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How to use a Pultec style EQ plug in or hardware

June 21st, 2011 | 54 Comments   « Previous  |  Episode 33  |  Next »


In this episode we look at how to operate the controls on a Pultec style EQ. Here are are the links to the Mix interview about my studio consulting work, and Ronan’s Recording Show Recording Buffets that I mention in the video.

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54 Comments ~ Speak your mind »
  1. Brian Chapman

    So much appreciate this!! Now I know how to work my EM-PEQ properly. Great video! Thanks, Ronan

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  2. Brad

    Haven’t broke out my UAD Pultec in awhile – definitely gonna try it on some mixes now. Thanks!

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  3. Tony Guyer

    I use the Waves JJP Puigteq eq all the time. and I always use the boost an cut at the same time to get some interesting bump for kick drums and sometimes bass. I also use it on vocals to thicken when needed.

    Also have the Square State Solid State Eq which is a great sounding piece that’s made in the USA for $499. That is a great piece for tracking.

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  4. mtanimal

    So helpful. Wish I had a good hardware version, but the IK Multimedia model I use sounds pretty good. The boost-cut trick in the low end seems to work nicely even on this software version too. Again thanks much for all you do in helping others make better music.

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  5. Scary

    ronan, love the show. good stuff.

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  6. AvinopsvRecords

    Thanks for the info Ronan! Just tried te boost/atten trick on a Sequential Circuits DrumTraks kick drum tuned about halfway down. The effect was subtle but it definitely gave it more balls! And you need balls for good dance music Just ask James Murphy.

    Cheers!

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  7. AvinopsvRecords

    BTW, I was using the Waves PuigTech plug in Pro Tools. Great stuff.

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  8. David

    I use the Waves Puigtec EQP 1A which is modeled after of JJP’s own Pultech… having never used an original Pultech I cant say how well they compare but I think the plug-in sounds great especially considering the price tag of comparable hardware… Interestingly enough with the EQP 1A, Waves added an over all volume to the plug-in making it more like an active EQ so this gives you some options you wouldnt have with the original… they also added a Mains switch which is like the analog switch on other Waves plug ins… I like to pair the EQP1A with the MEQ5 on any drums it just works…

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  9. Wiz

    great video. You asked for other types of Pulteq type eq’s

    I have a JLM Audio PEQ500 pulteq styel EQ. In a 500 series.

    http://www.jlmaudio.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=5

    Its great…and has a few more frequencies than the standard Pulteq.

    check that one out.

    cheers

    Wiz

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  10. Kern

    I watched a great Groove3 video, “Mastering with IK Multimedia plugs” Which they cut and boost on the low end of the drums, and a whole mix too. Great trick, and looks like a lot of trial and error too. Thanks so much Ronan!!!

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  11. hue

    Thanks. I’ve always had a vague idea of how to make it work but it’s always been a hit and miss. No one’s ever showed me. That’s just one more tool that I can finally use properly.

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  12. Thomas

    The Boost/Atten trick works on the UAD Pultec just the same. I use it quite a bit on Bass and BD on top of the 2 A-Designs EmPEQ’s for the 2 Bus.

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  13. Joey Daddario

    Thanks Ronan for de-mystifying this. I’ll be revisiting my Pultec plugin. (I may play the video again just to get a glimse of that dinner. Yum! )

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  14. Rob

    Love the show, Ronan.

    I saw a Pultec once and now you’ve unravelled it’s mystery! I had no idea.

    Maybe one day I’ll get to work with one.

    Awesome.

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  15. EngineRoom

    UAD Pultec on the drum buss!

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  16. Streamline

    Ronan, great video bro !!! I love the IK Multimedia T-Racks3 !! They have an exact duplicate of the Pultec you showed in the cut pics !!! It has the Pultec face plate down to the old look of it !! I actually do the same trick you showed with the lows…with the boost, and attenuate…but, instead, I do it with the highs, on alot of the hip hop stuff that I do….I like the way it works its magic on those high pitched samples of bells, chimes cymbals, etc, etc !!! Keep up the great work !!!

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  17. Ken

    Hey Ronan hope all is well.Keep hanging out in Italy and you may need a new exercise program(the food!!!) or you will catch up with me(HAHA).I have a couple of Mercury EQP1a’s on my 2 buss along with my Thermionic Phoenix that I run thru while mixing to my Studer A80.I use the EQ’s to give me a good smooth 10k boost and sometimes a boost or cut in the low end.They also have a 3 transformers so you can toggle the mid in or out.Great color pieces with broad strokes,very musical.I also run into a Burl B2 A/D which has attenuation to drive into transformers before the A/D.
    Keep up the great work.

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  18. Brian Koehler

    I enjoyed this episode a lot, very informative. Thanks, Ronan!

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  19. anthony bianco

    I have been doing those tricks with these 3 pulteq plugins

    Waves PuigTec
    UAD Pultec

    the waves plugin sounded alot nicer to me in 99% of applications with identical settings.

    when i do the low end trick on a kick drum, the puigtec gives me some nice thump without the mud.

    the uad version does this too but its not as much of a thud on same settings and it seems to add more clikly beater sound which i dont like.

    i find the waves edition just a little smoother in the airy top end also. not by much though. both of them still don’t quite sound like the real thing in the very high end.

    still they are useful as hell – when you can instantiate 10 of them on a project if you need. personally i find though if i overuse them on the top end, my rock tracks sounds a bit plastic and fake.

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  20. Emil Max Thompson

    Hey Ronan, just discovered your excellent show! Your videos are both entertaining and informative. I was pretty baffled by the Pultec thing until I watched this, I’ve been using the T-Racks3 version of this machine over here in the UK and it sounds great. They also include an emulation of the amazing Fairchild 670 compressor, hows about an episode on that one as it too seems to have a few ‘esoteric’ settings that are beyond me. Love the show man, keep up the good work!

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  21. Joe Drunken Fiddler

    Found you by accident. Best accident ever!! keep up the great work.

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  22. francisco rota

    your shows are like guaranteed aha moments. just excellent. thank you Ronan!

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  23. Austin Recording Studios

    Nice use of the Pultec style EQ. You guys rocked!

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  24. salvador

    just learning to use pulteq with the waves puigtec vst plugin.

    just wondering if anyone found a useful setting with bass frequencies equal or below 40hz

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  25. Ronan

    just learning to use pulteq with the waves puigtec vst plugin.

    just wondering if anyone found a useful setting with bass frequencies equal or below 40hz

    Sometimes I like to use the really low frequencies to boost a bit on acoustic or classical music to thicken up the sound a little, or to cut a little bit on rock or pop stuff if I am trying to push more level in the mix in a clean way.

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  26. Fredde

    Hi Ronan,

    Great show as usual!

    I tried the boost/cut trick with the free plugin Nasty VCS, and it sounds cool. Highly recommended channelstrip plugin (VST) btw.

    Are you still thinking about doing a show about noise-reduction software? I would love that.. :)

    Cheers
    / Fredde

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  27. Paul999

    Great show! I was going to ask you how you got such a nice thick low end on your theme song for this show. I have a bunch of great gear and can make low end sit well but I never get it thick without tape. I am thinking you aren’t using tape and your low end is very nice and thick without being congested. Is it the pultec style eq, A-designs Bass D.I., Neve style pre’s, parallel compression, secret Ronan mojo or a little of all of the above?

    1 show or 20 shows on sculpting the low end of mixes would be great!LOL

    Kindest regards.
    Paul

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  28. Ronnie

    Hey Ronan, thanks for the tutorial!
    I’m using the IK Multimedia Vintage PEQ-1A. Dongle free, baby!

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  29. Ronan

    Great show! I was going to ask you how you got such a nice thick low end on your theme song for this show. I have a bunch of great gear and can make low end sit well but I never get it thick without tape. I am thinking you aren’t using tape and your low end is very nice and thick without being congested. Is it the pultec style eq, A-designs Bass D.I., Neve style pre’s, parallel compression, secret Ronan mojo or a little of all of the above?

    1 show or 20 shows on sculpting the low end of mixes would be great!LOL

    Thanks for the kind words. I am not really sure about the details. The theme song is actually just an instrumental rough mix of one of the songs of my own album that I am trying to finish. I think I spent 20 minutes on the mix. It was tracked to tape but definitely mixed analog / OTB. One big trick for thick low end is to avoid having a lot of things competing for space in the low end. That is Tony Levin playing the bass, so I just let him have all the low end.-Ronan

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  30. Paul999

    That makes sense. I like the idea of really favoring one instrument like a great bass player. Apparently I won’t be getting away from tape anytime soon.

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  31. steved

    thanks, this was very helpful and informative

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  32. Tom Filardo

    so awesome.

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  33. Rob

    Warm sunny regards from Vicenza, Ronan!

    Assisitng JC and Marca Fasolo on a session using a Pultec HLF-3C and TubeTech PE-1B on a summed mono drum track to tape (Studer A80) – the tubetech is first and JC’s LA-2A is sitting in between for compression.

    Fascinating hearing some of your principles in action using both a lot of 75% boost and some (25%) atten. at 60Hz and 8kHz on the Tubetech.

    So far, so good!

    Rob

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  34. Chris

    Ok, what is the armband (Prayer For Regina)?

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  35. Dennis

    I just started using PSP’s NobleQ this week and am very impressed the rich, deep colours this plug-in is bringing out in my recordings, esp. on drums, vocals and masters.

    Thanks a ton for this vid, it was really helpful.

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  36. Piotr

    I am using Softube’s PE 1C and ME 1B plugins and they do the magic ;-) and yes they can do some very nice tricks while using Boost and Atten. at the same time.
    A really informative vid, btw.

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  37. Doyle

    Hey Ronan,
    I love these videos. I really appreciate the fact that you address topics like this that most people overlook or ignore. Great work!
    -Doyle

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  38. Griff

    I just ordered IK Multimedia’s T-Racks3 Deluxe, which comes with a Pultec type EQ.

    I’ve tried to use one before (the Softube PE1C) and just didn’t know what was going on and gave up on in.

    Since I’ve got T-Racks on the way, I thought I’d have a look for any tutorial vids which brought me here. This is a *Great video* which explains it all perfectly.

    Thanks for posting this up!

    Also, I saw your FetHead review recently which resulted in me buying one of those and it seems to be helping boost my EV RE20. So thanks for that too!

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  39. Ódinn

    I just started using the waves puigtec. It sounds really good and has some great presets that JJP made i think. Nevertheless they are good to use as a starting point from where you tweak it a bit to fit your mix.

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  40. Kobfried

    damn it! i couldn’t believe that it’s so simple. thank you 1000-times for this perfect discription. i’ve waste so much occassions because i didn’t know to handle this item.
    best regards from vienna,austria
    chris

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  41. Alan Bachman

    Excellent Video. You have a great personality which is perfect for a recording guy and teacher!

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  42. Peter Ginneberge

    Since you asked about people using Pultec type VST plugins, I went ahead and recorded a video demonstrating some of the available plugins:

    http://youtu.be/rPMeb1Grk_Y

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  43. Edward Mickonis

    Thank you ever so much for this video. I until now never understood how to handle a Pultec-style eq (for instance the Pullet). And as I’d like to have one (although I’m not sure yet about which brand) for my collection, this really helps me in choosing the right one(s), depending on the amount of coins in my pocket. Great work!

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  44. Sky Stambaugh

    Very cool. I like the setup of that hardware and wonder what the logic was behind it? Did they lay it out that way to be able to boost and cut? Thanks for the vid!

    Sky Stambaugh
    Logic of Music Company
    http://www.logicofmusic.com

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  45. Anne

    Thanks for this info. Ronan. I’ve got the T-Racks and the Blue Tubes Pulteq and haven’t bothered much with using them. I will certainly try them again since I need some low end on my final mix, and it wouldn’t hurt to add a little high end to hopefully balance out my mix. It seems like I’ve got more high/low mid-range than anything else in the frequency range of my songs. I think my software pulteq eq’s are gonna solve one of my audio mastering attempts problems. Thanks again.

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  46. Chris Sampson

    Going to build a pair of the drip electronics EQP-1a clones. Everything I’ve read leads me to believe they are as accurate a clone as can be built and a very easy build to boot. Do you have any experience with this or any of the other drip electronics hardware clones?

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  47. Ronan

    I have not used the Drip “Pultec” but I used an LA-2A based on one of the Drip kits and I loved it.

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  48. Derek Ryan

    Also using PSP’s NobleQ – really cool for certain tasks, great sound.

    Thanks for the awesome walktrhough vid!

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  49. Nick

    Great video, thank you!

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  50. Franky

    thank you so much you’re great!

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  51. Gary White

    On UAD1 Pultec…. 60hz boost and attentuate together produce a lift in the low mids/high bass. Full attenuate plus half boost still give lots of low mid boost – different cut-off points and slopes…?

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  52. Joe

    One Pultec style EQ plug that has not been mentioned is the Sonimus SonEQ.

    Its an amazingly good FREE vst (not kidding… just search gearslutz.com).

    Its got the Pultec bass and treble shelves, one semi parametric API style mid band and Hi/lo pass filters. The switchable analog saturation is also top notch.

    http://sonimus.com/products/soneq/

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  53. ferz franco

    lovely and awesomeeeeeeeeeeee you are the best dude love your tutorials, god bless you for teaching us, really, love to you man, thank you youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

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  54. webcams

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on massive passive.
    Regards

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