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External EQ
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author External EQ
thelowerrhythm
Not sure which forum this best belongs to, but... I've noticed that Eurorack, and modular in general, seem to have a shortage of graphic equalizers with multiple bands. Multiple as in, 15-31. I feel like the reasons for this are somewhat obvious, but it has me curious: does anyone use external EQ, such as a DBX or Behringer dual 31 band?

99% of what I do is drone based, and I'm constantly finding myself in need of really nuanced EQ. Would rather free myself from the computer in that respect.

Any experiences anyone wants to share?
nikmis
well, it's only 10 bands but I really recommend the Serge Resonant EQ as put together by Ken Stone, CGS synth.
Exhale
Or Yusynth fixed filter bank.
Rex Coil 7
Hi Member *thelowerrhythm ... right there with you!

So here's what I've done. I did a lot (a LOT) of searching and researching various types of multi-band EQs. I tested out various types, from Rane seven band fully parametric EQs to 31 band graphic EQs ... all of which were rack mounted. I landed on what I feel to be the single most useful 31 band graphic EQ I've ever been exposed to;

Alesis DEQ830 https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DEQ830--alesis-deq830

It's an eight channel 31 band digital EQ. It has 100 presets for user curves, as well as 100 presets for (up to) eight channels of combination EQs. There are eight individual 1/4" inputs, and eight individual 1/4" outputs. Each Eq channel may be bypassed or engaged individually, EQ channels may be locked together (so when you adjust one you're adjust all of the EQ channels at once). And since each channel has it's own inputs and outputs you can even run EQ channels in series if you need very large cuts or very large boosts at any given band or group of bands.

When you run (let's say) 2 channels in series, the amount of cut or boost is DOUBLE the normal amount. So instead of having a total of 18db of cut per band, you actually have 36db of cut per band when running two EQ channels in series.

The fact that you can switch from curve to curve instantly (without any delay, curves load instantly) you can drastically change the way your synth sounds in an instant, just as if your synth has preset capability. And the differences in how differing EQ curves make the synth sound actually qualify as "patch presets" because the change in timbre can be that far apart.

If eight channels of 31 band EQ is more than you require, the Alesis DEQ230 is essentially the same as the DEQ830 but with only two channels of 31 band EQ. And instead of 100 user presets for curves and 100 user presets for combinations of curves, the DEQ230 has sixty of each rather than 100 of each. The DEQ230 also has individual 1/4" ins and outs for each of it's two channels. Each channel is a 31 band EQ.

Alesis DEQ 230 https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DEQ230--alesis-deq230

Both the two channel and eight channel version also have MIDI in and out using standard 5 pin DIN connectors. You may use MIDI program change messages to change programs and/or curves, so it's useful with your DAW as well.

Granted, both are no longer in production. however used units are plentiful, a quick look dug up a few 230s for around $200 and up, and a couple of 830s for around $225 and up.

I've had my eight channel for over five years, and it gets used A LOT.

HOW TO INCORPORATE IT WITH MODULAR?

Any of the many "stomp box interface" modules work just fine. You need to reduce modular synth level signals down to stomp box signal levels ... then, if you intend to reintroduce the EQ'd signal back into the modular synth signal chain the output of the DEQ unit will require boosting, just like any other stomp box level signal. Since either of the Alesis DEQ units are individual channel EQs you can use one channel of EQ for (let's say) signals still within the synth's signal chain, and another EQ channel placed after the output of the synth (after the output VCA).

The eight channel unit is highly useful, since each if it's eight channels are totally independent of one another (it's no different than having eight separate 31 band EQs, each with it's own 100 preset curve memory). If you were to incorporate something like the CGS60 I/O circuit (perhaps two of those) you could actually place a 31 band EQ on the output of every one of your modular's VCOs, as well as the VCFs, and still have EQ channels left to put on the main output!

CGS60 LINK = https://modularaddict.com/module-type/utilities/cgs-cgs60-pcb

Imagine being able to instantly switch dedicated EQ curves on each VCO independently from one another from a selection of 100 curves and/or 100 combinations of curves ... all saved to preset memory and all totally repeatable without touching a single patch cable. You can even adjust the overall VCO mix by adjusting (and saving!) the output levels of each VCO's EQ curve ... recalling that mix instantly ... and repeatedly.

hmmm..... Uh Oh! ... hmmm ... I think I may have even talked myself into a designing those ideas into my own 5U modular project (see link to my project synth in my signature).

So ... there's my suggestion. It's one of those pieces of gear that is useful no matter what happens with your studio rig over the years. Pretty much like a desk mixer, it's something that will serve you no matter what you end up doing ~synth wise~ since it's not a Euro or 5U module and may be used with ANYTHING. Even used on the final L/R output of the desk mixer before the signal hits the monitors.

Look into them.

thumbs up
thelowerrhythm
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Hi Member *thelowerrhythm ... right there with you!

So here's what I've done. I did a lot (a LOT) of searching and researching various types of multi-band EQs. I tested out various types, from Rane seven band fully parametric EQs to 31 band graphic EQs ... all of which were rack mounted. I landed on what I feel to be the single most useful 31 band graphic EQ I've ever been exposed to;

Alesis DEQ830 https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DEQ830--alesis-deq830

It's an eight channel 31 band digital EQ. It has 100 presets for user curves, as well as 100 presets for (up to) eight channels of combination EQs. There are eight individual 1/4" inputs, and eight individual 1/4" outputs. Each Eq channel may be bypassed or engaged individually, EQ channels may be locked together (so when you adjust one you're adjust all of the EQ channels at once). And since each channel has it's own inputs and outputs you can even run EQ channels in series if you need very large cuts or very large boosts at any given band or group of bands.

When you run (let's say) 2 channels in series, the amount of cut or boost is DOUBLE the normal amount. So instead of having a total of 18db of cut per band, you actually have 36db of cut per band when running two EQ channels in series.

The fact that you can switch from curve to curve instantly (without any delay, curves load instantly) you can drastically change the way your synth sounds in an instant, just as if your synth has preset capability. And the differences in how differing EQ curves make the synth sound actually qualify as "patch presets" because the change in timbre can be that far apart.

If eight channels of 31 band EQ is more than you require, the Alesis DEQ230 is essentially the same as the DEQ830 but with only two channels of 31 band EQ. And instead of 100 user presets for curves and 100 user presets for combinations of curves, the DEQ230 has sixty of each rather than 100 of each. The DEQ230 also has individual 1/4" ins and outs for each of it's two channels. Each channel is a 31 band EQ.

Alesis DEQ 230 https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DEQ230--alesis-deq230

Both the two channel and eight channel version also have MIDI in and out using standard 5 pin DIN connectors. You may use MIDI program change messages to change programs and/or curves, so it's useful with your DAW as well.

Granted, both are no longer in production. however used units are plentiful, a quick look dug up a few 230s for around $200 and up, and a couple of 830s for around $225 and up.

I've had my eight channel for over five years, and it gets used A LOT.

HOW TO INCORPORATE IT WITH MODULAR?

Any of the many "stomp box interface" modules work just fine. You need to reduce modular synth level signals down to stomp box signal levels ... then, if you intend to reintroduce the EQ'd signal back into the modular synth signal chain the output of the DEQ unit will require boosting, just like any other stomp box level signal. Since either of the Alesis DEQ units are individual channel EQs you can use one channel of EQ for (let's say) signals still within the synth's signal chain, and another EQ channel placed after the output of the synth (after the output VCA).

The eight channel unit is highly useful, since each if it's eight channels are totally independent of one another (it's no different than having eight separate 31 band EQs, each with it's own 100 preset curve memory). If you were to incorporate something like the CGS60 I/O circuit (perhaps two of those) you could actually place a 31 band EQ on the output of every one of your modular's VCOs, as well as the VCFs, and still have EQ channels left to put on the main output!

CGS60 LINK = https://modularaddict.com/module-type/utilities/cgs-cgs60-pcb

Imagine being able to instantly switch dedicated EQ curves on each VCO independently from one another from a selection of 100 curves and/or 100 combinations of curves ... all saved to preset memory and all totally repeatable without touching a single patch cable. You can even adjust the overall VCO mix by adjusting (and saving!) the output levels of each VCO's EQ curve ... recalling that mix instantly ... and repeatedly.

hmmm..... Uh Oh! ... hmmm ... I think I may have even talked myself into a designing those ideas into my own 5U modular project (see link to my project synth in my signature).

So ... there's my suggestion. It's one of those pieces of gear that is useful no matter what happens with your studio rig over the years. Pretty much like a desk mixer, it's something that will serve you no matter what you end up doing ~synth wise~ since it's not a Euro or 5U module and may be used with ANYTHING. Even used on the final L/R output of the desk mixer before the signal hits the monitors.

Look into them.

thumbs up


.... .... ... woah MY ASS IS BLEEDING
thelowerrhythm
I'm actually selling both of my Malekko SND/RTNs because I never use them. Was planning on just using whatever EQ I get as an insert effect on my 1202, post euro, pre interface.
Parnelli
Wouldn't a graphic EQ with CV control parameters that would let you form notch, bandpass, or filters with far more accuracy than a single band filter be cool?

Oh and maybe throw a side chain on there as well?

Hmmm...
BenA718
Do you need for the EQ to be portable? If not, I use a 1U Rane parametric EQ that works great.
thelowerrhythm
Definitely not portable... I'm a studio rat. smile

Just need something with a wide range of static (ie non-cv-able) control for shaping big, fat drones as I layer them with other big, fat drones in ye olde DAW.

As badass as those Alesis units above look, there's a couple of Behringer / DBX choices in the sub $200 range that'll do the trick.

I guess I just wasn't sure if this is the same way other modular folks handle this issue. I feel like even adding a LPF to a signal presents opportunities to boost or cut some frequencies around the cutoff in creative ways. I worked for quite a while as a sound engineer and followed the "do it right the first time so you don't have to EQ" philosophy, but with modular it's a whole other beast.
Rex Coil 7
thelowerrhythm wrote:
Definitely not portable... I'm a studio rat. smile

Just need something with a wide range of static (ie non-cv-able) control for shaping big, fat drones as I layer them with other big, fat drones in ye olde DAW.

As badass as those Alesis units above look, there's a couple of Behringer / DBX choices in the sub $200 range that'll do the trick.

I guess I just wasn't sure if this is the same way other modular folks handle this issue. I feel like even adding a LPF to a signal presents opportunities to boost or cut some frequencies around the cutoff in creative ways. I worked for quite a while as a sound engineer and followed the "do it right the first time so you don't have to EQ" philosophy, but with modular it's a whole other beast.
Then take a look at the Line 6 M5. It offers roughly a dozen various EQ models, it's stereo, it has MIDI in/out, can be modulated with either CV or manual methods (expression pedal), it offers up to 100 user presets, and it can be had used for as low as $100 bucks.

I own TWO Line 6 M13s which are the Grand Poobah of the "M" series modeling FX units offered by Line 6. The M13 is essentially four M5s in one box. I've owned four or five of the M5s, two of the M9s, and currently own two M13s. So I know how well they work. Beyond just their EQ strengths, they also offer roughly another 100 different FX (delays, reverbs, overdrive/distortion/fuzz, modulators such as flangers/phasers/chorus/tremolos/panners, filters such as parametric EQs, graphic EQs, synth filters, envelope followers, wahs, pitch shifters ... and one hell of a SICK ASS ring modulator).

And again ... instant selection of different curves just like the Alesis DEQs as well as full on MIDI clock sync of anything that runs on a clock (delays, modulators, and so on).

Small footprint desktop format, and easily readable LCD display, all solid steel construction (no plastic or aluminum), metal jacks, nicely designed foot switches that are easily used by hand.

So ... take a good look at the M5 by Line 6. All the EQs you can eat, plus about 120 or so additional FX.

thumbs up
Exhale
Klark Teknik DN-410.
Old Orbans were great.
Can be found cheap.
Dave Peck
If you go over to reverb.com you'll fine a huge number of very good pro audio outboard equalizers for CHEAP. You can get stuff that's MUCH better than Behringer for about a hundred bucks. Like Rane, Ashley, DBX, JBL, Symetrix. For a little more, there's a whole lot of Klark Teknik EQs available.

BTW if you're planning to 'play' the EQ as part of a synth, rather than 'set it & forget it' applications like anti-feedback in a P.A. system, I recommend you get a taller unit with longer faders. Much better than those stubby little mini-faders in a single rack space box.

Check out this search:

https://reverb.com/marketplace/pro-audio/equalizers?sort=price%7Casc
MindMachine
I use an Ashly GQX1502 Stereo Graphic Equalizer, mainly for my Serge. Excellent quality for a medium price. They also make dual 31 bands, single channel units, etc.
dubstephead
How about a 500 series with some EQ modules? That offers much more flexibility and there is some really nice cheaper EQ modules available.

I use a balanced nw2s::io's db25 connectors to to go straight into an 8 channel 500 series chassis and then return it straight into the Nw2s's 8 db25 inputs. Works like a charm.

I also use one of these in the same way but its price tag is a little more (totally worth it though!).

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