Pultec EQ emulations.... which one do you prefer?

This forum is for discussing Rack Extensions. Devs are all welcome to show off their goods.
User avatar
challism
Moderator
Posts: 3256
Joined: 17 Jan 2015
Location: Fanboy Shill

Post 23 Nov 2021

rorystorm wrote:
23 Nov 2021
Have the red rock res and the blamsoft res. Imo the blamsoft devices sound a little better BUT are very cpu heavy on my machine. Also the controls can't be automated or assigned to a combinator knob. So red rock for me.

Edit: that kuassa deal is damn cheap so I might pick it up as well....
Thanks for this post; very useful info. I'm leaning toward the Kuassa. Reg $59, sale $19 is a great price, and the lowest I've ever seen it. I've always heard great things about this Kuassa EQ, in particular. The repeated phrase I always hear is the MP5 + Cakewalk RE-2A sound really close to the Tube-Tech. And since I already have the I already have RE-2A... and since I have the EVE AT4 from a rig bundle (the collector in me wants to get the same brand), I'll probably go with the MP5.
dvdrtldg wrote:
22 Nov 2021
challism wrote:
22 Nov 2021


I read somewhere on RT that Red Rock Sound has an emulation of that one too, don't they? And which one is it?
It's this one - haven't tried it https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... r-model-a/
I should have guessed. Purple kind of gives it away. Thanks for posting that.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Players are to MIDI what synthesizers are to waveforms.
Image
ReasonTalk Rules and Guidelines

User avatar
Skullture
Posts: 561
Joined: 17 Nov 2015

Post 23 Nov 2021

Hi Challism, funny that you made this topic. I've been doing a ton of researching on Pultecs lately, because I fell in love with the "pulteq low end trick", and the 10khz spark it can give can really make a mix better.

Anyway, short answer, I ended up using the Kuassa one. Because it also has that mid-eq correction on there, you can dip the 200hz and that sounds so good in many cases (gets rid of muddy stuff).

I'm not even going to go there with the Softube one, I can buy a DAW for that money.

The Blamsoft one is also decent, it's less pronounced in my opinion then the Kuassa one. I end up using the Kuassa more especially on the master bus. Surprising thing is that these two sound so different from each other?

VST's are also an option, I was surprised with the Analog Obsession one, this is technically free, but you can donate. It's a good pultec EQ to mess around with, the high end and 10khz I really like here. The lows might be a bit too pronounced once you hit the setting "4".
Waves has the Puigtec, which is OK, I'm not crazy for it, the Low end doesn't sound as good as Kuassa. I much that one (also being an RE).
UAD has one that's famous that I haven't tried, but 120EUR is a little steep for me. I'd rather spend that money on something else then.

crimsonwarlock
Posts: 31
Joined: 06 Nov 2021

Post 23 Nov 2021

Another free VST emulation is the one from Ignite:Amps: PTEq-X.

ignite-amps-pteq-x-software.jpg

Download is on this page: https://www.igniteamps.com/ (just scroll down until you see it).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Loque
Moderator
Posts: 9540
Joined: 28 Dec 2015

Post 23 Nov 2021

If i understand everything right (and since i am not a pro i probably do not :-D), the Pultec Trick comes from boosting+attenuation to increase and lower specific frequencies while the overlap creates a resonance, which means a small peak, which in most cases is the exact kick base frequency or an overtone if done right. Through the phase shifting, the sound becomes more "thumb" too. Additionally the circuits create additional harmonics in that "resonance" and peak areas through the circuits, especially if pushed hard or the signal is loud.

So, the trick should be reproduceable with the right EQ settings and an exciter or a multiband saturation/overdrive.

If you try to create it without an Pultec, you are more free to create the exact sound or to modify the sound in a way you want it to. So just add an EQ, use a HPF on very low settings, add an Low Shelf for boosting and a Low normal wide Bell to cut. Adjust everything to taste. Than add saturation/overdrive in the frequencies you want.

You may recognize, that changing the order also may change the resulting sound. You can also do steps multiple times in different stages of your gain stages.

Regarding Pultec Trick emulations, they are in most times just fast. Dial in and forget. With normal EQs and multiband stuff, you easily get lost with fiddling for 2h on a damn kickdrum. Clean EQs also cannot reproduce non-linearities or additional changes (just like the Trident does), but tbh, nobody beside an uber pro expert will ever hear the difference in a final mix.

Anyone want to make a Combi2 for the Pultec Trick? Maybe someone that can measure some emulations and recreate it accurate? Or just provide the measurements and we create the rest together?
Reason12, Win10

User avatar
moofi
Posts: 388
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 23 Nov 2021

I feel like Softube wins here quite easily followed by Red Rock. The low end when being boosted is warm + tight., though not reaching the original from what I can tell by seeing hardware videos. The original is even warmer, rounder, tighter, aswell delivering beautiful air to upper mids and top end. It can also be cranked up while still sounding "clean".

Here is an example, delivering quite a good idea how the actual hardware sounds:



In this longer quiet fun to watch yet serious video two original hardware pultecs, a hardware clone from Klark and the Waves emulation are being compared, while being well described in their use for the demoed situations.



Btw the Waves´ Puigtec-EQ is currently on offer for 30$:

https://waves.com/plugins/puigtec-eqs


Still, compared to other software emulations (including Waves + several VST) I find Softube´s version the best one from what I´ve heard so far.

Then at least compared to Red Rock, Softube is a lot more expensive, especially if you take intro and current sale price into account.
Sure there is aswell the compressor, then at least for the price of 499 Euros or 166 Euros if you divide by the number of included devices, I wasn´t justifyingly impressed though it is still quite a good sounding software compressor.

Saying the price gap is unevenly bigger compared to the quality gap I find.

If you are looking for the best (?) sounding software emulation to have or potentially need it professionally and got the money to spend, one might consider going for Softube´s device, though I would still feel it´s simply a bit expensive for what it is in comparison to what we got as RE alternatives in Red Rock.
For that price I would prefer going for a hardware clone anyway. The Klark clone is at around 229 Euros for example (even though it´s merely one device out of three).

Now, regarding the sound itself again, you can hear the difference between Softube´s and Red Rock´s Pultec in the already mentioned low end where Softube is simply tighter and also punchier when boosting the bass. Red Rock´s lowend is less defined, aswell introducing a sort of rumbling at already around 3dB lower settings compared to the point Softube´s EQ starts to distort at (with a more pleasant tone I find).
In that sense just mind the original of the first video still sounding clean, when being cranked up on the synth line.

I also find Softube´s RE opening up mids + highs in a more pleasant way compared to Red Rock´s version that is struggling a bit in that regard, as in relation to the top end it does not get the upper mids to sound as balancedly boosted. I aswell find the grittiness of mids + highs being smoother on Softube´s device.

After all, I feel Softube and Redrock are the only two RE approaching onto the path towards the original hardware unit.

Kuassa and Blamsoft may use the basic technical Pultec principle yet at least here their versions present themselves quite differently, like I basically could barely (if at all) find the original in them soundwise.
I notice Kuassa´s take sounding pretty screamingly screachy in the mids/highs while the low end sounds a lot less impressive (if at all :-D) compared to Softube´s or Red Rock´s warm lowend boost, let alone the original hardware. Already Red Rock´s EQ is much smoother + warmer in that regard.

Blamsoft I just briefly tested while comparing instensively especially Softube´s and Red Rock´s RE along watching Pultec videos, because similar to Kuassa´s version it sounds different in it´s sonic approach/emphasis and even less to my likings in terms of distortion.

Coming to the conclusion, if you like having an affordable Pultec-style emulation in RE format and also similar to or at least in the direction of the original, I very much recommend Red Rocks devices even though they stand behind in some aspects compared to Softube´s Version.
Last edited by moofi on 23 Nov 2021, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
moofi
Posts: 388
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 23 Nov 2021

Standard comment, standard reply: NO ;-) :-D
Loque wrote:
23 Nov 2021
[...[ but tbh, nobody beside an uber pro expert will ever hear the difference in a final mix.
[...]

User avatar
huggermugger
Posts: 282
Joined: 16 Jul 2021

Post 23 Nov 2021

Analog Obsession...
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 9569
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 23 Nov 2021

It's been a few years since I've sat with an original, but I used them all the time during my years in Nashville. And they ALL sound different, much like the software versions (which MAY well have been a perfect match for the unit they modeled, considering the differences in physical units). ;)
For those interested, here are four versions of the low end "trick" showing the slight differences in response curves. The distortion characteristics also vary quite a bit between units/models.
Settings: 60 Hz, full Boost/Atten
Teal = Native Instruments
Orange = Kuassa
Red = TubeTech
Purple = ColoringEQ
Image

[EDIT: would be curious if anyone is surprised by the actual curve of the "low end trick", especially how wide the cut is and how high it affects the response. So it's basically a gentle boost of around 10-13 dB on the low end along with a fairly wide cut up around 550 Hz, affecting frequencies well above 1 kHz! For comparison, here is the TubeTech with the low end trick at all four available frequencies, 20, 30 , 60, and 100 Hz]
Image
[Edit 2: can get MClass EQ to do the basic trick, but man programming MClass into combinator is a PITA - Frequency is 0-1000???, Gain is ±63 (better), and at least the Q is programmed as 1-127 which relates to the Combi knobs. Ugg, why not use use the same values for controls?!?]
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
moofi
Posts: 388
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 23 Nov 2021

Yes, "MAY" is a fitting wording here I find :-D Because, well, I haven´t heard the basic quality of any hardware pultec I listened to (even if only via yt) in any software device so far.
selig wrote:
23 Nov 2021
[...] (which MAY well have been a perfect match for the unit they modeled, considering the differences in physical units). ;) [...]
I prefer having the according parameter values at hand like Hz, dB, msec, etc. I would like the Combinator knobs to reflect these value units though. It could be an setting in preferences, options or elsewhere (preferrably aswell a keyboard shortcut) swapping between MIDI and actual value display for devices.
selig wrote:
23 Nov 2021
[Edit 2: can get MClass EQ to do the basic trick, but man programming MClass into combinator is a PITA - Frequency is 0-1000???, Gain is ±63 (better), and at least the Q is programmed as 1-127 which relates to the Combi knobs. Ugg, why not use use the same values for controls?!?

User avatar
MarkTarlton
Posts: 714
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Post 23 Nov 2021

selig wrote:
23 Nov 2021
would be curious if anyone is surprised by the actual curve of the "low end trick", especially how wide the cut is and how high it affects the response.
I never tend to use the EQ boosted and/or cut at the maximum values, if you do a smaller boost/cut at the same frequencies it isn't drastic at all. I have attached a video of me playing around with the curves...my go to setting would be 60hz boost around 2 and attenuate around 1. Also, the bandwidth setting is going to have an impact on this too.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9xrwcrzjixa8c ... e.mp4?dl=0

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 9569
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 23 Nov 2021

MarkTarlton wrote:
23 Nov 2021
selig wrote:
23 Nov 2021
would be curious if anyone is surprised by the actual curve of the "low end trick", especially how wide the cut is and how high it affects the response.
I never tend to use the EQ boosted and/or cut at the maximum values, if you do a smaller boost/cut at the same frequencies it isn't drastic at all. I have attached a video of me playing around with the curves...my go to setting would be 60hz boost around 2 and attenuate around 1. Also, the bandwidth setting is going to have an impact on this too.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9xrwcrzjixa8c ... e.mp4?dl=0
Some random thoughts:
Bandwidth is only for the high band, so it doesn't come into play with the low end trick.
A boost/atten that small is almost doing nothing at all with regard to the "low end effect". Remember the Pultec is a bit of an odd duck with interacting bands (like the Trident EQ). When using small amounts of change can give unexpected results. On their own, the cut @1 is about a half a dB, and the Boost @2 is around 1.5 dB. When you combine the two at that level you do not get any dip at the expected frequency - instead you get a quarter of a dB dip way up around 8 kHz and a total boost down to 1 dB or so. That's correct, the dip frequency really goes that high at that setting, to the point it's no longer achieving the "low end effect" IMO.

It's all a part of what makes things interesting with the Pultec!
Here's what it actually looks like:
Image
Orange is boost only, Purple is Atten only, Red is the combined boost of 2 and Atten of 1, Green is the input/flat.
These examples all used the Kuassa model, and for reference at those settings "color" is extremely low, with harmonic distortion at 1 kHz at 0.001%! Harmonic distortion increase the lower you go, for a max of between 0.01 to 0.1% around 10-20 Hz. By comparison my tube gear gets 1-10% easily, and even THAT can be fairly subtle depending on the source.

For comparison with higher boost/atten amounts, here is your +2 and -1 setting in Red (can hardly see the dip at that zoom level), ±5 in Teal, and ±10 in yellow/green. Even at the ±5 setting the boost it only 4 dB and the dip is only 1.5 dB and is over 1 kHz! So the +2 -1 setting is basically boosting everything below 1 kHz by a little over 1 dB.
Image
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
MarkTarlton
Posts: 714
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Post 23 Nov 2021

I definitely hear a result, I bet if the resolution of our graphs were finer it would be easier to see, it's pretty easy to hear. I never see people go that far with the "trick" but I am not disagreeing, everyone has their own ways. The graphs are for example only, it's not a pultec curve, I made a quick one and changed the resolution on the visuals even though they are identical curves, it looks totally different if your zoomed in, and it's not hard to hear, especially if it's on the master

good stuff!


Screen Shot 2021-11-23 at 8.03.19 PM.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by MarkTarlton on 24 Nov 2021, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
joeyluck
Moderator
Posts: 9302
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 24 Nov 2021

The MP5 is my go-to. I use it on vocals and the master. It sounds really good for the material I use it on.

User avatar
MarkTarlton
Posts: 714
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Post 24 Nov 2021

Here is a chart comparing puigtec and mp5 at max settings of both boost and cut @60hz and a max boost and cut @10Khz. The bandwidth is max'd too.

Similar but different, like you mentioned selig the hardware units are all different. I have a few Warm Audio EQP's and they sound pretty close too.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 6 guests