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Sonnox Oxford EQ Review At Audio Media

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It was the idea of the engineers at Sony to incorporate an EQ into the OXF-R3 Oxford console that took advantage of the flexibility of the platform, but that didn't end up without a personality. The solution lay in multiple personalities — recreating the interactions between control changes and parameters that characterise some of the most sought-after EQs around. That has led to four generic EQ types, plus the GML 8200 type — an alternative version that Mr Massenburg himself had more than just a hand in. The result is a bunch of knobs that can be most of the EQs you've ever wished for. The next step was to take that EQ and port it to the Pro Tools platform as a TDM plug-in. 

When you buy the Oxford R3 EQ plug-in, you get three different versions of the plug-in, each in mono and stereo versions: Filters only (three per MixPlus chip), EQ only (four per chip), and EQ + filters (two per chip). You can opt for either just the four basic EQ types, or those four plus the GML option. You buy on-line (although no demos are available) and receive instructions on how to navigate the anti-piracy procedure. At the end of it you get a custom plug-in locked to the hard drive it was installed on. 

The filters are HP and LP shelves that have variable slope (6dB to 36dB/Oct) and frequency. The main EQ has five fully parametric bands, each with In/Out buttons, and shelving selections on the HF and LF bands (where Q controls overshoot). In the centre section of the EQ there are master AB selectors (two simultaneous settings), EQ Type selection (click 'In', and the plug-in imposes those characteristics), and a master gain control. 

The EQ types encompass various 'control reactions' and the amount of interaction between gain and Q. Type 1 has very little Gain/Q interaction, described as 'most like the original 4000 Series SSLs. Type 2 is the same in boost as Type 1 but has constant Q responses in cut (fine cut for tempering snares and wide boost for 'fill', for example). Type 3 is described as resembling Neve and the later SSL G consoles, with a moderate amount of Gain/Q interaction (Q reduces with gain). Type 4 increases that interaction for control of 'overall impressions' — recommended for mastering. The GML 8200 option is a comprehensive simulation of the outboard unit,though with ±20dB of boost/cut.

You have to spend a little time with this EQ to fully realise what it is capable of. Variety between types comes down to the way the EQ reacts to your actions, which is the way it should be. I've spent some time with GML EQs (fixed plenty) and I can say that the feeling returned with this —that accurate but musical sense that it brings. Everything about this plug-in spells quality. With lesser EQs you never really feel 'safe' making a change — with this you can twiddle with confidence. No other EQ currently available for the Pro Tools platform comes close. Sony has proved that you can take the EQ out of an Oxford, without taking the Oxford out of the EQ.  Paul Mac

 

Original Source - Audio Media

 

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