Integrated M/S Matrix
As an alternative to standard stereo operation you can process the mid and side signals, opening up completely new options for your work!
M/S technology is commonly known as a variant of stereo microphoning. This technique uses a microphone with cardioid pattern for the middle signal (M) and another one with bi-directional pattern with an offset of 90° for the side signal (S). The main advantage of this technology is its mono compatibility. FM radio stations use M/S technology for transmitting stereo signals exactly for this reason.
To create M/S signals, the left and right channel of the stereo sum are added to generate the mid (M), whereas the side (S) is created by subtracting the right from the left channel:
M = L+R
S = L-R
To decode an M/S signal back into stereo again, M is added to S for the left channel and S is subtracted from M for the right channel:
L = M+S
R = M-S
The integration of an M/S encoder and decoder into an equalizer generates new potentials that classic stereo EQs can hardly offer. One of the main advantages is the possibility to process the middle and side signals separately. This way you can make the center sound more solid without corrupting the original stereo spectrum, for example.
Of course it is also possible to enhance the presence of the side signals in an already finished mix. The stereo width can be influenced fast and effectively, too, and it is also possible to process specific parts of a mix that could not be selected in a stereo mix as precisely as it is possible in M/S mode.
Resonance High & Low Pass Filters
The outer shelving filters can be switched into high and low pass filters which feature an additional resonance peak as a very useful specialty.
The outer bands of the museq show a great amount of flexibility. In their standard mode, they are set up as sweet sounding high and low shelf filters that can be used to tailor the airiness and fundamentals of your tracks fast and efficiently.
As a special feature, you can independently switch these to become high and low cut filters with 12 dB per octave and an additional resonance peak at the knee frequency. This allows some very interesting and useful filter curves.
Especially bass frequencies can benefit from a low cut with resonance by obtaining a clean and punchy character. But the resonance can also be used to stretch signals in the bass range, because the resonance filter causes a longer post-oscillation time.
In the high frequency range, you can use the resonance filter to put an accent on a selected frequency without boosting the complete HF spectrum at the same time, which can prevent harshness or an unwanted shift of the overall perception towards the treble.
The museq offers a second, switchable sound flavor by altering its frequency spectrum, harmonics and transient response.
This function emulates the effects of an analog slew rate limiter that reduces the speed of the output amplifier stages. This affects the frequency spectrum, the harmonics and the transient response at the same time.
Fast transients are slowed down a bit and the overall sound appears more round and merged. As this function influences the behavior of the output stages, the effect it creates has an impact on the complete processing results of all EQ stages.
This way the museq plugin offers two different sound characters at the push of a button: Powerful transparency by default, and the slightly colored richness of the Warm mode as an alternative.
Please keep in mind that this is much more a subtle audio shaping feature than a glaring sound effect, but it is certainly nice to add a little bit of color to a signal which might otherwise sound just too clean.
The boost/cut switch provides twice the resolution of values to be set with the controllers than the usual -/0/+ arrangement would offer.
Each band of the museq can be switched from boost into cut mode. The advantage is that the complete controller range is utilized for the desired action and the resolution of the controllers is twice as large.
Not until the gain controller is used, the specific frequency band will come into action. If the gain controller remains in its 0 position, the signal will not be affected at all – the band is virtually switched off.
Switchable Filter Quality
The filter quality can be switched from a wide to a narrow Q factor which remains independent from the setting of the gain controller.
The filter quality of the three parametric bands can be switched between two characteristics: wide (Q 1.3) and narrow (Q 0.5). This does not have any effect on the maximum amplitude. The filters are based on the constant Q principle, which provides an ever constant filter quality that is independent from the gain controller.
Virtual Band Bypass
A nice little trick gives you the possibility to bypass and A/B each filter band individually, although there are no dedicated buttons for this on the front panel.
The user interface of the museq does not have dedicated bypass switches for each individual band, however you can still A/B single filters conveniently:
Just Ctrl/Cmd + Click or Alt + Click (depending on your host) on the specific Gain controller, and you’ll toggle between the zero position and the latest value you have set. This gives you virtual bypass switches for each individual filter band.
Parallel Filter Design
A special filter array makes it possible to leave the high and middle frequencies completely untouched when using the high and low pass filters.
Another specialty is the design of the high and low pass filters: in actual fact, the high pass with resonance is a low pass with resonance which is flipped in its phase and then mixed with the original signal.
This has the great advantage that the mid and high frequencies are not affected by the filter and therefore do not change in sound at all. Only the bass frequency region is processed by the filter and the entire signal remains open and transparent.