Mastering EQ Tips: Using Vintage EQ in Ozone 7 Advanced


With the richness, musicality, and color of classic Pultec-style equalizers, Vintage EQ lets you brighten your master, smooth out heavy low end, and add body to your digital recordings.

The Vintage EQ Module in Ozone 7 Advanced is inspired by classic Pultec-style passive equalizers from the 50s and their modern counterparts. It replicates the subtle curves, unique controls, and musical sound of both the EQP-1A and MEQ-5 and combines them into a single, powerful mastering tool with modern flexibility.

Like all the modules in Ozone 7, there are presets to help get started quickly. Click on the preset browser icon on the left side of the draggable module or on the presets panel in the Vintage EQ plug-in.

The controls in the Vintage EQ mirror the original Pultec to authentically recreate the distinctive frequency tailoring possible in the hardware.

There are 6 controls for frequency adjustments:

  1. The Low Shelf, with sliders for both boost and cut
  2. The Low-Mid boost
  3. The Mid Cut
  4. The Hi-Mid boost
  5. The High boost with adjustable Q
  6. A shelf for high-frequency cuts

This is different than conventional parametric or graphic equalizers, but when used in various combinations these controls afford special processing possibilities that can sound great in many mastering scenarios. Just like the original Equalizer in Ozone, you can visualize the curve that is being applied by the Vintage EQ to deeply understand the impact the processing has on your music and to help recognize the unique filter shapes that the Vintage EQ can achieve.

Low Shelf

In the low shelf section, you can apply up to 15 dB of boost or cut at any of the 5 fixed frequencies. You can also boost and cut at the same time, which may seem counterintuitive at first, but is a classic gesture on the original Pultec EQ.

For example, the Vintage EQ can be really useful when applied to drums. With the frequency center set to 45 Hz and a generous boost applied, the impact of the drums comes forward. However, a little bit of ring from the toms may come along with it.

To handle the ring in toms, try using Low Cut to introduce a very gentle dip right around the often muddy region between 200-300 Hz.

Using just the cut without a boost will result in the kind of roll off commonly expected from a low shelf. It’s only when the boost and cut are applied together that we hear the effect that makes the sound of a Pultec so special.

A little goes a long way with these broad shelf filters, especially in mastering, so start by adjusting small values between 0 and 1, and listen to the effect it has on your audio.

Mid-range Controls

The low-mid is a boost control, which can add up to 15dB of gain around the five selectable center frequencies. It has a fixed bandwidth, which would be pretty close to a Q setting of 1 on the traditional Ozone EQ.

There is also a high-mid boost control, which functions just like the low-mid boost and can be great for giving a lift to the attack of a kick drum, piano, or acoustic guitar.

The Mid section offers attenuation at any of 11 frequencies which stretch across the Low and High-Mid ranges. Using a cut from this control along with a boost from the low or high-mid sections can create some more complex filter shapes with each frequency area reacting differently.

High Boost and Cut

The High Boost and Cut controls interact in a similar way, but the High Q slider also offers control over the bandwidth, and mimics the proportional Q characteristics of the MEQ-5.

Use your ears and try different combinations to hear the interactions between these circuit models which can create interesting shapes, curves, and sonic possibilities.

Left/Right and Mid/Side

In the default mode, the Vintage EQ is set up with left and right controls linked for stereo processing. Each can be controlled individual or soloed and muted by clicking on the L+R option on the left side of the Vintage EQ module.

You can also process the mid and side information separately by clicking on the M+S icon. This can make it possible to lift the top end of a vocal at the center of a mix without affecting the cymbals on the sides of the mix or to pull some of the low-end out of the sides without affecting the bass and kick drum panned to center.

In either of these unlinked modes, the channel being worked on is indicated in the top right of the spectrum analyzer. Switch between channels in the sidebar on the left side of the module. To quickly reset all the controls, click the three-quarters circle icon at the bottom left to get back to the default state.

Gain Staging

Whenever you’re using the customizable signal chains in Ozone 7, you can monitor how much gain any module is adding or attenuating by looking at the meters on the right side of the draggable module. This is designed to help you keep an eye on your gain staging and identify the cause of any clipping right away.

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