Weiss EQ1 Dyn/LP
The Weiss EQ1-DYN-LP is probably the most widespread Equalizer in Mastering Studios worldwide. Many Mastering engineers regard it as a kind of "measure of things" and swear by this precision tool. Its reputation is legendary, as is the reputation of Weiss as a whole.
The 7-band Equalizer has no converters and only digital IO's - so it has a special place in the setup (in the virtual console). My version of this EQ is the DYN-LP version - this is the maximum configuration level and means that it can be started in different modes: as a Dynamic EQ (not unlike a compressor) or in Linear Phase Mode. Especially for surgical interventions the LP-mode is certainly unmatched. In LP mode, the maximum slope of the Cut Filter is doubled to 24dB.
Advantages of this processor are also the good user interface. Thanks to its digital nature, it offers many efficiency-related advantages. Nevertheless, I have programmed a little Editor to become acquainted. It is much much faster (no "stepping" and less turning the MIDI encoder on the device) - finally, the EQ1 understands MIDI. On the right is an iPad screenshot of my Editor.
It is verbally difficult to mediate, but unlike analogue Equalizers (IIR/Infinite Impulse Response), this EQ comes without phasing. This and the extreme Q values allow the material to be precisely prepared or repaired (e.g., with hairy notches). The Weiss EQ1 is just so unruffled and confident - there is no "rocking" of the curves (also in the cut). With this Equalizer it is as if you could clean up the whole universe and rearrange it! For Mastering I use it (as last device) - also in zero position, since the Weiss EQ1 works internally with Up- and Downsampling. The result sounds clearly better. When tranferring old DAT cassettes I noticed, in comparison to the direct recordings into the ULN-8, the clearly better sound. Madness! Everything in Weiss-Order.
Weiss DS 1 Mk3
It's not hardware, but the plugin of the WEISS DS1 Mk3 deserves a place among the hardware. It forms for me together with the (hardware) EQ1 the "digital gilding stage" in my mastering setup (behind the analogue bus). This plug-in is a line by line port of the code and no hardware emulation - a digital de-esser, compressor and limiter. The counterpart to EQ1, so to speak. Through its filter, the DS1 also comes "close to" an EQ and is unique in that it can streamline, give transparency, shine and elegance. So far, the price of over 10,000.- made it almost unaffordable, it is now available natively!
The Weiss DS1 Mk3 also features Parallel Compression, M/S Mode, Sidechain Link and a monitor switch, similar to the solo switch on the mixer - very useful for setting the optimal settings for M/S and sidechain operations. In addition, the plug-in offers a real-time waveform as helpful visualization and two new limiting algorithms, which extend the functionality mainly stylistically. Now the DS1-Mk3 is also capable to make it loud. The new algorithms open the doors to popular music and today's editing needs. Both algorithms do not pump as fast as the original algorithm and grab deeper / stricter / harder.
The release of the DS1 Mk3 as a plug-in is a landmark for me and the beginning of a new era. Fantastic. The two Weiss processors do not replace the EQs and compressors of the analog mastering bus, but allow in combination a final "fine tuning" or the final touch. But they would already be alone an ultimate mastering combo - something "for the island".
According to Daniel Weiss, the plug-in sounds identical to the hardware. I like the arrangement and selection of parameters. Even if the device is MIDI controllable (7bit) - I recommend a look at the Weiss DS1 Mk3 manual, because many parameters have less than 128 steps.
Congratulations to Daniel Weiss and Softtube! A fabulous step!
In my setup the digital processors are usually at the very end, behind the analogue bus, they can of course also be placed in front of it. They're also not just for mastering because the versatility of these two processors also makes them the first choice for all surgical operations in mixing/editing.
For electronic music, the DS1 is a weapon! Particularly in monitor mode, it is possible to realize strong filtering: 24 dB filters and max. 70 dB knee range. Via M/S sounds can be everted through the filter outright.
I also built an iPad controller for the DS1. Especially when mastering it is very pleasant, if you do not have to move the head or body while changing values. With the iPad, the required movements are minimized.