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Sonalksis DQ1 help! (Dynamic EQ)

Discussion in 'Audio Units: Effect and Instrument Plugins' started by Pete Thomas, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    I'm probably suffering from coffee deprivation, but can someone please help me with an idiot guide to using this very basically.

    I'm sitting here reading the manual, and my brain hurts.

    This is what I want to do:

    I have a saxophone track, and it seems there are a few louder notes, that are a bit "edgy", so I want to apply EQ to just the notes over a certain threshold.

    Now I'm assuming this is the right tool for the job, but can I please have a simple example of how to set it to do that?
  3. Eddie Sullivan

    Eddie Sullivan Senior member

    Multiband compressor : )

    You can use Multipressor for this- it will compress certain frequency ranges differently from others : )
  4. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Ah yes, but what I wanted to actually do here is learn to use the DQ1, seeing as I have it!.

    I'm also sure it would be different to multiband compression.

    I want those frequencies to be there in the quiet notes, but not the loud ones.
  5. Eddie Sullivan

    Eddie Sullivan Senior member

  6. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    I am under the impression that it isn't the same thing, ie the DQ1 is a dynamic EQ.

    Instead of compressing different frequencies as with a multiband compressor, it has an EQ which is supposed to act only on notes that have a level over (or under) the threshold.
  7. Eddie Sullivan

    Eddie Sullivan Senior member

    Okay that sounds great on paper- what is happening when you actually apply the DQ1 to your sax track?
  8. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Well I look at the manual, then scratch my head. Next I twiddle the threshold sliders and the whole thing seems to get EQ'd as opposed to just the popping out loud notes.
  9. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    BTW, I'm not really a proper engineer, just a composer. But recently I had a very good engineer in on a mix session, he took one look at DQ1 and said it looked great, but couldn't (be bothered?) to work out how to use it.
  10. Eddie Sullivan

    Eddie Sullivan Senior member

    It looks confusing but I think I got it...

    Basically you have 4 'bands' and each of them are adjustable. To the left of each band control (represented by the meters) you have a control for Freq and a control for Q (the width of the curve around the Freq.) To the right you have the attack and release of the compressor, and in the middle you have the meter and the control for the threshold (basically the control that lets the DQ1 know how loud the signal is before the EQ starts working) You can see the effect of this in the curves- the unaffected signal is Blue and the affected signal (after the compressor) is green...

    What I would do in your case is only play with one band, so you can really hear the effect working on the one instrument, you accomplish this by turning off the other three bands (the yellow power buttons...) setting the offending frequency and the compressor and then adjusting the 'high' and 'low' sliders until you've got the results you're looking for...
  11. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    I would look at it like this:

    1) Find the frequencies you want to attenuate. grab the gain and increase it allot, then sweep the frequency of the band up and down until you find the offending band. Reduce the gain back to 0

    2) Now you need to compress that band. Set the compression amount (4-1 is a good place to start) and start adjusting the threshold so that the EQ band starts to decrease volume when the sax starts to jump out of your mix. Play with attack and release times to get it working right.

    Remember: a multiband EQ is just 4 frequency selected compressors... think de-esser (selects the band, and compresses only that band.


    Unfortunately manuals can often make a simple thing complex. Presets are a good place to start so you can see and hear how the "device" works.
  12. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    Took a look at the online DQ1 manual. From your posts, it seemed like you could benefit from a "ducker/sidechain" sort of effect, and the DQ1 does have a side chain filter that can be toggled on and off, but that function is to isolate a specific frequency, not an amplitude.

    For the DQ1 side-chain filter, you select the specific window of low and high frequencies (that you would like to suppress or enhance) by sliding the little black "pointer sliders" (the tiny triangles in the side chain filter window) back and forth.

    But your description of not changing any harmonic content in the soft passages, yet affecting the "edgy" louder passages sounds like the function of a ducker. There are probably many ways to do that.

    But here is a screen shot to consider. Insert a compressor into aux track 1, and your DQ1 into aux track 2. Then set the output of aux track 1 to the input of aux track 2. Both your sax track and your aux 2 track would output to your main 1-2, so you could mix the dry signal with the wet, although you could set the sax track to no output if the result is good. I used a Logic plugin called Linear EQ because I do not have DQ1.

    Once you have added the aux 1 and 2 channel strips, they will show up as potential choices in the sidechain inserts in the Compressor plug-in. That is, in addition to all your physical inputs. In this example, they show up as bus 20 and 21.

    In your case, you could introduce a third aux, with a gate as the insert, and then set the gate to open when the offending amplitude in the sax track is reached. Then the side chain in the compressor would be set to this gate, so only the loud passages would be processed by the DQ1. You could use volume automation on both the sax track and the output of aux 2 to fade between the straight sax sound and the processed sound.

    Attached Files:

  13. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    maybe I have an out of date version, but what you are describing sounds more like a multiband compressor than the DQ1. There is no compression amount that I can find.

    I agree, but the DQ1 has no presets.
  14. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    Alternatively to setting up a gate to trigger the effect, you could take advantage of Logic's automation (selected from the Automation Parameter menu: i.e., Main --> Insert#x Byp). That would let you automate the DQ1 bypass in much the same way as volume automation. Depending on the sax audio track, that might be simpler.

    Attached Files:

  15. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    Are we there yet?

    Another possibility:

    1) Use the zoom tool and scissors tool to create sub-regions within the track, isolating the offending "edgy" sax tones into small segments.

    2) Make a duplicate of the track.

    3) Use the mute tool to mute the "edgy" sounds in the original track.

    4) Use the mute tool to mute the sounds you want to keep in the duplicate track.

    5) Insert (or create a send to) your DQ1 on the duplicate track that will process the "edgy" sounds.

    6) Add cross fades as required on both tracks.
  16. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    This was my first thought, but then it occurred to me I should try to do it with DQ1 as it would be a lot quicker.

    I also thought how nice it would be if you could select a single note in the SE window and apply desctructive EQ.
  17. JuanTahnahmahrah

    JuanTahnahmahrah Senior member

    A free metering plugin can be downloaded from the Sonalksis web site.

    The early analog synths had an ADSR section that lives on in plug-ins like the DQ1. Its manual does make it look like you can tailor certain frequencies by boosting them with gain. But, having never actually tried it, the impression made was that of a multi-band dynamic wah-wah, probably because I play guitar, but also because my first experience with a synth was an early Moog modular that required patch cables between the square, sine and sawtooth oscillators, the LFO, the ring modulator, and the envelope generators.

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