Question iZotope Ozone Vintage EQ Go-To Settings?

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Trythanks Lightfoot

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What are some of your go-to settings in the event that you choose to use iZotope Ozone Vintage EQ particularly for audio mastering?
 
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I agree with @Black Panther that iZotope's Vintage EQ isn't that versatile and the same applies to pretty much every single Pultec EQP-1A and Pultec MEQ-5 clone out there on the market albeit the major difference being that iZotope's Vintage EQ is best suited for audio mastering because it's without a doubt pristine clean and that's what you need.

In contrast, you don't want to use something that adds weird noises and changes the sound even when all the dials are flat however for mixing music you can get away with that as long as you take a minimal approach without overdoing it.



Anyways, let's start with the low-end. Suppose you want to boost the bottom-end of your program material, podcast, music whatever...

Black Panther

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The Vintage EQ isn't that versatile compared to Ozone Equalizer hence the former is mostly useful for general tonal shaping.

For example, boosting lows whilst simultaneously cutting some mids and occasionally attenuating the top-end with that High-Cut filter. Other than that what else can you do with it? Both the LM and HM boost filters are too narrow.

In a nutshell, the standard EQ that comes with Ozone is way, way, way better, to say the least. It's all you will ever need really.
 

Tanonoka

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@Black Panther yeah, you are right.

It's also actually possible to clone what the Vintage EQ does with Ozone EQ or even Neutron EQ.

I'd say it's probably better for the average Joe to just learn Ozone EQ and disregard Vintage EQ altogether because it's not like they will be missing much. In other words, focus on using a few tools!
 

Tanonoka

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I get what you are saying.

However, Ozone EQ has proportional bell curves that adjust the quality factor as gain increases and this can be utilized to somewhat simulate that Pultec sound for the high boost. The problem though is a 5 dB boost on a Pultec is roughly a 3.35 dB boost on a normal EQ assuming the Q factor is set to its widest setting. So that is something to keep in mind.

And finally, the quality factor you'd want to utilize is Q 0.555718 (i.e. two and a third octave) which is somewhat similar to the widest bell on a Sontec MES-432C parametric equalizer (of course it depends on whether it was modified or not). Nevertheless, if someone wants to be more precise then Q 0.580547 is what you'd want to use.
 
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Trythanks Lightfoot

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@Tanonoka what's Q 0.555718 and Q 0.580547 on FabFilter ProQ and by the way, does the proportional Q on iZotope EQs work the same as that on FabFilter?
 

Tanonoka

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@Tanonoka what's Q 0.555718 on FabFilter ProQ and by the way, does the proportional Q on iZotope EQs work the same as that on FabFilter?
  • FabFilter ProQ quality factor of 0.785 = Q 0.555718 or BW 2 ⅓ oct (on most equalizers e.g. Voxengo PrimeEQ, etc).
  • FabFilter ProQ quality factor of 0.823 = Q 0.580547 or BW 2 ¼ oct (on most equalizers e.g. Voxengo PrimeEQ, etc).
Now to answer your second question: the proportional Q on Ozone EQ is slightly wider than that on FabFilter so you won't get similar results at all.
 

Scorpio

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I agree with @Black Panther that iZotope's Vintage EQ isn't that versatile and the same applies to pretty much every single Pultec EQP-1A and Pultec MEQ-5 clone out there on the market albeit the major difference being that iZotope's Vintage EQ is best suited for audio mastering because it's without a doubt pristine clean and that's what you need.

In contrast, you don't want to use something that adds weird noises and changes the sound even when all the dials are flat however for mixing music you can get away with that as long as you take a minimal approach without overdoing it.



Anyways, let's start with the low-end. Suppose you want to boost the bottom-end of your program material, podcast, music whatever.

Well, you could simply use a simple first-order filter at 200 Hz with perhaps a gain of 2 dB. Unfortunately, doing so means you will slightly increase the gain of other surrounding frequencies extending to about 450 Hz somewhere there.

But what if you don't want that extended boost of the mids? Now, this is where the low-end trick technique of boosting and cutting with a Pultec comes into play.

You can do that with Vintage EQ but before I go there you first have to comprehend the following settings i.e. especially in the context of audio mastering with Ozone Vintage EQ:

Generic EQ "gain" (first-order filter)Vintage EQ "gain" (bottom)
2 dB1.27355 dB (i.e. low boost only)

Note: I don't think it's necessary to exceed 2 dB for mastering (if it comes to that then just use the standard Ozone EQ). Therefore always remember the magick number for Vintage EQ it's 1.27355 dB, don't use anything else other than that because the slope changes.

Generic EQ "freq" (first-order filter)Vintage EQ "freq" (bottom)
350 Hz (F4, +4 cents)20 (i.e. low boost only & assuming target gain is 2 dB)
750 Hz (F#5, +23 cents)30 (i.e. low boost only & assuming target gain is 2 dB)
1170 Hz (D6, -07 cents)45 (i.e. low boost only & assuming target gain is 2 dB)
1600 Hz (G6, +35 cents)60 (i.e. low boost only & assuming target gain is 2 dB)
2300 Hz (D7, -37 cents)100 (i.e. low boost only & assuming target gain is 2 dB)

Note: you have to completely disregard 30, 45, 60, and 100 because particularly for mastering music they are not useful they are terrible! Therefore, the ideal setting here is always 20 anything else is wrong, LMAO. 😁



Since y'all now understand that a bottom lift on Vintage EQ can extend up to 2300 Hz it should be pretty clear that this is in no way worthwhile like I have already said above. Why would someone want to do that on a mix, I wonder?

So for the ultimate Vintage EQ setting, I'd recommend y'all to try the following:

FreqLow BoostLow Cut
202 dB0.29445 dB

The end result is similar to a first-order filter at 200 Hz with 2 dB gain and -1 dB attenuation at 380 Hz with a bell curve nicely set to Q 0.510 (BW 2 ½ octave). Alternatively, you could use either Q 0.555718 and Q 0.580547 but the ideal quality factor here is Q 0.510.

For interest's sake Q 0.510 = Q 0.722 on FabFilter ProQ and also I don't know if this has anything to do with the subject at hand but most three-way ATC Loudspeakers have their crossover frequency set to 380 Hz. Yeah, I know that's random perhaps a coincidence... wait what? Anyway y'all, whatever, hahaha... 🤣

By the way, and on a more serious note don't forget to sauce it up with a first-order shelf set to 2K with either 1.5 dB or 2 dB gain, of course, why not? ☺️
 
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Bombastus

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@Black Panther
...focus on using a few tools!

iZotope is in the business of selling audio software.

If people handpick a few tools to get the job done how will that maximize their revenue?

Y'all know damn well most people (except noobs) would only buy the Limiter because that Maximizer it's a force to be reckoned with. Anything else, well... there are alternatives that can mop the floor with iZotope. 🙄
 

Borrowdale Barron

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@Tanonoka replicating EQ curves it's time-consuming for the average person hence VST plug-ins like Vintage EQ will always come in handy to provide an end-user with a fast workflow and for productivity purposes a seamless approach surely makes sense.

Sometimes on other EQs like FabFilter ProQ, DMG Equilibrium, or even Neutron Equalizer you'd need like 3 to 5 bells to get it right depending on what you are trying to clone.

And when you decide to change the center frequency you have to move those 3 to 5 bells to a new position—rinse repeat. So y'all can imagine what time you'd be spending with all that clicking and typing into input fields to make sure things are on point.

@Bombastus iZotope Ozone is one of those plug-in bundles that should be bought and used with great care because it's so easy to mess things up real quick if you go overboard. So I assume what @Tanonoka is trying to say is it's better especially for noobs to ONLY stick to using the Equalizer and the Maximizer module instead of unnecessarily complicating things with other modules like:
  • Master Rebalance
  • Low-End Focus
  • Exciter
  • Dynamics
  • Dynamic EQ
  • Spectral Shaper
  • Vintage Comp
  • Vintage Tape
  • Vintage Limiter
  • etc.
The reality is that in most cases (like you have pointed out yourself @Bombastus) you really don't need them at all and if I am not mistaken in order for you to be able to use Ozone Maximizer's IRC IV algorithm you need to purchase the Advanced bundle.

You can't do it separately e.g. with FabFilter you can buy Pro-L2 only if you want. You don't have to buy a bundle. The end result is you gotta pay iZotope $499 USD for only ONE module that would have prolly cost less if you were to buy it alone, LOL.

So yeah, it's good business on their end and arguably the reason they bundle stuff as a means to justify why you ought to spend more gwap on dem tings. 😆
 
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