EQuality Released

Actually nearly three weeks ago!

#Anyway this cake is great, it’s so delicious and moist#

It’s been an intense period, hence no blogging. The dust has basically settled now (but if you do have an outstanding issue, don’t for a second imagine I’ve forgotten about you; my bugtracking is brimming over with great ideas for new features that people have suggested, and the occasional bug).

The only bugs left are ones that only a small number of people (none of whom are in the betagroup) can reproduce; I’ve been having a good run of finding them and fixing them, and it’s inevitable that when you scale up from a ten man beta group up to 500 users (for that’s how many of you with a demo that there are so far, before there’s been any advertising or mainstream publicity. If you’ve already got the beta, you can consider yourself amongst that tiny technical illuminati 😉 )

Everyone has been wonderfully supportive through what has, honestly, been one of the toughest periods of my life, ever. In the past I’ve always been part of a team at launch, and my responsibilities have been nothing more than making the installers and fielding the odd deeply technical question. Doing it single-handed was real tough, and my admiration and respect for other indie devs has deepened considerably. It’s been quite a ride.

I made a design decision to use VSTGUI 3.6 (the very latest) as the basis for the GUI code, and if Steinberg hadn’t already started on VSTGUI 4.0, I’d have a handful of patches to submit that would probably be helpful to a fair few people. That said, most people are still on VSTGUI 3.0; 3.6 is a big change. Anyway, the launch has been an opportunity to seriously debug VSTGUI.

I’ve been surprised at how easy the VST3 and 64bit porting turned out to be. There are a few issues yet to remedy with the ever-changing auval (Logic’s validation utility), but Apple have been terrific in helping work things out so far! Likewise, Digidesign are a blessing, the RTAS version came out on time thanks to some quick help from them.

Consensus seems to be very strong that EQuality/Digital outshines other eqs in sound quality. That was the real objective of the exercise; to bring ‘perfect’ EQ to every channel of the mix, with instant workflow. I’ve felt for some time that using plugin EQ across a mix wasn’t necessarily better than mixing on a great analogue desk with a great EQ. Now I no longer feel that way. 😉

Something, presumably the large graph and unswerving focus on pro functionality, has drawn a huge amount of attention from mastering engineers. Over the last three weeks, I’ve had so many fantastic suggestions for functionality that it’s become clear that there’s a space for a super-high-end mastering EQ that puts the control that you guys want into your hands. Rather than try and clumsily bash the functionality into EQuality, I’m drawing up designs for a new product, focussed directly at giving mastering engineers their dream tool; an EQ that is for mastering engineers what EQuality is for mix engineers. So, if you need twenty bands with complete flexibility to spread across 8 channels with m/s en-/decoders, grouping, routing, FFT window selection/calibration, fully spec-compliant (colouring and all) K-metering, that’ll be for you… 😉

I’d like to build a compressor first though. They say go with what you know, and mixing is what I know; mastering guys are VERY clever and VERY specific in what they need, so I’m going to have to take my time with the mastering stuff. In the interim, having worked on TBK3, Sonalksis SV315mk2, Focusrite Forte compressor, Focusrite Saffire compressor, and having helped with Focusrite’s Liquid compression, I have some ideas I’m very eager to try out.

Computer Music are reviewing EQuality… and I’m very much hoping that they like it! That’ll be the first mainstream press coverage to my knowledge.

I’m hoping to get all the remaining issues tidied away in the next week or so, and then get the neat new features in. I’ll keep you posted!

Big love!