pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

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RainbowSix
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pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by RainbowSix » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:54 pm

Hi folks. This is largely directed at Acustica but also a small warning for those using Pearl to master electronic music with lots of sub.

So I'm mastering an EP of drum and bass-y, hard beats and bass music and using Pearl all over it. It sounds absolutely lush! I'm not far into my mastering having been doing it for just over 18 months but I'm happy with the results I'm getting and so are the few people I have mastered for. So I'm learning new things and trying new things out all the time. One thing I thought to have a look at was the subs on their own on 2 of the tracks because I was getting the rest of the frequency spectrum to my liking but the very lows were losing definition. So I put A***indows SubsOnly on the output to follow my processing chain along and see what was happening to the low end at each stage.

The low end on this particular track I'm mastering right now is quite tight, solid notes. When I turn the 3 instances Pearl2EQ on (to use more bands!) the low end turned into a rumbling mushy mess. And further testing showed this to be the consistent result, with no bands turned on and the preamp turned on or off. It is largely reduced but still a little audible with no preamp on. It is very clearly adding sustain to the sub bass notes even with only the upper bands engaged.

I'm very disappointed to be quite honest! This EQ is touted by Acustica as a 'holy grail' EQ, and while it does sound absolutely incredible on many sources it still has this glaring problem in its function. The original EQ is also intended for mastering, was it not? It was even stated in the release post in this forum that the echo bug had been highly tuned.

I understand that with this kind of technology there have to be some compromises somewhere but what I do not understand is why 3rd party developers are able to release preamps, EQs, and consoles without this bug, which Acustica themselves who provid the technology, cannot achieve with their own releases.

Of course, I don't feel like it's a waste of my money as in many areas it shines but I would love to be able to use it in my mastering!

Edit: It's even possible to see the bug in the waveform. After rendering the audio through the instances of Pearl, with very small frequency adjustments and the preamps off. Where there was clear gaps between the sub hits, the waveform now extends into the subsequent hits.

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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by mightymosaic » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:45 pm

I wonder if there will ever be a fix for this issue.

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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by fisto » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:55 pm

I hope Acustica can chime in here and enlighten us.
I too love the sound of Pearl 2, but this is not good news really.
Now I have to take extra care of the low-end as I too wanted to slap that beauty of an EQ on every masterchannel from now on.

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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by jfjer379 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:05 pm

i haven't heard the echo bug once in any of my acquas
is this something that is only happening in very bass heavy music ?
like dance music, techno, electronic music and such ?
sorry if the question is stupid

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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by Thierr7 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:57 pm

Me neither ! But i'm not doing much EDM with huge Sub-Bass on kicks and it seems that's where it happens ...

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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by robschroeder » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:05 pm

jfjer379 wrote:i haven't heard the echo bug once in any of my acquas
is this something that is only happening in very bass heavy music ?
yes.

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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by SWANG » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:11 pm

^not hearing it in my mixes either, and i'm mixing various genres for a number of clients. that said, rainbowsix did mention that he's hearing the bug after initializing more than one instance of pearl. i don't think i've ever done that. when i have some time, i can try that to see if i can replicate it.

i don't foresee a situation arising in which i'd need more than one instance of it, but never say 'never'...

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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by flaviusr » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:15 pm

I never used 3 instances of any same plugin for mastering. And I try to use acquas as real hardwares. In real life nobody has 3 Perls :0
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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by theheliosequence » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:34 pm

I haven't heard it either, but maybe I'm just not noticing some low end smearing, when expecting to hear a distinct delay in the low band?
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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by SWANG » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:03 pm

flaviusr wrote:I never used 3 instances of any same plugin for mastering. And I try to use acquas as real hardwares. In real life nobody has 3 Perls :0
which leads me to suspect that acustica never intended for it to be used in this way. hence, the perceived "bug". nevertheless, the fact that a user can stack instances of it means that the user often will. i wouldn't personally, but someone might want to for their own reasons. so perhaps it will need to be looked into...

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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by Jack Winter » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:48 pm

Maybe it's a gain staging issue?
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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by RE301 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:58 pm

So to avoid the echo effect the thing to do is not use multiple instances I take it

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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by RainbowSix » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:05 pm

I am indeed using multiple but the bug is also clearly audible with just one instance. It is more subtle certainly but still rendered the EQ unusable for this situation.

However, when I mastered a different track on the same EP there was no problem, the low end was clean and smooth.

It's simply something I will have to be aware of but it is certainly an issue nonetheless which means that I will have to be extra careful in my use of it.

I don't feel that stacking 3 in a row is really a problem, having only worked ITB, I don't think in terms of 'it would be impossible in the real world' kind of thing. Digital EQs and all of the nebula preamps and so on I have chained in sequence isn't 'realistic' in the physical world but still allows me to attain great results! Using 3 in a row simply as extra bands in a great sounding EQ doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Sure, it's a mastering situation but I do my mastering in what I imagine to be a fairly unorthodox way :)

What leads me to feel a bit frustrated is that in earlier products such as Navy and Magenta3 there isn't the slightest hint of it in this kind of use with heavy sub and kicks. But still it is here in Pearl.

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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by llesne » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:09 pm

I remember having these kind of problem with Navy on my techno stuff...
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Re: pEArL in a mastering situation. ECHO BUG!

Post by theheliosequence » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:17 am

I would love to hear an example just to have an idea of what to look for. Does it only happen on bass heavy tracks or perhaps only with large bass boosts? What kind of timing is this delay/echo?

I personally wouldn't use three instances of Pearl or any other color EQ on a master, but I think that is besides the point. If the issues is worse with three instances stacked, then it is most likely still happening with one. Just because I haven't heard it, doesn't mean it isn't happening.
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