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Recording SoftWare for Blind people. Can anybody Please help?

Extreme EQ (part 3)

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At the moment the only way to access VST plug-ins is via Cubase VST MIDI+Audio
sequencer software. This I know is off-putting to non-musicians because Cubase
is obviously presented as a musical tool and not something that a non-keyboard
playing engineer would probably want to use. Nevertheless, it is perfectly possible
to ignore Cubase’s MIDI features almost completely and use it as just another
audio tool. It is also worth knowing that while MIDI+Audio sequencers generally
do not synchronise continuously to MTC (or SMPTE converted to MTC) without specialised
equipment and knowledge, trigger sync to a digital multitrack is usually very
effective so you can offload material into Cubase, process it in whatever way,
and then transfer it back with an accuracy probably within a couple of tens
of milliseconds. For the cost of a Macintosh computer and Cubase VST, there
is a whole new world of plug-in processing available which, while it won’t
replace your existing hardware processors, will certainly open up new horizons.
With Macintosh computers you don’t even need a sound card, if you can accept
mini-jack stereo ins and outs, and a signal-to-noise ratio subjectively equivalent
to quarter inch analogue tape.

Once you have the platform, you can set about acquiring a filter plug-in that
will provide Extreme EQ. How much will this cost? Amazingly, absolutely nothing.
The North Pole plug-in by Frederic Shelling and Stephan Sprenger is freely available
to download from the Internet (you can find it via Steinberg’s web site
and have a look at other plug-in goodies on the way). Shelling and Sprenger
are associated with Prosoniq and Sprenger claims to have developed North Pole
for fun in his spare time! It’s commonly thought that free software gives
proportionate value for money, i.e. it is of no value at all. This is often
true, but not in this case. North Pole works very well indeed and I have no
quibbles about its performance. As you can see from the graphic, it isn’t
a million miles away from the Mutator in terms of its capabilities. The two
key controls are again Cutoff (frequency) and Resonance. In low-pass mode the
Cutoff control sets the frequency above which the signal will be attenuated.
Beneath the control there is a numerical display of the cut-off frequency. The
resonance control is in effect a Q control. Unlike the Q control you would find
on a mixing console this one goes to values so high it self oscillates. It’s
interesting to adjust the Q control in real time when it will pick out the harmonic
series as a kind of stepped glissando. I can see users being very hands-on when
control like this is available, rather than just setting and forgetting. In
addition to low-pass mode, the North Pole plug-in also provides band-pass filtering
which, while not as generally useful, is well worth having around. In a similar
way to Mutator, but not with such advanced facilities, North Pole also has an
envelope generator which is good on percussive sounds as it triggers a filter
sweep on every beat. This is EQ in a very creative sense, and it is possible
to make interesting sounds from very plain source material, the only drawback
being that you have to record the audio into Cubase VST first – it can work
on a live source but only with a slight delay. The envelope facilities are not
as advanced as Mutator, in particular not allowing triggering from a secondary
source, but what do you expect for free?

David Mellor

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David Mellor

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