Four EQ Types from the Legendary Sony® OXF-R3 Console in a Single Plug-In, Now on the UAD-2 Platform.
The Sonnox Oxford EQ plug-in is based on the EQ section of the iconic Sony OXF-R3 console, introduced in the early 1990’s and widely regarded as the pinnacle of digital mixing consoles. Developed by Sonnox for the UAD-2 platform, the Oxford EQ plug-in today incorporates the exact same algorithms from the console, with 4 different selectable EQ types — including “legacy” styles renowned for their artistic capabilities. The use of novel coefficient generation and intelligent processing provides unparalleled performance that, for many Oxford EQ users, surpasses analog EQ in both sound quality and artistic freedom.
Sony Oxford was originally set up in the late 1980’s to design a high-end pro audio DSP system and related software design tools. The team that formed the UK-based Oxford group combined experts from a number of disciplines, including engineers previously responsible for the SSL E-Series. Their business goal was simple: to take Sony into high-end recording studios. The result of their efforts was the Sony OXF-R3, or "Oxford" console, as it's often called. A high-end digital mixer years ahead of its time, the Oxford was favored for many years by a range of “A-list” audio professionals — including George Massenburg, Peter Gabriel, and Mick Guzauski.
There are four types of EQ in the Sonnox Oxford EQ plug-in. The differences between the types are found within the curve characteristics of the bell settings; their shelving curves are identical. 'Q' controls allow an amount of “undershoot” to be dialed in for boost settings, and overshoot when a shelf is used in cut settings. As an example, when applying an HF shelf, adding Q will cause the mid range just below the shelf to be cut, while simultaneously increasing the slope of the rise to the shelf. This has the effect of reducing perceived harshness, while sweetening the overall sound.
EQ Type 1
This EQ can be regarded as a multi-purpose “sharp” or fixative tool. Characterized with minimal gain versus 'Q' dependency, the shape of the peak of the boost and cut curves (when in “Bell”) remain virtually constant according to the Q setting — no matter what level of boost or cut. Even so, it is possible to mimic many other EQ types with Type 1, due to the flexibility of the control ranges.
EQ Type 2
The boost curves in Type 2 are identical to Type 1, whereas the cut curves are tighter. In fact, this is a true 'constant Q' equalizer where the cut curve is three times sharper than the boost curve; ideal for removing troublesome resonances.
EQ Type 3
Type 3 is a reciprocal EQ which has a moderate amount of gain versus 'Q' dependency. This means that at lower boost and cut settings, the shape of the curve is broader, becoming progressively sharper with increased boost or cut. This characteristic feels very comfortable to the ears, and this type of EQ is often deemed “musical” by its users.
EQ Type 4
This type has the greatest gain versus 'Q' dependency. Its characteristics are very soft and gentle. Type 4 is extremely useful in mastering situations.
Applications for the Sonnox Oxford EQ plug-in include recording, mixing, mastering, post-production sweetening, sound design, and audio restoration.
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