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PSP AudioWare MasterQ

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This article was first written for Keyboards / Home Studio magazine. It is published here with their kind authorization, thanks ,o)


PSP are a Polish editor specialized in effect plug-ins and who already have some success with their Lexicon PCM 42 and 84 emulations or else with their Mastering tools like Vintage Warmer. PSP have just presented on the market two new products, a Reverb and a parametric Equalizer. Let's see if their saying « not expensive but efficient » holds its promises...


PSP present MasterQ, an equalization Plug-in rather complete, to my opinion. Like for EasyVerb, the effective price must be evoked in order to put it in relation with the rendered service. MasterQ will cost to you the nearly moderate amount of 149 $US.

The software is proposed in VST and DirectX versions for PC and in VST version for Mac OXS. A RTAS version for PC as well as some RTAS and AudioUnit versions for Mac OSX are promised for the next quarter 2004. Like for other PSP products, the release is done by download and with a manual in PDF format in English.

The interface is as less attractive as the Reverb's one but it has the merit to be easy and clear. A graph symbolizes the given corrections with in black the sum of the equalizations and in 7 distinct colors the detail of each filter. This graphic drawning is very useful because with a fast glance, you know immediately what you are doing. First regret, to not be able to manipulate the curves with the mouse.

The 7 filters are respectively a low-pass, a « Low Shelving », a low-medium, a medium, a high-medium, a « High Shelving » and a high-pass filter. Their frequency range is well targeted, and even much broader than what you could wait for. Regarding their parameters, they are tiny to the vital minimum but this is widely enough. For the low-pass and high-pass filters, you have the cut frequency, the slope and a button to switch from a slope from 12 to 24 dB. Concerning the 5 other parametric filters, you have at your disposal the well-known Frequency, Q and Gain.

Near the unessential ByPass is located a « FAT » button. Making a round via the manual tells us that the FAT is a « Frequency Authentification Technique ». Houla, they don't laugh ! FAT is according to PSP a copyright technology of « double sampling » allowing a filtering optimization on the other frequencies. Why not. But it appears that the difference of obtained result with or without is not explained. Activating or not the bouton FAT offers a correction which is impossible to foresee, strange. Single certainty, the processing is much more musical when the FAT is activated.

At the right of the FAT you can find a Compressor/Limiter section of which the algorithms come from the PSP mastering tools like Vintage Warmer or MixPack. In situation, I didn't find its useness.

The Plug-in has also at its disposal two functions which don't seem to be essential at first sight. On one hand, it is possible to activate/deactivate the effect independently for the right and left channels, and on an other hand the Reset button makes it possible to set all the adjustments at their default value, however a « flat » preset is already present.

I've kept a parameter for the end because this one is at the same time particularly useful and original. It is about the Range button. It allows to apply a coefficient multiplicateur, positive or negative, to the whole gain adjustments. In clear, you can accentuate or invert the whole equalizations. This is particularly useful to correct in the same proportion all the gains without having to adjust them independantly. It is more than well considering.

In conclusion, as soon as you forget the dynamic section not very usable to my opinion, MasterQ is an efficient equalization in FAT mode which will replace easily the often perfectible Eq sections of our dear sequencers.

To judge yourself, have a look to PSP's site where you will be able to download the demo !

See ya soon, here or somewhere else ,o)


  • Pros : the price, the filters quality, the easiness of use, the low CPU use
  • Cons : the dynamic section, the mysteries of the FAT, no curves with the mouse.

Description

  • Name : MasterQ
  • Type : Equalization Plug-in
  • Format : VST and DirectX for PC, VST for Mac OSX at the date this article is written
  • Editor : PSP AudioWare
  • Website : http://www.pspaudioware.com/
  • Internal resolution : 64 floating bits
  • Frequency range : up to 192 kHz
  • Filters : 7, each one having their own preset frequencies range
  • Price : 149 $US

Recommended configurations

  • Mac : Mac OS X 10.1 or higher, VST compatible host, G4 867 MHz, 512 MB of RAM, graphic display 1024x768
  • PC : Windows 98 or higher, VST or DirectX compatible host, 512 Mo de RAM, Pentium III 800 Mhz, graphic display 1024x768

    Pascal VALENTIN, on the 24-04-2004

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