Wholegrain Digital Systems LLC, manufacturer of speciality audio software, has announced the availability of Quartet DynPEQ™, a signal processing plug-in for the soundBlade digital audio workstation. Quartet is the first product that applies Wholegrain's proprietary DynPEQ™ technology.
Audio professionals and enthusiasts alike are familiar with dynamics processors and parametric equalizers. Dynamic parametric equalization, or DynPEQ, is an integrated alliance of these two signal processing blocks. DynPEQ can perform as either a broadband dynamics processor or as a standalone equalizer, but can also apply the functionality of one to the other. Quartet's multi-band dynamics processor settings can be configured to operate on a particular parametric band instead of the entire audio spectrum.
Quartet DynPEQ is designed especially for the task of digital audio mastering. Quartet contains four individually configurable DynPEQ bands, and a special gain stage. Wholegrain has designed the dynamics processing element of Quartet to minimize audible artifacts, which allows Quartet to render its dynamics with a high degree of transparency. To assist in fine-tuning the sound, each DynPEQ band can be individually bypassed. An adjustable, low frequency blocking filter operates on the input to avoid headroom-robbing DC offset. A limiter processes the combined output of the four DynPEQ bands, which employs extrapolation of analog peaks from the digital signal. The maximum peak is registered in real-time to assist in the detailed management of peak levels.
Few audio geeks are as busy or accomplished as George Massenburg. As the inventor of parametric EQ, his engineering, standards setting and product development efforts all garner high praise from the community. With its ability to sculpt the timbre and dynamics of a song, Massenburg values Quartet. "The Quartet DynPEQ is one on a very short list of truly advanced, useful digital processors. I trust Duane (Wise, owner and CTO at Wholegrain) with the most difficult, detailed DSP programming. I don't know of a better filter guy in the business."
Quartet's intuitive and powerful user interface sets it apart from other multi-band dynamics packages. To assist in project workflow and management, Quartet offers a factory library of presets, such as de-ess, de-hum, brightness, and warmth, which can be dragged and dropped onto any band. In addition to A and B registers for quick comparison, Quartet maintains an unlimited set of patch registers for saving and retrieving project settings.
Engineers are often saddled with less than ideal tracks and anemic mixes. Though sometimes "attitude adjustment" is needed to provide more excitement, it's equally often that the material needs subtle persuasion. Quartet can do both. Multi-award winning mastering engineer David Glasser says of Quartet DynPEQ: "I've been beta testing Quartet for over a year. I don't spend a year on anything unless I think it's good, and Quartet is very good — a totally unique combination of the highest quality digital EQ with dynamics. I'm not a big plug-in user, but this is one that has brought happy grins to my clients' faces on several important projects. If you only have one plug-in for soundBlade, it should be this one."