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1st EQ recommendation

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1st EQ recommendation

Postby jodaki » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:11 pm

I have a range of plugin EQs (waves, izotope, plugin alliance, softube, soundtoys) and want to buy my first hardware unit.

I want something suitable for mixing and mastering. Balancing, sweetening and colouring rather than keyhole sonic surgery. Musical styles will include modern contemporary, acoustic and alt-rock. Almost no electronic instruments.

Recommendations elsewhere have identified the Gyraf G14 and the Crane Song Ibis.

I know these EQs are different beasts but I read that they are both good for the uses I mentioned. They are both the same price, and I dont want to pay more than this right now.

I was initially hesitating over an API 5500 before I came across the G14 and Ibis. I read the G14 and Ibis might be better as a 1st EQ or anyhow more widely useful machines than the 5500.

Anyone here used these or has an opinion about this? Or another recommendation?
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby CS70 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:19 pm

Well, I have an Empirical Labs LilFrEQ which sounds nice and sweet and very flexible. It has marking for a "Neve" settings and does even have an instrument input which works pretty managing to make a piezo guitar sound good. No, scrap that, it's impossible.. but "barely acceptable", yes :D
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby jodaki » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:54 pm

Thats interesting. I dont know that EQ.

CS70 wrote:... which works pretty managing to make a piezo guitar sound good. No, scrap that, it's impossible.


Haha Blimey it must be good!!
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:24 pm

I wouldn't say either of those are simple enough to be described as 'my first EQ'... But if you're looking to blow that kind of money, and those are your shortlist, I'd vote for the Cranesong Ibis. Beautifully engineered, very versatile sound with options for clean and colour, lots of flexibility... But it's not the most obvious EQ to use.

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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby James Perrett » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:44 pm

There was a thread on here a few months ago where Arpangel and I were extolling the virtues of the eq on the old MM mixers. Just four fixed bands but somehow they had chosen exactly the right characteristics to cover just about everything. That was my first mixer over 35 years ago and I still use it from time to time.
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby jodaki » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:04 pm

Thanks Hugh

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I wouldn't say either of those are simple enough to be described as 'my first EQ'...


No indeed, just to clarify though I didn’t mean ‘first eq’ in the fisher price sense. Perhaps I should have said primary eq, or ‘go to’ eq, or in my current position, ‘only’ eq.
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:11 pm

Ah. Okay. As a primary EQ I'd say the Ibis would be a very good choice.
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby Arpangel » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:53 am

James Perrett wrote:There was a thread on here a few months ago where Arpangel and I were extolling the virtues of the eq on the old MM mixers. Just four fixed bands but somehow they had chosen exactly the right characteristics to cover just about everything. That was my first mixer over 35 years ago and I still use it from time to time.

I find it very strange, that there isn't any EQ I've used, or I'm aware of, that has copied that classic MM circuit, it's as you say, absolutely spot on for most things.
EQ's I've used these days are either like resonant LP filters etc, or, they don't seem to make much of a difference.
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby jodaki » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:31 am

Arpangel wrote:
James Perrett wrote:There was a thread on here a few months ago where Arpangel and I were extolling the virtues of the eq on the old MM mixers.

I find it very strange, that there isn't any EQ I've used, or I'm aware of, that has copied that classic MM circuit

Is MM an abbreviation or are you talking about the Nady (MM) or Midas Mixing lines?
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:45 am

Neither, MM Electronics were a British company back in the '70s.

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=28254

http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/pa-ce-mp175-12-channel-mixer/6714

Brings back memories as I also owned on back in the '70s.
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:00 am

I'd be very surprised if the EQ stage in the MM was anything other than a simple, standard Baxandall-inspired design. I imagine it just happens to have well-chosen band centre frequencies and bandwidths. Anyone got a schematic?

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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby jodaki » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:21 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Neither, MM Electronics were a British company back in the '70s.
... Brings back memories as I also owned on back in the '70s.

Aha, thanks.

Has anyone got any other recommendations (not more than the Ibis)?

Also, not heard much in favour of the G14 here. Is Gyraf just more used in America I wonder. Anyone here got one/worked with one? John
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:50 pm

You could check out the Bettermaker stuff, and the Neve Portico stereo EQ. Both cheaper than the Ibis. The Bettermaker mastering and 232 EQs can be hooked up to the computer for session store/recall which might be handy.

But have a trawl around KMR's website and see what takes your fancy. You can search just analogue EQs, ordered by price, and then compare features of a shortlist.

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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby James Perrett » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:16 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I'd be very surprised if the EQ stage in the MM was anything other than a simple, standard Baxandall-inspired design. I imagine it just happens to have well-chosen band centre frequencies and bandwidths. Anyone got a schematic?

I found my hand drawn schematic a few weeks ago and then packed it away ready for the impending house move. I seem to remember that they used a gyrator circuit rather than a Baxandall design.
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:44 pm

Ooh... that's unusual. Love to see it when you rediscover the schematic.

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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby jodaki » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:52 pm

James Perrett wrote:I found my hand drawn schematic a few weeks ago

Do you mean you copied the docs or that you took the top off and diagramed the components?
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby James Perrett » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:06 am

jodaki wrote:
James Perrett wrote:I found my hand drawn schematic a few weeks ago

Do you mean you copied the docs or that you took the top off and diagramed the components?

I took the bottom off and traced the circuit through. I think I was probably looking for a way to add inserts as I'd just bought myself a compressor around that time. Fortunately there was plenty of space both internally and on the back panel to accommodate extra connections.

Having just had a bit of a ferret around the web I see that Desmond has put up an old Paul White article on hot rodding an MM mixer from the mid 80's which includes a circuit diagram of the previous model to mine. You can find it at

http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/hot-r ... mixer/6373

The MP180 adds an IC based balanced input rather than the unbalanced input on the MP175.
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:22 am

The Ibis is a lovely sounding eq, in a smooth, beautiful sort of way, and the 5500 is wonderful in a more aggressive, direct way. Of course there are then myriad alternatives from all quarters.

But you'd want to either be pushed down this path by some practical factor, like mixing in analogue and printing to a hardware recorder, OR money would want to be no object. You'd need to be able to drop a couple of grand at least, without it really making any difference to your life.

Why? Because it won't really make any difference to the success of your results. Not only are we the only ones that really care, but some of the software options are frankly indistinguishable. You could use Acustica Pink 3, Magenta, or the new version of the Sontec, name escapes me. They're sampled hardware. Or you can go with algorithmic options as you are doing, but dig around for something a bit more Gucci.

Apart from anything else, recall is now not just a factor, it's an essential, expected requirement. It's no longer acceptable to tell a client that you can't perfectly recall something. Some of the units you mention are harder than others in this respect, and all will add a considerable time to that recall if they need to warm up.

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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby Arpangel » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:35 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Neither, MM Electronics were a British company back in the '70s.

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=28254

http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/pa-ce-mp175-12-channel-mixer/6714

Brings back memories as I also owned on back in the '70s.

The thing about the MM EQ was that all of the frequencies seemed exactly where you wanted them, regardless, it was fabulous for drums and vocals, within a few seconds you could make anything sound great, and with vocals, the upper mid was like a volume control! it was so spot on.
I think this circuit could be due for a nice reissue, it needs no supplements or additions, and the rack unit could have those lovely coloured knobs

:thumbup:
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Re: 1st EQ recommendation

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:11 am

James Perrett wrote:Having just had a bit of a ferret around the web I see that Desmond has put up an old Paul White article on hot rodding an MM mixer from the mid 80's which includes a circuit diagram of the previous model to mine. You can find it at

http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/hot-r ... mixer/6373


Oh my goodness, I didn't know it used 741 ICs - folk are now beginning to get nostalgic about those (heaven knows why :headbang: )


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