Tube Eq vs Solid State Equalizer

Recording Studio Tube Eq

The KT pultec tube equaliser – developed for music production waaaaay back in the day – & was such an amazing design that they are still not only in use – but still being manufactured approx 50 years on from inception!
We’ve had the software version for years.
Yeah…… It’s ok. Does what it says on the box – & with wings! Tightens up the flabby low end – sharpens & sweetens up the highs – add a nice little mid scoop – all round ice cream time!
But the thing about software – is its’ software. It’s actually just a bunch of 1’s & 0’s – binary code in light form. If it weren’t so easy to use it never would have taken off – because it doesn’t sound much like hardware at all. Nah.
So – how happy were we to buy in 3 of these stupendously cool all valve / tube eq units!
It was like Christmas unwrapping them – New Years wiring them in to our system – &! Like the Moon Landing when we started running audio through them!
Shit! we thought …. these are good – how did we Ever live without them.
And!……. they’ve been involved in one way or another in every recording, mixing & mastering session we’ve had since. In fact – I don’t think we’ve been this excited since this tube mixer arrived!

He is of course vintage (from the 50’s) & sounds beautiful for vintage jazz, blues or classic rock – while our new equalizers are brand spanking new.

Music Mixing & Producer Control

And of course – having Big Knobs to twiddle doesn’t hurt either.
The range of different tones you can get out of this eq is pretty amazing given that there are no mid controls. Well … there are – but only low mids or high mids – this is a character eq – meaning it adds a lot of colour to the audio you run though it – if you want to get surgical you use one of these:

Or indeed – one of These:

Music Mastering Equalizer

Yes – it’s made by those Alesis people – a kind of mid range bunch at best – but! …. Doesn’t matter in music world does it – how much something costs – if it sounds good & does the job its’ designed for – then use it.
These big music hardware companies do sometimes tend to try making high end equipment – they usually fail – but on the way there can be some interesting developments – most of which cost too much to manufacture – and this is one of those units.
Beloved by German Electro artists & music producers – it has one trick – & one trick only – it cleans up the mud in audio like nothing else – mainly down to its’ pretty astounding 10 (!!) bands of parametric eq. You just sweep all the frequencies for low to high to find the boxiness, harshness or mud – take those frequencies down 2-3 db (only!) – re balance the levels – & shit! The recording now sounds like a bigger, sweeter, shinier version of what it was before.
We have all of the best toys – & probably the best music production values in London Town!
Here’s a nice shot of King Krule in the studio – we just finished recording their new lp (we also recorded the Ooz!)