“A twist on EQ and multiband compression that could change the way you imagine your everyday processing setup.”
–Darwin Grosse, review in Recording Magazine, June 2017
Read the entire Recording Magazine review through this link. We wish to thank Recording Magazine for their permission to post this article.
DynPEQ is a family of digital audio workstation plugins allowing detailed control over the audio spectrum, combining the functionality of a classic parametric equalizer and dynamics processor into an integrated unit. While this is a good description of what the plugins do, let users in the pro audio community describe how the plugins do the job and why you should consider them.
“DynPEQ is an incredible tool. I have found it an amazing problem solver for vocal taming. Many singers have a place where the frequency will rip your face off, and Wholegrain’s DynPEQ is super fast and incredibly accurate to dial in and tame those nodes. As a bus limiter it does exactly what’s needed without adding the harshness that most limiters have. I am a big fan of this workhorse.”
—Ross Hogarth, multi-award and multi-platinum producer/mixer/engineer, Hoax Productions
“Wholegrain’s DynPEQ algorithm is unparalleled in its field. The speed and musicality of its processing made me recognize that this is a tool I cannot work without. The DynPEQ plugins are as lightning fast as they are smooth and artifact free–to say nothing of the fact that Quartet embodies the best brick wall limiter I have ever used! A game changer for sure.”
—Nathaniel Kunkel, award-winning producer and engineer, Studio Without Walls
“Quartet and Trio offer capabilities unavailable elsewhere. They can be a straight-ahead EQ, dynamics processor, or a hybrid. I’ve discovered some DynEQ tricks that enable it to be used as an enhancer or vocal exciter, to unobtrusively tame an unruly low end, or add sheen to mix without it sounding over-EQed. The DynPEQ plugins are real problem solvers, and sound excellent–highly recommended.”
–David Glasser, award-winning mastering engineer, Airshow Mastering
“Amazingly powerful plugins, for when traditional EQ is simply not enough.”
–Dominique Brethes, producer and mixing/post/mastering engineer, Wolf Studios/FloW Mastering
“The DynPEQ plugins are so powerful and flexible that they’re not only the perfect rescue tools but also the perfect sound shapers. Quartet has become my go-to problem solver.”
–Wes Maebe, award-winning producer and engineer, GHQ Ltd. – Sonic Cuisine
The DynPEQ Difference
The DynPEQ plugins can fall into the categories of multiband dynamics, multiband EQ, or spectral dynamics. While many products are in these categories, we think DynPEQ has distinct differences that set it apart.
• At the heart of DynPEQ is a traditional parametric equalizer. DynPEQ is not related to a graphic equalizer. The bands to apply dynamics are defined by center/cutoff frequency and Q/shelf slope. There are no fixed bands or crossover frequencies. The same principles you use in finding parametric bands for EQ can be extended to apply a dynamics curve to that band.
• Though many powerful multiband systems employ the short-term Fourier transform, STFT systems necessitate a temporal granularity to its processing. DynPEQ employs traditional parametric EQ and dynamics in the time domain, so it can respond rapidly and robustly in comparison.
• DynPEQ calculates the total RMS level of the sidechain, which yields a fast-reacting and smooth level for dynamics control. You do not have to extend the release time to keep a steady-state level flat.
• Lastly, DynPEQ is a Wholegrain processor design. We take pride in our attention paid to digital audio processing artifacts and how to deal with them. While we can’t honestly say the processing is completely transparent, we encourage you to listen closely to DynPEQ in comparison to other multiband dynamics processors doing the same tasks.
No wonder, then, that we have heard the following.
“The DynPEQ plugins perform EQ, compression, de-essing, limiting, and dynamic EQ all in one. They are a Swiss army knife with the precision of a scalpel. They have become my go-to vocal processors.”
–Tom Marks, Re-Recording Mixer, Warner Bros.
The DynPEQ Plugins
The following is an overview of the differences between the two DynPEQ plugins.
Quartet DynPEQ–geared for mastering
- Four DynPEQ bands
- Multichannel stem capable
- Output peak limiter
- Project patch store
Trio DynPEQ–geared for input processing
- Three DynPEQ bands
- Single channel insert
For a quick-ish way to get familiar with DynPEQ plugins, check out the videos under the Instruction menu item, or refer to the direct video links below.
- Processing: covers the internals of the plugins including esoterica.
- GUI: covers operating the plugin’s many buttons and dials.
- Admin: covers plugin tools to help with your workflow.
- Applications: covers applications of DynPEQ.
Why Did We Develop DynPEQ?
From many years of listening to parametric equalization and dynamics processing by themselves, we have experienced firsthand why they are used with reluctance. The fatigue caused by dynamics pumping is well-known to the community. We now believe that the pumping phenomena is in part due to dynamics processing being applied to the entire spectrum. So, while dynamics processing is necessary in audio, the engineer is understandably reluctant to apply it. At the same time, while parametric equalization makes valuable alterations to the sonic environment, it does little to add or lessen punch when needed.
DynPEQ has given us the impression that dynamics processing is more applicable when restricted to the parts of the audio spectrum where it can offer the most help. We have found that many recordings are centric to the lead instruments and vocals, that the dynamics are usually fine in that band, and that making even small dynamic changes outside of the lead band can make a significant difference with less to much less pumping.
We believe that DynPEQ can add significant finishing touches to acoustic ensemble recordings, hence the names Trio and Quartet. At the same time, we try not to rely on the preset bands in the toolbox and tinker with the many parameter settings. We think DynPEQ can open up, or perhaps re-open, your aural world, where you can discover adjustments and spectral control strategies that are uniquely your own.