pEArL 2 strip - sound/usage only

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Brian
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pEArL 2 strip - sound/usage only

Post by Brian » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:17 pm

I'll start with a few simple observations:

The EQ definitely sounds a bit better than the first version, especially with multiple large boosts and cuts together.

The strip makes for an excellent acoustic guitar channel.

The strip or compressor alone works awesomely well as a parallel drum channel (aside from the polarity problem with the standalone comp preamp engaged...which should never make it into public releases, come on guys :P ).

Try pushing the 355Hz low shelf into a multiband compressor if a song is lacking low end weight. Let the multiband clamp down on extraneous sub-100Hz stuff, and the 100-500 range will start filling out nicely. Obviously if there are balance problems you may need to add in a small notch or two to prevent muddiness in the 150-250 area.

I've used it already on a mastering session alongside my hardware, and found it holds up nicely. Pretty amazing. I ended up pairing it with my Michelangelo EQ and could get exactly what I wanted between these two very quickly, with some more precise tuning happening ITB with tight EQ cuts before sending to the DAC.

The high shelf is interesting to compare against the Michenangelo's. Two of my all time favorites, but with very different textures.

Pearl still makes a great vocal broad strokes EQ too.

The compressor can do some nice and interesting destruction with shmod @ 0 and quickest release in Limit mode. Filtering lows out with an EQ patched in the sidechain inputs makes this kind of effect much more usable.

The compressor's preamp does indeed add a nice color that tidies up the lower mids/upper bass somehow.

How are you all using it so far?
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Win10 x64 | Reaper5 | PT12 | Ableton Live 9

RainbowSix
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Re: pEArL 2 strip - sound/usage only

Post by RainbowSix » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:52 pm

I'm all ITB so I don't have any hardware to compare too, nor do I really know what I'm ever listening for, but as always the sound is just awesome compared to algorithmic equations!

I create, mix and master electronic bass music mostly so that's the area of use. Sound design, shaping the abstract elements of the mix and mastering equalization.

I'm really happy I have this one of a kind product. It's extremely versatile and just sounds so good. It's transparent with just enough character to not feel intrusive yet provide only desirable qualities to the source material.

The EQ is perfect for broad tone shaping. The high shelf is perfect for adding incredible air in the very high bands or lift in the lower bands. Also sounds great for cuts as well, extremely smooth. The 45hz low shelf is fantastic for providing sub lift without boosting the fundamental frequencies too heavily and can create that impression of huge depth in the lows. Perfect for mastering drum and bass!

An interesting thing to try with the mid bands is to select frequencies higher up the interface on the right side and lower on the left. This can lead to tighter frequency selection and also provide some resonance around the corner frequencies when cutting or slight dips when boosting. This can create a fatter sound around the cut/boost.

Something I've noticed with the EQ is that it's able to bring elements out of the mix in a mastering situation. Like it provides some instant separation to the elements of the mix. Depends on the mix but sometimes the high shelf has 'lifted' sounds out of the mix while the surrounding sounds in the same frequency band stay in their relative positions.

Now for the compressor. It's very very smooth in the 2:1/3:1 ratios and seems to have very little pumping. Just using it for glueing a mix together when mastering with less than 2db of GR on average feels like it isn't compressing at all yet it provides a more balanced frequency spectrum. Even at high gain reduction, it just sounds like the original sound, just turned down. I'd take that as the definition of transparent compression! The Limit mode is much more responsive and I've found it good for drums in parallel.

I've been using just the preamp of the compressor as a compliment to the 4KC library and it creates even more mix separation and glue at the same time! Used on absolutely everything it provides great tone and mix balance straight away and takes the mix to the 'next level'. So I expect I'll be putting all my stems through it at some stage or another.

Well, I'm really happy with it and I'm really happy to finally have an Acqua EQ I can rely on. I do like Magenta too but I'm waiting until the resample to start using it everywhere. Pearl2 and Magenta being 2 of the few Acqua EQs that don't have the low frequency echo bug, they are the only ones I've deemed to be a worthwhile purchase.

It definitely provides some magic to anything it's used on. ;)

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Re: pEArL 2 strip - sound/usage only

Post by Brian » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:35 pm

Thanks for sharing. I would hope the sound and workflow are a bit more remarkable than the GUI issues.

Another interesting and unconventional thing we can do with these filters - use the large upper mid range (3,47 - 12,8) to tame edgy upper mids or sibilance, while boosting the high shelf (6dB/oct) from 2,8 or 4k.

Experiment with the shelving bands playing against the others. It can definitely lead you to useful places.

For overly scooped sounding program, try out the lower mid band with a broad range dialed in (2 - 4 octaves) and restore a bit of content.

Another approach is to use both low and high mid boosts together - also tuned very wide - and use the two level controls to balance out the midrange. Set the edge frequencies to exclude what you don't want to hear more of, of course. Then fine tune the high and low shelves for overall brightness and weight.

In the end, it's a fantastic tool. There are many ways to use it to let your filtering approach be different and refreshing. It's always worth shaking things up and going by feel. Good tools let you do this without sounding bad, and ideally even give you a few flavors of "great" with minimal fuss.
Official dealer of Acustica Audio products in Taiwan.
Acustica Audio台灣授權經銷商
[email protected]

Mixing/Mastering Engineer at Sentient Sound Labs 覺知音樂工作室

Win10 x64 | Reaper5 | PT12 | Ableton Live 9

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Re: pEArL 2 strip - sound/usage only

Post by flipnautold » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:26 pm

The more i use it - the more i like it - especially the comp. Here on vocals, master, drums parallel, Bass D.I. together with Lime on Snare and Bass.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ob8n2ofo0uuz3 ... 5.mp3?dl=0

:D
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Aquas i like are: Lime, Gold, Pink2412, Amethyst2, Honey

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Re: pEArL 2 strip - sound/usage only

Post by flipnautold » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:51 am

No after using it after some months:

The EQ alone now always sits on my master and always the same settings:

+3db @12khz
+2db from 1 to 8khz
-2db from 300 to 800 Hz
-1 db @90 Hz

It always opens a mix and gets rid of hum in the mids. The Comp is useless for me - it is pumping too much and this is why i'm back on Pink 2412.

Scarlet - i have it - but i'm not using it. I'm faster with Pearl2 EQ and it always fits.
Studio One on Intel i7 4790k.
Aquas i like are: Lime, Gold, Pink2412, Amethyst2, Honey

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