reason for asking about this, I have an MAudio Tampa, which is a mic pre with compressor. It would be nice to have the option to eq during recording, so I'd like to put an eq between the Tampa output and the Delta 1010 input.
    I'd avoid doing a 2nd conversion.

    You sure you need to EQ going in?

    With my RME converters I can hear a veil over the sound with each added conversion. Less so with my Lucid but still a little.

    Tim

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    In your case I would definitely avoid a digital eq. If you are eqing during tracking that is a perfect candidate for analog eq.

    What are you recording? What is your budget for an eq?

    However, for mixing, there are a few plugin eq's that are decent. I bought the PSP MasterQ recently and it is one of the few eq plugins I've heard that I really like. Another good one is the Sonalksis SV-317.

    But to eq while tracking, analog would be the way to go. I personally would not eq during tracking though, and would save that for when mixing. You have more mix flexibility if you don't get yourself locked into eq from the start.

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    If you do decide to EQ when tracking, then putting the EQ between the Tampa and the Delta wouldn't really introduce an extra AD/DA. If you used the EQ during mixdown while mixing in the box, then it would.

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    It would when using the analog outs of the Tampa.

    The other issue is that of matching bit rates. If the Tampa is 24 bit and the eq is 16, 18 or 20 bit, then you could get truncation artifacts running through the eq. That's assuming that the Tampa doesn't have have onboard dithering, which I don't think it does. The Yamaha DEQ7 is 16 bit, and the Roland E-660 is 18 bit as I remember, or maybe 20. You'd definitely want to dither when going from 24 bit to a lower rate.

    If it was me, I'd want to go out of the Tampa analog, through an analog eq, and then convert after that. Or, use digital eq hardware that is 24 bit.

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